Some 40 million Americans regularly suffer from troubling levels of anxiety. Find out what triggers these episodes, how our bodies respond, and how you can remain calmer in the face of whatever life throws your way.
“Because we humans have prefrontal lobes, we can anticipate the future and make up a scenario that is harmful
to us,” says Melissa Blacker, MA, a psychotherapist and associate director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness.
Some degree of anxiety and fear are normal responses to life. “Healthy anxiety is part of our fight-or-flight response system,” says Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD, director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Clinic at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “As a basic emotion, it is helpful. In fact, we would all be dead without it, because it protects us from harm.”
So where does a healthy emotional response to stress leave off and an anxiety disorder begin? “Anxiety is a response to the perception of threat,” Abramowitz explains. “When we’re talking about a real danger, that’s healthy stress and anxiety, but when the perception of threat is based on either a misinterpretation of the severity of the threat or the likelihood of harm, then we’re talking about a disorder.” By Joseph Hunt
The rest of the article on Anxiety can be read HERE. It’s rather long. But Good. Enjoy.