It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.
We have no shortage of triggers for our fears these days. It’s too easy for our amygdalas – those almond-shaped structures in the primitive part of our brains that prime us to react way before our conscious logical mind can think about it – to remain in a state of fearful vigilance that is highly corrosive to our health and well-being.
With our minds being constantly bombarded with stimulus as technology advances and we find ourselves constantly getting new information that is not always true or for our benefit, our anxiety can be easily triggered. Whether you are scrolling through social media and see a post about a newly discovered deadly disease, or simply watching TV and constantly getting updates on new crimes that have occurred, it can all become overwhelming and can be very difficult to digest. Regardless of whether that newly discovered disease can actually kill you or whether it is even in your location, you are already experiencing all the fears that are associated with it.
How do we interrupt the reactive fear response for those pesky anxiety triggers? We’ve all experienced that the more we try to suppress or deny fear, the more it grabs. But when we can sense and accept our fear, we give ourselves a moment to calm down and engage more conscious, logic-dominated parts of the brain. At that point, we get freer to choose to RESPOND in a way that will help us deal with the stressor…OR our fearfulness about it.
Here’s an excellent article from the New York Times Wellness section about our anxiety triggers, how fear works, and how we might be less controlled by it.