How do our brains cope with anxiety?
Anxiety is the emotion that tells us there is danger ahead, or it’s time to get something done. It’s incredibly useful when we pick up on these signals.
But when it takes over our life and causes us to withdraw, isolate, stop engaging, it’s gone out of whack. If you feel unsafe, when in fact, you are safe, the anxiety is at a level of being disordered. If you have disordered anxiety, the feedback loops go into a “positive” loop. When you feel anxiety, you AVOID the situation, this brings you relief, and the next time you are in the same situation, you feel heightened anxiety and then more relief. You are training your brain in the wrong direction – procrastinate, avoid, deflect (amplifying the anxiety).
However, there are ways to retrain your brain:
1. Don’t avoid, run away and hide. Face the situation, feel the things you want to suppress and notice that you survived it.
2. Tell yourself a new courageous command: I will do this even if it makes me anxious.
3. Squirrel Chaser is excellent for this type of training. You will feel the stress, retrain your brain to remain calm for longer and longer durations, face the anxiety and improve your cognitive skills all at the same time.