IN THIS EPISODE
Minding Anxiety: How To Reduce Noise In The System
Our Survival Brain
Our brains evolved to be alert for threats. It was valuable to be scanning our environment for predators, planning escape routes and rehearsing contingencies when we were living on the savannah. Today rather than facing being eaten by a predator, our stressors are more likely to be a conflict with our spouse, a difficult boss, financial worries. But our brain reacts the same way it did when faced with a saber toothed tiger. Our emotions and nervous system are hijacked by our brain into survival mode. But because there isn’t a discrete threat, we can be caught in a continuous cycle of anxiety and worry.
Relief From Anxiety
When we are worrying or anxious we are not present in our own lives. This can affect our health, our relationships and diminish our sense of wellbeing and ability to enjoy life. We outline a three part exercise to find relief from anxiety. The first part of that exercise is to pause and identify what is the worry. Ask yourself what is the story you are telling yourself. When you are clear on the worry, move down into your body and try and feel what the emotions are connected to that story. Try to stay in your body and really feel those difficult feelings. Don’t go back into the story. When you are ready comfort yourself. Extend compassion to yourself. Co-hosts Sue and Patty offer personal examples of how to move through the process with stories from their experience.
Additional resources for this episode:
- Tara Brock – Finding True Refuge: Meditations for Difficult Times
- Tara Brock– Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
- Kristen Neff– The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
- Jon Kabat-Zinn– Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness