Anxiety is an evolutionary feature, not a bug. However, that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. The good news is that we can use it to our advantage, says neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki, author of Good Anxiety. By tapping into what she calls her six “superpowers” of anxiety, we can redirect these unpleasant emotions into positive outcomes.
Suzuki explains the neurological roots of anxiety, including how the amygdala automatically activates when we feel fear or stress. Worse, the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s center of rational and executive function, shuts down when it’s most needed.
But we are not powerless over our brains, and there are techniques we can use to successfully manage our anxiety, such as cognitive flexibility.
Wendy Suzuki: Brain plasticity is the amazing ability to change and rewire itself in response to the external environment. I have tried to harness and explore the boundaries of brain plasticity to deal with some very difficult problems, especially high anxiety levels. When I hear the word “anxiety,” I think, “Oh, I want to kick this door out. This is a disease. I have it. I don’t know how to get rid of it.”
One of the first things I wanted to do was turn our whole way of thinking about anxiety upside down. Anxiety is a normal human emotion. Everyone has it and can never get rid of it. My entire book, Good Anxiety, teaches us to look at anxiety differently, because it evolved to protect us. We can use the tools of neuroscience and psychology to learn how to use anxiety and learn about the talents and superpowers that anxiety can give us.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear or worry that is commonly associated with uncertain situations. The amygdala is a brain structure that is automatically activated when hearing anxiety-inducing impulsive noises at night, and brain regions that may help calm you in such situations are involved in executive function. It is the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of involvement. you order the day Unfortunately, in situations of high stress and high anxiety, the situation is made worse by not only activating the amygdala, but also shutting down the prefrontal cortex.
Basically, what trips us all up is something called “negative bias,” where we tend to see the negative side of things more than the positive. What happens is that if you’re tired or stressed or have a lot of problems going on, the world is like, ‘Oh my God, this person hates me. I tend to see the world in such a way that I can’t understand it. It is the job. You will never lose the weight you want to lose. ” All of this becomes part of the great stone of anxiety that drags you down.
“Cognitive flexibility” is the idea that we can see and approach situations in different ways. We are habit-forming animals, and sometimes, without even realizing it, we find ourselves facing the same situations in the same ways that we faced them when we were six years old. Cognitive flexibility indicates that when something is achieved, there are alternative ways to approach it. You have the ability to do just that.
I worked hard to find gifts from different types of anxiety and came up with 6 gifts or superpowers of anxiety. I’ll mention my top three.
The first is a super-powerful “what if? list” for productivity. What if you didn’t do it, or what if you did it but didn’t do it right? That’s the key.
Evolutionarily, anxiety evolved to make us take action. 2.5 million years ago, it was either fighting dangers that caused anxiety, or running away from them. That is the fight or flight response. The way to change that is to turn that list of assumptions into a to-do list. Ask a friend for help, do something, search on Google, etc. Add actions to each and check them one by one.
Super Power #2 is the flow super power. Flow is a state of mind. It’s the moment you’re doing something you’re really good at. Time has stopped. It’s like moving in slow motion, everything is going beautifully. All the data out there shows that anxiety can block the flow. I know I wanted to talk about flow, but I couldn’t say, ‘Sorry, if you’re worried, there’s no flow’. Well, it may not be the classic flow. Maybe it’s a “micro flow”. Your own anxiety can make your own microflow moments that we all experience during the day even more fluid, even if you are not aware that you are doing so. Masu.
Superpower 3. Think about the anxiety closest to you, the most common form of anxiety. You know what that feels like. You know what that looks like. All you have to do is become aware that others may be suffering from similar anxiety. This is your super power. All you have to do is offer a kind word or simple help in the situation. I love this super power. Because I can’t think of anything more needed in today’s world than a higher level of empathy.
An activist mindset is a mindset that allows you to look at a situation and be flexible with all the possibilities, from negative prejudices to “Oh, actually, this might tell us something really interesting.” . new. “Having an activist mindset requires cognitive flexibility. You are going to try something new. may become.
This is a very important part of my book and I think it was emphasized because of this situation that really shaped the book. It was the difficult deaths of two members of my family, from which truly beautiful examples of life are born. activist mindset. Everyone will experience the loss of a loved one in their lifetime. My activist mindset was to know that all that pain and loss and grief was fueled by love for these people, and that was my activist mindset. I’ve incorporated beautiful, informative, and almost life-saving examples of activist thinking to deal with anxiety. What’s wrong with my anxiety? Can we bring our superpowers and the gifts that come from them as an opportunity to learn, grow and know more about ourselves?
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