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Getting a Grip on Anxiety: Enter the New Year without Anything Holding You Back

Getting a Grip on Anxiety: Enter the New Year without Anything Holding You Back Denee Jordan

When it comes to really changing the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings we have been rehearsing for years, the work required can be significant. After all, chances are that if you have an anxiety disorder, you are pretty good at feeling nervous and afraid. Think of all the energy you have used up suffering from your fear. What would happen if you put as much energy into practicing new behaviors?

Anxiety disorders are very persistent and can produce tremendous suffering. Anxiety is natural; debilitating anxiety is not. In fact, basic anxiety is necessary. It is our chemical preparation for potential danger. The more anxious we feel, the more we lose our ability to use our human intellect and the more prepared we become to protect ourselves from life-threatening danger — much like a wild animal. I like to think of it as awareness moving from the front of the brain (location of rational, reasonable thinking) to the back of the brain (location of basic survival).

Useful Origin of Panic

When we lived in the wild, a rapid shift from intellect to fight, flee, or freeze was absolutely necessary; however, in modern society, it can create myriad problems. We are seldom in truly life-threatening situations. The interesting thing is that panic is a reaction to help prevent us from dying, but it is so uncomfortable that it feels as if we are dying. In fact, a panic attack itself can be much more uncomfortable than the supposed danger, and eventually the panic attack itself becomes the danger.