Anxiety is a normal emotion that most of us experience once in a while. In certain situations it can even be helpful as it helps us to stay alert and focused during challenging times. However, when anxiety becomes chronic and debilitating, it can have a negative impact on our mental and physical well-being. They key to overcoming this is understanding why and how it begins in the body.
What does anxiety feel like?
Symptoms of anxiety can range from mild unease and worry to severe panic attacks. Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.
What causes anxiety?
Chronic anxiety can indicate that there is amygdala hypersensitivity and nervous system dysregulation within the brain and body. This often happens after stress, trauma or illness, such as a virus.
When the brain's amygdala and insula become overactive, it triggers a fear response even in situations that are not actually dangerous. This means the sympathetic nervous systems ‘fight or flight’ response is more readily switched on and stress hormones frequently flood the body, resulting in anxiety symptoms. When the amygdala and insula eventually calm down, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes activated, allowing the body to relax and return to a state of balance.
How can you heal anxiety?
Thankfully, there are ways to naturally treat anxiety by calming the amygdala and regulating the nervous system. Brain retraining techniques, such as The Gupta Program, use a combination of neuroplasticity, mindfulness, and positive psychology to teach the amygdala that you are safe. Over time, this brings the body back into ‘rest and digest’ mode.
Meditation and mindfulness practices can also support brain retraining. By focusing on the present moment and bringing awareness to your bodily sensations, you can calm the nervous system. Breathwork, such as alternate nostril breathing is also effective at calming the mind and reducing anxiety symptoms.
In addition to these techniques, light movement, healthy eating, and good sleep habits can support overall wellness. Walking releases endorphins, which improves mood and reduce anxiety. Eating a balanced diet provides essential nutrients that support the nervous system, while good sleep habits help to regulate the body's natural rhythms and promote relaxation.
To learn how brain retraining can help you heal your nervous system and reduce anxiety symptoms, sign up to The Gupta Program’s free trial.