Understanding Anxiety

anxiety, stress, anf therapy, fatigue

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural and healthy response to an external stimulus. During times of extraordinary situation (i.e. an unfamiliar person or sound, giving a speech, flying, being in an accident), we should be in a heightened or aroused state as a normal response.

Typically, when the stressful episode is over, we are expected to return back to mental and physiological balance, as most healthy people do.

Anxiety becomes unhealthy when it spills over into your everyday life. People with anxiety disorder feel unease and panic even when experiencing or doing normal tasks (like leaving the house or grocery shopping).

With clinical anxiety, the person is producing the same physiological chemical reaction in their body as if they are in a threatening situation.

If you are experiencing highly charged and emotionally stressful events repetitively and continually within a short period, your body can turn on its stress response over and over again.

A problem occurs when the body turns on its stress response but can’t turn it off. Your survival response mechanisms are always activated and can stay that way for a longer time than it is needed. 

When a person is in constant survival mode, they are always living in a heightened mode and are continually prepared for an emergency. The brain and the whole body are always highly stimulated.

What Triggers Anxiety?

When your senses feel or pick up a threat like a loud sound or noise, a scary situation, or a creepy feeling, the information or stimuli take two different routes through the brain. When surprised, startled, or alarmed, the brain automatically engages an emergency hotline to its amygdala (fear center).

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Once the amygdala is activated, it sends the equivalent of an all-points bulletin that alerts other brain structures. The result is the classic fear response such as rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, increased blood pressure, and a burst of adrenaline.

The result is the classic fear response such as rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, increased blood pressure, a feeling of helplessness, nervous, restless, sweating, agitation, trembling, excessive worrying, trouble concentrating or making decisions, and a burst of adrenaline.

All these responses occur before the brain is even conscious of having smelled or touched anything. The body’s response is very fast so that before you know why you’re afraid, you already are.

The High Road

After the immediate fear response is activated, it is now time for the conscious mind to initiate. Rather than traveling immediately to the amygdala, some sensory data takes a more roundabout route.

The information is first processed in the thalamus (the processing hub for sensory cues) and then goes to the cortex (the outer layer of brain cells). The brain’s cortex analyzes the raw information transmitted by your senses and makes a decision on whether they require a fear response.

If the conveyed stimuli do require the fear response, the cortex then signals the amygdala of a potential threat. The body is then put on alert.

By putting the brain and body on alert, the amygdala activates a series of changes in your brain chemicals and hormones that places your body in anxiety mode.

Increase in Stress Hormone

During stressful events, it is difficult to remember details of what is happening when asked to recall them later. When reacting to signals from the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, the adrenal glands pump out high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone).

Too much cortisol short-circuits the cells in the hippocampus. This makes it difficult to organize the memory of a trauma or stressful experience. During this time, your memories lose their context and become fragmented.

Fast Heartbeat

The body’s sympathetic nervous system, responsible for heart rate and breathing, shifts into overdrive.

This results in your heart beating faster, your blood pressure rises, your breathing quickens and your lungs hyperventilating. Sweat also increases, and even the nerve ending on the skin tingle into action, creating goosebumps.

Fight, Flight, or Fright

Adrenaline is released to the muscles as the body prepares to fly or flee (fight or flight response).

The senses go into the hyper-alert mode, and it takes into account every detail of the surroundings and anticipates new potential threats.

Fight or Flight Response

Digestion Shutdown

To conserve energy, all unnecessary bodily functions are shut down during stressful conditions. The brain stops thinking about the pleasure response and shifts its focus to identifying new possible dangers.

To make sure that no energy is wasted on digestion, the body will sometimes respond by emptying the digestive tract through urination, defecation, or involuntary vomiting.

What Happens When You Are Stressed?

1. Sights and sounds

The thalamus first processes auditory and visual stimuli. It then filters the incoming cues and shunts them either directly to the amygdala or the appropriate parts of the cortex in the brain.

2. Smells and touch sensations

Olfactory and tactile stimuli bypass the thalamus altogether, taking a shortcut directly to the 

 amygdala. This is why smells often evoke stronger memories or feelings than do sights or sounds.

3. Thalamus

The thalamus (the hub for sights and sounds), breaks down incoming visual cues by size, shape, and color, and auditory cues by volume and dissonance. It then signals the appropriate parts of the brain cortex.

4. Cortex
The cortex gives raw sights and sounds meaning enabling the brain to become conscious of what it is seeing or hearing. One region, the prefrontal cortex, may be vital to turning off the anxiety response once a threat has passed. Digestion Shutdown To conserve energy, all unnecessary bodily functions are shut down during stressful conditions. The brain stops thinking about the pleasure response and shifts its focus to identifying new possible dangers. To make sure that no energy is wasted on digestion, the body will sometimes respond by emptying the digestive tract thorough urination, defecation, or involuntary vomiting.

5. Amygdala
The amygdala (the emotional core of the brain), has the primary role of triggering the fear response. Information that passes through the amygdala is tagged according to emotional significance.

6. Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST)
The BNST perpetuates the fear response, causing the longer-term unease typical of anxiety. This continuing and long-term response contrasts with the amygdala, which sets off an immediate burst of fear.

7. Locus coeruleus
The locus coeruleus, receiving signals from the amygdala, is responsible for initiating many of the classic anxiety responses such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and pupil dilation.

8. Hippocampus
It is the brain’s memory center, critical to store the raw information that is coming in from the senses, along with the emotional baggage attached to the data during their trip through the amygdala.

ANF Therapy® Applied On Anxiety

ANF Therapy® involves the process of applying thin circular Discs directly to the skin. During this therapy, neuro-frequencies are transmitted through the neurons in the body.

These frequencies are in turn picked up by the nervous system. With this therapy, your anxiety symptoms may be lowered (or gone).

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About ANF Therapy®

ANF Therapy® uses circular ANF Discs which are applied directly on the skin after palpation and assessment by a trained ANF Therapist following the ANF Therapy Method, Patented Model no. U202030252, ES1259974.
The ANF Therapy® purpose is alleviation in injury and pain within minutes.

Our aim is that the patient experiences a reduction of pain and swelling, an increase in range of motion, and an improvement in quality of life-related to health.

Non-transdermal non-invasive device, NO needles or chemicals are used.

Do you experience symptoms of anxiety?

Contact us for more information!

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Take this quiz to find out if you are qualified to join: pain.anfacademy.com

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