Anxiety is one of the biggest emotions I see that creates physical symptoms in the body. Anxiety feels the same as fear but the major difference we always need to remember is that anxiety is not real fear. Meaning it’s based on perceived danger vs real danger ( a car is going to run me over). So with anxiety, the answer is to not listen to it. Stand up to it. Confront it. Move through it. Whatever you do don’t be overtaken by it or controlled by it (amygdala hijack). Call it out for what it is: Anxiety. I always tell my patients anxiety is very compelling and the feeling itself (like fear) is meant to make you stop or avoid something. We have to overcome the biology of that feeling by using our pre-frontal cortex to decipher logically what’s going on. Keep the pre-frontal cortex online at all times so you don’t get swept away with anxiety. Remember, its not real fear, it’s a false fear so you don’t need to worry one ounce about it. There’s a reason they send you straight home from the ER after they rule out a heart attack. It’s just a anxiety attack, it’s not dangerous!!
One of my patients just sent me a cool little book she produced and published called: Anxiety from a different angle. I highly recommend it. Its got a bunch of illustrations with two characters called Limby (limbic system) and Corti (prefrontal cortex). The message is clear, simple, and gets right to point about anxiety from a fun angle. Instead of reading a long book about the intricacies of anxiety, I feel this little book and its characters portrays perfectly how anxiety works and what to do about it to get over it. Give it a read!