three Methods to Harness your Nervous Vitality to Carry out Higher
Struggling with stress and anxiety can be frustrating, but have you ever found anxiety a positive thing?
In her book Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Fear, the clinical psychologist Dr. Chloe Carmichael that fear is actually positive and can be used to your advantage. Through simple techniques that make you more sensitive to your emotions, you can gain control of your fear and begin optimizing your mental health for greater success. I wanted to introduce you to three ways that you can start using your nervous energy to have happier and more successful careers and lives.
As high achievers, fear seems like something to be ashamed of or something to hide about, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The first step in harnessing this fear for greater success is to acknowledge and embrace it. As Dr. Chloe says fear is actually a healthy function of our brains! Your mind stimulates preparatory behaviors for what we know will be a stressful event. Once you are able to effectively use these preparatory stimuli, you will find that your fear is a plus that encourages and supports you in your success.
Meditation and mindfulness
Once you begin to recognize and acknowledge your fear, meditation and mindfulness can help you understand it more deeply. Understanding can help calm your emotions, fight the stressor, or do whatever needs to be done to address the anxiety. By practicing mindfulness and meditation, we can listen deeply to our fear and the actions it calls us to take. Dr. Chloe teaches mindfulness and a few different simple breathing techniques in her book to help you stay on the ground.
Naming your emotions sounds easy, but it may be harder than you think. A technique that Dr. Chloe suggests is to list your to-do list for the day and label each task with the emotion you are feeling. Knowing what your emotional state will be like during each activity can help you prepare effectively for the event and turn those anxious feelings into tangible actions.
As busy entrepreneurs with fast paced lives, we may tend to just see how our fear and stress hold us back – and overlook the secret of how it can actually move us forward. I urge you to see fear as a potential superpower that, if used correctly, can make you do bigger and better things than ever before.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.