It’s an unfortunate aspect of the human mind that there’s a voice in there, constantly running, which we have no control over. For the unfortunate among us, that voice is overwhelmingly negative, and we call the experience of listening to that voice anxiety.
One way to begin to overcome the power anxiety has over you is to recognise that this voice is just a voice. Like any voice, you can ignore it, you can choose to listen to a different one, an most importantly, no matter what it says, it can’t control your actions if you don’t let it.
Of course, in practice it’s easier to say this than to do it. But as Sam Harris discusses in the video above, there are a number of skilful ways we can reframe the experience which is making us anxious in a way that weakens its power over us.
How do you know the difference between being anxious about something that’s about to happen, and being excited? For the most part, it is the thoughts you’re thinking, when you’re feeling that arousal. There’s a cognitive, conceptual overlay, on top of this raw feeling. You can consciously reframe things, or you can step out of it altogether and just feel the raw energy of this experience.