What Makes You Anxious?

What Makes You Anxious?

People often experience worry and fear in their everyday lives. Experiences like worrying about being late for work and being fearful of what the boss will say are all completely normal.

A small amount of anxiety is a good thing because it helps us perform at optimal levels. However, anxiety becomes a problem when it starts to effect everyday functioning by disrupting sleep patterns and causing anger, temper outbursts, frustration, and irritability.

Anxiety is actually quite a simple thing. In its most basic, stripped down form, it is your mind activating the fight or flight response, which has been triggered by an external stimulus.

In other words, your mind perceives a threat and activates a mechanism in your brain designed to ensure your survival, by either fighting the threat or running away from it.

Adrenaline is pumped into your bloodstream in preparation for whatever is going to happen next, which is why your heart is beating faster and your blood pressure has gone through the roof. This in turn will probably make you feel nauseous and possibly dizzy.

Another little trick the mind has up its sleeve is that it turns off the part of your brain responsible for logical evaluation of the situation because as far as your mind is concerned, you should be running instead of thinking.

It can do this because the signal your brain receives of a possible threat is sent to two different centres of the brain. One part is responsible for processing logic and the other part processes possible threats. The only problem is, the signal reaches the threat processing centre first and promptly shuts down the logic centre during an over-anxious episode. The same thing happens when you get a sudden shock.

There is an awful lot more happening inside your brain at this time but maybe this little presentation will have given you an insight into what is happening outside your conscious control, and that this is actually quite a normal human process… scary, but normal.

Anxiety at its basic level is an over arousal of the autonomic nervous system. Another word for autonomic is automatic, meaning it is something you have no control over because it happens automatically. Therefore, there is no need to get involved in the blame game with yourself because it is something that happens automatically to you, and not something you created or something indicating you are weak or a failure. Starting today, get a different perspective on your anxiety. You may, for the moment, have no control over it but you do have control about what you are going to do about it. Start taking that control.


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