Musings & Research

in Psychology

Managing Our Anxiety


We play an active role in choosing whether to harness or be hindered by our anxiety. This research suggests that we can cultivate the ability to utilize our stress to enhance our performance.

"Anxiety is a normal, healthy emotion. It’s meant to alert you to danger. When you encounter a dangerous situation, your fight or flight response is activated. That surge of energy encourages you take action that will keep you alive. But most people experience anxiety in situations that aren't actually life threatening. Going to a job interview, speaking up for yourself, or giving a speech probably won’t kill you. But when you’re in those situations, your body may react as though you’re dangling from the edge of a cliff with one arm. Historically, anxiety has often been viewed as the enemy. ...But new research suggests that anxiety doesn't always have to impair performance. In fact, it may enhance it."
Yakov Barton, PhD