The secrets behind Anxiety
Anxious? Tensed? Worrying about the future?
Anxiety and us… it can be a relationship that’s hard to go away from. There are so many events triggering stress: delays, health, the unexpected, or just a change…
Our pupils dilate, our heart beats faster, we get a surge of cortisol and adrenaline to prepare us for action. Does it sound familiar?
When we start Mindfulness, we usually grow the illusion that Anxiety will simply go away. But it is not the case.
Why does your brain trigger stress?
Our brain is naturally automated. The human race have lived such a long time on earth, and managed to survive catastrophic events.
This mechanism is also known as a fight or flight response. This old area of our brain helps to regulate body mechanism to increase our alertness and response when we face a threat. Obviously, this was a very useful mechanism in the human history to survive.
On the opposite hand, we do not face anymore the same threats during our modern times. But our brain did not adapt to this yet. So a stress can trigger a wide range of reacts, and physiological symptoms, as our brain tries to help you cope with delays, financial issues, unexpected events…
But how does this fight or flight system works? Why does it trigger anxiety? Our brain is constantly trying to match the present to memories. This subconscious process is very useful for our brain, because if you survived up to now, the brain wants to use the same strategy, because it works.
Chances are, if you face a difficulty right now, and something similar occurred in the past, you will get anxious. A flow of events will resurface, in turn triggering emotions, and driving your mood.
Our brain and mind identifies many threats in our modern time: a deadline, a financial constraint, a medical appointment… but they are not exactly threats. Rather, they materialise our fears and anticipation of the future.
How can you get out of this?
Tip #1 - “I lived a long life and had many troubles, most of them never happened”, Mark Twain. This old proverb tells a lot about the way we think.
Up to 85% of our worries do not happen. Yes, that’s a significant part! And for the remaining 15%, the realitiy is usually easier than we imagine.
Tip #2 - Going out of your natural thinking patterns. Stress takes a root in this automated fight or flight response, specifically on how our brain automates. Practicing Mindfulness & Meditation is proven effective to decrease this mechanism. We will talk in a future article about it in more details - for now, let’s say Mindfulness increases a number of key areas on your brain in charge of “awareness”, decreasing our brain automated responses. Meditating is very important part of your journey to change the way your mind works.
Tip #3 - “I will not stress myself on things I can not control” We worry on so many details… but we do not realise that most of them are out of our control. A move to a new office, a delay from a partner or colleague, an unexpected task… Do you control this event? No? So, stop worrying about it, because worries will not change the outcome.
Worries will only hamper your efforts to deal with a new event. When you realise this, it is life changing. So next time you worry, ask yourself: “Do I have control over this?”
There are plenty of other ways to deal with Anxiety, Worries, and transform the way your mind works.
You can find a bit more about it on our app: Harmony Meditation Mindfulness, available on the App Store.