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Anxiety is a Chemical Reaction




Several chemicals come into play when you are experiencing anxiety; epinephrine, serotonin, dopamine and high levels of cortisol. Multiple forms of anxiety are not situational but are instead associated with an elevation or drop in certain neurotransmitters or chemicals in the brain.


Your body can eliminate cortisol in a couple hours, so you should feel good again- as long as you don't hit any more triggers in that time. Unfortunately it can be hard to do.

Cortisol creates a threatened feeling that makes your brain urgently search for threats. But you can find the off switch and learn how to use it.


It is usual for you to be more anxious when you wake up due to high cortisol levels from the night's sleep. Do not stay in bed, get up and move!


Another good way to reduce anxiety is chewing or drinking. Our basic instincts are telling our nervous system that if we are actively chewing or dinking there must be no danger and it can relax. Chewing food, gum or drinking water will help.


The human brain is good at creating anxiety. The good news is that it is possible to undo your anxiety when you accept it and work to ground yourself.


Great grounding techniques are to engage all 5 of your senses.


Taste...warm herbal tea, juice or a hard piece of candy

Hear...music on a play list or podcast, or go outside and listen

Touch...use lotion to massage your skin, bath or shower, feel different textured surfaces, run water over your hand

Smell...light a candle, bathe with scented soap, smell an orange

Visual...look at photos of people you love or that help you, do a word search or color


3-3-3

This is another tool to try; name out loud 3 things you see, 3 things you feel and 3 body parts.


If you have anxiety that is triggered by certain events from the past EMDR therapy is a great help. This will de-escalate the nervous system's response going back to an earlier event and eliminate triggers.

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