How to Process and Control Your Anxiety

When we're overwhelmed with emotion,
it can be easy to run from it. And in order to understand the emotion
and to process it, you have to name it. Why are you feeling anxious?
What is driving that level of anxiety? And most of us wait until we're there,
until it happens, and in that case, sometimes it's too late to navigate it. It's really about asking yourself
proactively: What are my triggers? What typically creates that
level of worry, anxiety? What is it that drives some of that fear?
So that you can understand it. Now, once you're in the moment, the
problem is that our brain has taken over. And our brain is this phenomenal organ,
and it's been built to protect us. But when we're in a place of fear
and anxiety, we're operating out of a threat state. We are letting cortisol and
adrenaline dictate our choices. To get out of that threat state, other than proactively navigating it and
managing it by identifying your triggers, there are three things
that you can do. So the first is name the emotion. And it sounds silly, but they did a
survey of 500,000 individuals and asked them to identify what they were feeling
in the moment, and only 36% of them could name the emotion they were feeling. So there's a saying,
"You have to name it to tame it." Next, it's understanding how to
control those emotions, and to do that, you have to be able to
identify what's driving them. What is the trigger? Chances are
there's a certain person or subject or topic or place that
drives that level of anxiety. And finally, once you're in that place,
there are some things that you can do to mitigate it. So meditation
sounds like it's touchy and fluffy and feely, but really, every time
you are bringing yourself back to your breath, you are growing
your resilience muscle. It's the gray matter in your brain;
you're repairing all of the neurons damaged by stress, whether it's exercise or meditation or gratitude. And those things help you
get out of that threat state and the ability to transfer to
your frontal lobe where you can think logically and clearly. So training yourself over
time gives your brain the ability to choose how it responds
and reacts to situations.

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