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We’ve all felt that “butterflies in the stomach” sensation and noticed the racing heart that develops before something significant—a presentation, a job interview, a romantic date or a first-time international flight. However, have you ever stopped to think about the underlying physiological reasons for this common experience?
This two and a half minute AsapSCIENCE video wants to look into the real reasons why people get anxious, and suggests we might be able to learn some valuable information about anxiety management by looking to the approaches of professional athletes. While you’ve probably already heard of (and considered) the body’s “fight or flight” response, it’s less likely that you’ve considered the degrees of reaction associated with this response.
One of the key messages to take away from this fascinating summary of anxiety is that professional athletes greatly benefit from mental imagery—a technique that isn’t just relevant to runners and footballs, but that can also be utilized by regular people in everyday situations.
In particular, you’ll learn all about “cognitive specific imagery”, “motivational specific imagery” and “motivational general mastery.” Each of these useful exercises can be applied to your own situations in different ways. For example, one might be useful when you want to believe you can do well at something you’ve never tried, another is better suited to helping you recreate a previous success, while the third specifically targets your confidence.
In just a couple minutes, you’ll arm yourself with a much better understanding of the biology of anxiety, and help yourself cope more effectively with anything that life can throw at you!