Anxiety is a natural response that humans have evolved to warn us of danger.
Anxiety can be a very uncomfortable feeling and it’s important to understand what anxiety is, and how to cope with it. It’s not just about feeling afraid, but it also kicks in when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing; it can help us be more alert or aware of our surroundings. It also helps us to focus on important tasks that need doing.
The problem is when anxiety becomes out of control and starts to interfere with your life.
However, anxiety can arise even when there is no real threat and become a problem in itself.
This can happen when you become excessively worried about the possibility of something bad happening, even if it's highly unlikely.
The fear of fear itself - or anxiety disorders - are an example of this; many people live with constant worry and fear that their lives are out of control. They may also experience physical symptoms like sweating, racing heartbeat and dizziness as well as emotional ones such as irritability or sadness.
What is amygdala?
You may have heard of the amygdala, but maybe you don’t know exactly what it does. The amygdala is a brain structure located in the temporal lobe, meaning it’s responsible for processing our emotions and memories. The amygdala is part of your brain that helps you respond to fear and stress, which can be helpful when there’s danger around. When we see a car speeding towards us or someone yells at us, the amygdala triggers our fight-or-flight response—a rush of adrenaline that makes us feel energized and alert.
But what if there’s no physical danger? What if your boss criticizes one of your reports or a friend says something rude? Your body still reacts as if there were an actual threat: You breathe faster and your heart beats faster too. That’s because when we feel anxious about things like work performance or social interactions (which are common sources of stress), our bodies release adrenaline into our bloodstreams just like they do when we experience real threats in the environment by running away from them (fight) or standing up to them (flight).
The function of amygdala is to process incoming stimuli from all five senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell) as well as internal states such as hunger and thirst, pleasure or pain and fear. When you experience a situation that triggers your fight-or-flight response, your amygdala will make sure that everything feels more intense by releasing hormones like adrenaline into your bloodstream which increase heart rate and blood pressure. This helps us to survive during dangerous situations by making us more alert and ready for action if needed.
However when this happens too often or in situations where there really isn't any real threat then we get stuck in state of anxiety as our fight-or-flight response kicks into overdrive without reason! You may have experienced this yourself with feelings such as: panic attacks; feeling nervous all day even though nothing bad has happened yet; feeling at risk even though there doesn't seem like any danger around right now...
3 steps to overcome anxiety
The first step is soothe the amygdala
When amygdala is highly sensitive, it is capable of thinking in opposites. This is called a critical faculty of mind and it is the main reason why just telling yourself that you want to behave differently and practicing it on conscious level outside of the situation is not enough to change your behavior in the situation itself. What usually happens that even though you know what you would like to do and how you would like to behave, as soon as you enter the situation that you consider to be a threat, your amygdala kicks in and there is anxiety back again.
In order to be able to behave differently in these situations, it is first necessary to soothe the amygdala, to calm it down, so your brain is receptive to new, beneficial suggestions.
The second step is to introduce new alternatives in these situations
The second step is to introduce new alternatives in these situations. We do this by generating as many new ways of behaving as you can think of, and then working on each one until it becomes an unconscious alternative for your brain.
There are numerous techniques that can be employed for this purpose and all of them are aimed at generating new unconscious alternatives, so that these new ways of being come to you naturally, spontaneously and without your conscious thinking.
The last step is to learn and practice new ways of being until they become second nature
In other words, we want to make sure that the alternatives we generate together feel natural, almost like a second nature, before going out into the world and facing your fears. When we do this successfully, then when you face a similar situation in the future, it won’t feel nowhere near as overwhelming or scary because your body and mind will already be prepared by default.
Our strategies can help with anxiety
If you're feeling stuck and don't know where to turn, a free session with us can help. We'll work with you to uncover the sources of your anxiety, if needed, and let go of the anxiety once and for all, so that you can feel more at ease. Get in touch today - it's never too late for change!
Anxiety can be a real problem for many people, and it can keep them from achieving their full potential. But our techniques are designed to help you overcome this challenge by calming your amygdala and creating new unconscious options. By learning how to control your anxiety, you can live a happier, healthier life.