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  • Writer's pictureTony Humphreys

Don't Panic...!

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Before we go into the ins and outs of what to do....let's look at what happens when the alarm system goes off in the body? Essentially, it's reacting to a perceived or manifest danger. This is a primordial reaction that is for the most part a well needed survival tool - except when it's out of place, then it's a source of real distress (as anyone with an anxiety order will attest to). So, imagine a caveman comes out of his cave and sees a Sabre Toothed Tiger - not good, eh? He essentially has three options, to attack (FIGHT), run away (FLIGHT) or curl up in a ball (FREEZE). For the most part, we normally focus on the most common reactions, hence it being referred to as the Fight / Flight Response. If you want the tech bits, the Sympathetic Nervous System looks after the Fight/Flight response and the Para-Sympathetic nervous system controls the Rest and Digest responses. Back to our caveman having a bad day.....whichever route he decides to take, there are certain physiological responses that need to take place immediately. See the chart below:

I recall a client who used to give lots of presentations to large audiences for a living, she reported having to "...pop the loo at least six times..." in the minutes leading up to her presentation! Imagine you’re about to go in for an interview for a job, you’re not going to feel like eating, in fact you might even 'feel sick' with the inevitable stress.

There are of course other symptoms that have more to do with our Psychological, Behavioural and Cognitive aspects - we can look at these later. But for now and for most people, the Physical symptoms of anxiety are disturbing because we often don't see the link. Sometimes that correlation between how we feel (don't forget we don't 'feel' with the mind, we feel with the body) and our mental state. Understanding this can go a long way to help reduce our reactions to anxiety and consequently help stem our predisposition for catastrophising and magnifying.

Next up: Faith and Mental Health.....


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