07 Feb Try this different but effective way to deal with anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental ill-health.
And even apart from that, it’s a common (and at times, appropriate) human emotion.
But the good news is, that it’s also very treatable and manageable. Psychology, and especially cognitive behavioural and acceptance commitment therapies, have developed powerful tools that really work most of the time. And relatively quickly.
In this article, on the Fast Company website, a slightly different approach is offered; but it’s one that could really help many in need. So check it out and give it a try …
To fret is human. That’s according to recent estimates that suggest 90% of the population experiences anxiety. And because even mild anxiety can zap your confidence, squelch your sex drive, and isolate you from friends and loved ones, most people conclude that anxiety of any kind is a bad thing.
But not neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki. In her new book, Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion, she argues that we should treat anxiety like a form of energy. “Think of it as a chemical reaction to an event or situation,” she writes. “Without trustworthy resources, training, and timing, that chemical reaction can get out of hand—but it can also be controlled and used for valuable good.”
Today on the Next Big Idea podcast, Wendy sits down with Lauren Miller Rogen. Lauren is a filmmaker and the cofounder, along with her husband, actor Seth Rogen, of the nonprofit Hilarity for Charity, which provides a range of free services to support families impacted by Alzheimer’s. Together they discuss the science-backed tools you can use to worry well. Listen to the full episode ahead, or read a few key highlights.
HOW CAN ANXIETY BE GOOD?
Lauren Miller Rogen: When I got your book, I was like, Well, I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression over the years. How can it be good?ADVERTISING
Wendy Suzuki: Here’s the 30-second answer: Anxiety is good because from an evolutionary perspective, anxiety—and that underlying physiological stress response that we’re all too familiar with—evolved over the last 2.5 million years to protect us. In fact, it’s critical for our survival.
Think about a woman 2.5 million years ago [walking in the forest] with a little baby, and there’s a twig that cracks. Well, she thinks, that could be a lion, or a tiger, or a bear. She immediately gets anxious. Her physiological response shunts blood to her muscles, so that she can either run away or fight—that is, survive.https://embed.podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/this-is-why-your-boss-is-so-bad-at-his-job/id1393035987?i=1000544052822
Today, we don’t have many lions and tigers and bears attacking us. Instead, we have the newsfeed, social media, the threat of global warming, and of course the pandemic. Those are not dangerous to us in the same way, but we respond to them in the same way—so that response that was once protective is now just over the top. Our anxiety levels have gone way overboard. So a big part of the book is learning, based on science, how to turn those anxiety levels down.
Everybody knows about fight-or-flight, but do you know about “rest and digest?” It’s the de-stressing part of the parasympathetic nervous system. While fight-or-flight increases your heart rate, respiration, and blood flow to your muscles, rest and digest decreases your heart rate and respiration, and it shunts blood back to your digestive and reproductive organs.
The best way to activate that is to breathe deeply. Here’s what I do: inhale on a four-count, hold at the top for a four-count, exhale on four counts, and hold at the bottom for four counts.
ON JOY CONDITIONING
Lauren: I just love “worrying well” and “joy conditioning.” It can feel really daunting to be like, I’m anxious, I’m depressed—where do I even begin? But you make it very practical in your book…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE