Blessings to All,
My prayer is most of us are finding our inner peace during the current events. In the spirit of self- empowerment, I thought a brief proactive discussion on fear and anxiety may bring you some health and support.
So, what is the brain mechanism of fear and anxiety? Modern research has learned fear and anxiety is the result of continuous communication and interaction between several areas of the brain which has been termed the “fear network”. Some individuals for different reasons may have a lower or higher activation threshold in these regions and may be more prone to heighten activation during acute situations such as our current events.
How does it affect my brain? Oversimplified, we have a cognitive brain which is represented by the frontal lobe of the brain that regulates are thoughts and sensations and our emotional brain which is represented by the amygdala which located deep inside our brain that regulates how we perceive and process our emotions.
It is thought that when our emotional brain is over activated by a threatened experience it overpowers the cognitive brain and we feel and experience fear and anxiety. Conversely, it has been shown when our cognitive brain is redirected and supported it tames the fear and anxiety and results in emotional regulation.
How can I help myself? There are many ways to re-align with our cognitive brain and one that has been researched for many decades is Mindfulness Breath Practice. This method fundamentally utilizes breath to quiet your over activated emotional mind that in turns fosters cognitive clarity and insight that expands beyond one’s recent thoughts that may include novel options other than the fear and anxiety.
Fear is appropriate at times, having insight to other options does not negate or deny your reality rather it supports the way you may manage your reality and move beyond from a maladaptive to an adaptive response to the situation. We are All in this together.
Dr. Donna Grandi Nikander