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Anxiety and The Brain



Everyone experiences fear and anxiety at some point in their lives. People can be generally anxious without really knowing why. Normally, the brain manages your fear and anxiety without allowing them to interfere with your daily functioning.


Anxiety changes your brain’s connectivity. If your brain is chronically stressed, your brain will eventually start to wire itself differently. Chronically stressed brains typically show greater connectivity between the hippocampus and the amygdala and weaker connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. The hippocampus is primarily involved in encoding new long-term memories, especially memories that are emotionally charged, while the amygdala is involved in processing emotions, especially fight-or-flight emotions. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for higher functions, including emotional regulation. If your hippocampus is more strongly connected to the amygdala than it is to the prefrontal cortex, you are more likely to experience anxiety and less able to get it under control.

When you feel anxious, your body goes on alert, your brain floods your central nervous system with adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones tell your body that something scary is about to happen. Their role is to help you cope with danger. In order to do that, they sharpen your senses and make your reflexes faster. In a non-anxious brain, when the danger is gone, the sympathetic part of your nervous system takes over and calms you down. But when you suffer from anxiety, you may not be able to reach that sense of calm. Instead, the rush of stress hormones causes your brain to release even more stress hormones until you’re simply overwhelmed.


Join our GROW YOUR EQ free webinar at https://www.ashtontrainingacademy.com/web1 (3rd April)

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