Last week was a special Thanksgiving blog about family gatherings. Your family member are the people you love the most, and yet, you may feel like they drive you nuts sometimes. It's normal: Everybody has flaws. Check out the full blog HERE if you missed it.

This week, let's talk about anxiety. How do we deal with anxiety? Before we start looking into solutions for anxiety, let's understand how it works and what powerful emotion anxiety is connected to...

Anxiety is mostly connected to fear. Here's a couple of examples I'm sure you can relate to. Let's say your dog is inside the house, and there's thunder and lightning. The dog runs under the bed, right? It's scared. Here's another example: You are going for a walk in nature, and then a little garden snake jumps right out at you on the sidewalk. Right then, on the spot, you are afraid, you are experiencing fear as a direct result to a threat in the environment.

This is due to your amygdala, that little area of your brain right behind your ear that keeps track of everything that's surrounding you, detects and tries to avoid threats around you. Not just physical threats either! Emotional threat threats as well. It very often is the one causing your anxiety.

How does that work exactly? It actually works as a team, along with two different parts of our brain. First, the prefrontal cortex, where you store information. You use this to think, feel and sense the events happening to and around you. When you go into prefrontal cortex overload, because there's too much information, this portion of the brain will send a signal to the interior cingulate cortex.

The interior cingulate cortex is the one that connects with the amygdala. Those three parts working together are in control of pain processing, like that emotion that you are feeling.

Now, the difference between fear and anxiety is that fear is caused by a single event. It happens, and you are afraid. Anxiety is something else. Anxiety is not caused by an event. It's caused by anticipating an event that may potentially happen. We make up stories in our head! You're walking on that path, and because you're afraid of a garden snake jumping out, you pretend that there could potentially be one lurking, waiting to come out. The whole time, as you're walking, you are anxious.

Pretty weird, right? You're afraid in advance. You're making up the fact that it may happen. Maybe it's because it has happened before, and that's how you dispatched these signals to your brain, because you created the neural pathways, and then you think that it will always happen over and over and over. And then even when it's not happening, you are receiving the information in your brain, through your body, just as if it was happening.

Once we understand that "we are making it up", as you may have already heard me say, the first step is done. Next week, I will be talking about four different techniques, four different tools that you can use. A step-by-step path in order to deal with anxiety, knowing what we know now about the difference between fear and anxiety.

See you next week!


50% of adults don't sleep well.

A lot of people have problems falling asleep, or problems staying asleep. They wake up many times throughout the night, or they wake up in the morning and sure, they've slept, but they just don't feel well rested, and this may be a cause of anxiety.

The THINK Yourself® ASLEEP Online Course will teach you all about sleep, as well as provide you with tools to help you be a better sleeper!

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