When you become anxious , several things happens. Adrenalin is released, your heart and breathing rates skyrocket, the blood supply to the muscles increases and your pupils dilate. This is your nervous system preparing for battle and this happens without your control.
What is driving it?. The amygdala : a set of neurons deep in the medial temporal lobe that scans sensory signals to the brain, assesses the level of threat and if danger is sensed triggers a fight or fight response.
Anxiety comes when emotional factors convince your amygdala that you are in danger. A mind that constantly whirls, a to do list that never ends, a life that feels like an elaborate performance of spinning plates all contributes to this state of high alert.
At this stage a good night`s sleep is futile, and a hot bath will do little to help.
In the nineties we were `stressed` in the Noughties we were `depressed` and now we are simply `anxious` very , very busy and very, very anxious.
Human beings have always been anxious. It is indispensable part of the nervous system. But as life moves faster , our anxiety becomes greater . we panic when someone doesn`t like us back on Tinder, we worry about which Instagram filter to use, we fret that our twitter feed isn`t as funny as everyone else`s. we are living in an era of solipsism, never before have we been so consumed with self-examination, self- improvement and self- perfection.
Our role models are not helping . we are surrounded by overachievers, public figures who can do it all. Wearing fashionable clothes, being able to do 20 `proper` push-ups and throw a dinner party without getting in a flap are not now things to be proud of, they feel like a given. Our choices in life are endless.
I believe anxiety developed long before the internet sent us all into a collective free fall. We live in an age where there are more choices and higher expectations than ever.
Solution: offer yourself what you didn`t get from your parents. Discover that it is ok to anxious says Napir`. Make room for your inevitable suffering through a daily practice of mindfulness, meditation or yoga. We can learn how to handle our emotions rather than avoid them.
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