Many Faces of Anxiety
As you can see by this photo, anxiety has many faces and ways it can present itself. Everyone reacts differently to anxiety. Essentially, anxiety is fear, connected to your Amygdala, an organ in your brain designed to protect you from danger. Once the Amygdala is alerted to danger, very powerful stress hormones are released such as cortisol and adrenaline. Your entire system is setting up for battle to protect you, however, what happens when the fear is imaginary? What are the long term effects of activating your Limbic System repeatedly? I will tell you, physical and mental breakdowns occur. Anxiety eventually invades your life and takes over. Problems with sleep, energy, concentration, social engagement, become problematic. Your world begins to shrink down from “anticipatory anxiety.” Now you begin to worry about everything and go into an avoidance mode, which only increases anxiety, more stress hormones are released and additional physical and emotional problems.
Your entire life gets hijacked by anxiety unless you learn to control it, confront it and learn skills to relax and calm yourself down physically and mentally. Methods that are scientifically proven to help manage anxiety include; meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, biofeedback, hypnosis, CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Thought Stopping, mental rehearsal, desensitization (via gradual exposure), use of imagery are all effective tools and ways to manage anxiety.