Brains That Are Anxious
Q. I would like to know some characteristics of individuals whose brains are anxious.
A. Here are a few things to consider. Anxiety is a form of fear that tends to trigger the stress response, suppress immune system function, and “downshift” the brain. Brains that are anxious tend to exhibit characteristics that may include:
- Over-estimate the likelihood of danger of the level of danger in a given situation.
- Be hypervigilant in trying to identify situations of potential danger
- Expend energy trying to avoid whatever triggers anxiety
- Either have no strategies or use unhelpful ones
- Move quickly from one anxiety to another without resolving anything
- Repeat the same behaviors even though they are unsuccessful
- Get caught in the circular trap of negative habitual choices
- Fail to reframe situations or events to reduce anxiety
- Fail to take the focus off the self by doing random acts of kindness
- Use IGS or internal global stabilization (internalize that one negative interaction or event will repeat itself constantly for the rest of life, then make that perception stable—set it in concrete)