Anxiety is an emotional, physical, cognitive experience that encompasses the feeling of being untethered and on alert. It connects back to our survival system and it's efforts to keep us safe. Through stressful experiences, that innately helpful alert system can get stuck in the "ON" function, leading to on-going worry thoughts or overthinking, visceral manifestations (like stomach problems, feeling shaky, rapid heartbeat, sweating) and a general feeling of unease or caution towards future and current events.
Anxiety disconnects us from the parts of self that carry confidence and calm. It can also disconnect us from our bodies, as we try desperately to avoid somatic discomforts and what feels like an explosion of the emotions (panic attacks). These disconnects are also visible on a neuro level, as studies have found anxious-wired brains look different than non-anxiously wired ones.
Treatment for anxiety aims to turn the alarm system from ON to OFF. This can be achieved a variety of ways, usually including relaxation skills, mindfulness, traditional processing, desensitizing/defusing the charge of triggers and addressing the underlying experiences which created the hypervigilant alarm to begin with.
I wrote a blog on differentiating stress and anxiety, check it out on the Blog page. For more info on holistic healing check out the Holistic Wellness page.
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