Achieve emotional health & well-being
A bottom-up vs top-down, science-based strategy
to getting rid of anxiety
"Yes, it is possible to get rid of anxiety—even without medication—and feel more alive to boot using neuroscience and simple brain hacks to fine-tune your nervous system." Psychologist Dr. Susan LaCombe
We all need anxiety—when it's called for.
When a big black bear approached me in my neighborhood (I live in the north country), it was anxiety that told me "Hey girl, stay alert, this is NOT good".
Anxiety for everyday events however—even on stressful work days—is a problem that slows you down. You don't need it and you don't need to put up with it.
1. The solution starts with knowing that anxiety is controlled by your nervous system.
Meanwhile, you already know what anxiety does to you:
- . . . panic, fear and moody states
- . . . foggy brain and can't think straight
- . . . loss of interest in anything new - even the good stuff….
- . . . major blocks to any attempt at personal change.
Instead of . . .
. . . being excited to see the world from new perspectives.
. . . relaxing with abandon.
. . . feeling calmer despite the stormy seas of work/life balance.
2. The second step to getting rid of anxiety is knowing the nervous system can change.
Like many others you probably thought the nervous system was set in stone early on, and unchangeable. Not so as it turns out.
Now we know the functioning of the nervous system can be improved—even expanded.
Indeed, it's possible—with the right set of conditions—to get rid of anxiety without medications.
The beauty of working with a science-based approach - is that the impact is felt across your total functioning . . . emotionally, mentally, physically, even spiritually.
You’re just better at being human all round!
3. The third step to living without anxiety is to take advantage on how the brain works.
4 Key brain facts for
getting rid of anxiety—the good and the bad.
1. A balanced brain is your best defense against anxiety
If you have anxiety, then almost by definition you'll be dominated by your left brain. The challenge is to balance your brain with right brain activities even though that might seem counterintuitive.
To get rid of anxiety you need to rewire the brain. The problem is that anxiety compels you to hang out in the past and the future (as a way of proactively anticipating potential issues). Learn more.
3. The root of anxiety is fear.
You may not be afraid - it's a different matter to your primitive reptilian brain—where fear arises from. The problem is that the primitive lizard brain doesn't have a language center. You can't just tell yourself 'don't be afraid' or "settle down, nothing to worry about".
4. What you believe is a trigger is usually only part of the story
If something is triggering you and then you have a hard time letting it go (within a reasonable amount of time), it's likely that past memories are powering up your feelings.
Just like when you see an iceberg, you're only seeing part of the picture.
In fact, what you believe is the source of the trigger is only what your mind is mis-attributing based on its current state. Learn more about being triggered.
When a little "12 second body practice" leads to a new mindset—one that overcomes these challenges—then you'll want to nurture it. That's because it's the means for a life that just keeps on getting better.
Ed.D. of Counseling Psychology