Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and all the humans on the spectruuuuum!
Today we’ll talk about what is really killing you! Fun! And easy tips to reduce anxiety to improve your life! Less killing is even more fun!
Flight or flight
Now let’s talk about the amygdala. Sounds like a Star Wars name “princess amygdala”.
The amygdala is a region of the brain associated with emotional processes. Also know for the fight or flight system. “Code red code red, this is not an exercise” It’s part of the limbic system that mediate emotions and memory.
In the amygdala, pheromones and innately appetitive and aversive stimuli, including certain odours, tastes, or sexual imagery, can produce physiological and behavioral expressions of emotional state. In other words, when you smell a pie, you get hungry, when you see brocoli you wanna puke, when you see Beyoncé, you feel all sorts of butterflies in your stomach. Bend the knee to the Queen B. All that because depending on the intensity of the emotions, your amygdala will create an appropriate response. Well, at least it’s how it supposed to work…
The frontal lobe is the thinking brain, the part of the brain that rationalizes, solve problems and make decision in a “logical” way. “Logical” is not the same for everyone since we all have different backgrounds and levels of education. But you get the idea.
An amygdala hijack refers to a personal, emotional response that is immediate, overwhelming, and out of measure with the actual stimulus because it has triggered a much more significant emotional threat.
“Do you mind if I eat the last piece of cheese?”
“Are you freaking kidding me, you always do this to me! What the hell!”
Basically the amygdala responds the the “perceived” threat before the information is able to be processed by the frontal lobe. Makes sense?
In fact study finds that people take more risks when the amygdala is damaged which may related to gambling, drinking and sexual addictions. “What happens in Las Amygdala’s stays in the amygdalas”
Thoughts and feelings
Thoughts and feelings have an effect on the body. Sounds basic but when we think and feel, certain chemicals are released in the brain. Feelings such as happiness or gratitude releases oxytocin and makes us happy, look for connection and fall in love.
However anxiety or anger will release Cortisol and adrenaline. Chemicals that are meant to get us to fight a situation or flight and preserve ourselves. These are very adaptive hormones that have protected us for centuries from all kinds of dangers, from wild animals, to wild neighboring war lords. To… well, wild neighbors… who out their music too loud at night. Yep, same reaction.
Before we talk about the tips to deal with anxiety, let’s look at what may cause stress.
Three type of stresses
According to Dr Joe Dispenza, there are three types of stressors.
Trauma, accidents, falls, getting bitch slapped and getting challenged to a duel.
Virus, bacteria, toxins, blood sugar levels, hangovers.
Traffic jams, family tragedy, parenting, and the worst …internet connection
The flight flight mechanism is very adaptive, it’s why we survived until recently. The problem is when these feelings are produced on a daily basis. Then what is supposed to protect us becomes self destruction. It is now maladaptive.These daily reactions now become habits, patterns and part of our personality.
Fear is increasing
Fears surrounding us becoming normalized to a point that we don’t even realize we are stressed!
For instance years of complicated political situations creating confusion and over a year of pandemic creating fear of other and financial difficulties. Study finds that loneliness, isolation and uncertainty increases anxiety.
Watching the news, looking at all the hot guys and babes out on Instagram and wondering why you can’t get those abs, listening to murder podcasts / okay these are fun/ but still,
You end up running back home a night coz I don’t know, maybe miss Delgado downstairs is really Jack the Ripper. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, so what if you function with an anxious mindset for years? We now function with constant anxieties not realizing we are not in actual danger all the time. It becomes part of our personality. But even if we don’t feel it as much clearly we still suffer from it’s effects. If you want me to explain the effects on the body and how all that works in the brain, let me know in the comments, for now I figured we talked about enough fun stuff without mentioning how constant high blood pressure can cause heart diseases.
Okay, now that I am more anxious because I am listening you talk about all the shit that makes me anxious, and now what? I am actually feeling anxiety just writing this.
Tips to reduce anxiety
Since there are three types of stressors, three types of balances too:
Do some exercise, get a massage, go for a swim, go for a walk, and make sure you do at least 30 minutes of exercice 3 to five times a week. Exercice activates the frontal lobe which will help regulate the amygdala hijake.
Get yourself a fitbit to keep track of your steps. Links on my website to get a discounted Fitbit
Eating better food, vitamins and enzymes. Make sure you her enough magnesium, zinc, vitamin b and healthy fats like walnuts or avocado which is also rich in vitamin B . Study finds that anxiety is correlated to low anti oxidants in the body so eating beans, fruits, vegetables and nuts will help regulate that.
Healthy guts and mental health are strongly connected. Lots of hormones are actually created in the stomach and so bad nutrition is connected to anxiety and depression
Now lets looks at some ways to create emotional balance.
Breathing indicates the brain that we are in a safe environment. Taking a moment to take deep breaths when feeling anxiety or panic attack can really help calm down,
Gratitude will help you focus on the positive things in your life instead of all the things you need to fix. Gratitude is like a muscle. /flex/ work on it by expressing it to your loved ones and thinking about what you are grateful at night before going to sleep to work out that muscle!
Dream to activate your frontal lobe. Focus on things around you and count them. Projects yourself in the best possible outcome and feel how it would be to have all your wishes come true.
–Take notes of triggers
When you start feeling anxiety, ask yourself what may have caused it, what thought or fear is creating this response. So that you know what you can avoid, or what thoughts and patterns to work on.
EFT therapy or tapping therapy has some good results. As well as EMDR therapy. But also regular therapy can help. You can get online therapy too. One of the best platform is talkspace. Another great one for cognitive behavioral therapy (the best one to deal with anxiety disorder) is online therapy.com. (20% off with this link)
Have a play list of songs that gets you to chill out! I personally like jazz . Sing to me Norah Jones!
–Use your senses
I love using oils like lavender or mint to relax.
Meditation combines a bunch of the things I just mentioned. Breathing, music, physical relaxation. Remember about what I said about brainwaves in the video about how to change your mental program? Meditation is the best tool to drop to a relaxed alpha. Meditation can be daunting. It’s not about sitting quietly and getting flooded by more anxious thoughts, there are all kinds of great guided meditations that will give your mind something else to do than worry. Find all kinds of meditation on my YouTube channel: here is the playlist
If you want to know more about the brain, check out one of my favorite book Evolve your brain by Joe Dispenza.
Last tip, don’t worry about changing your life completely. According to Dr Joe Dispenza, get two out of three in order, the third one gets in order and everything else will find it’s way back to homeostasis. Look at what areas in your life that could used some improvements and change one thing at a time. At your own speed! Be compassionate with yourself my friend. Whenever you hear yourself think or say “I should”, “I can’t stand this anymore”, “is there something wrong with me” you are judging your emotions, feelings that just want to be heard. Just welcome them. Tell your inner child. Hey, it’s okay, I got you, I love you. Feel the feelings and ill just give you some love until these thoughts are gone!