With the term anxiety, in addition to referring to a common and shared emotion among all human beings in situations of stress and danger, we also refer to those moods of prolonged irrational fear and disproportionate to the real danger.
Anxiety is usually an emotion that has the function of helping us adapt to life. Our body transmits a signal to us to allow us to adapt our behaviour efficiently and functionally to the environment when facing stressful and dangerous situations. Feeling anxiety is something that has happened one time or another to all of us, we all have had moments of tension and worry when facing the future’s uncertainty. In fact, a medium level of anxiety is essential to deal proactively with life’s difficulties, since a healthy level of anxiety helps us to be more productive, more conscientious and pushes us to strive to do our work better. .
In some cases, instead of being an ally, anxiety becomes an enemy, leading those who suffer from it to find themselves paralyzed by indecision, and not being able to cope with the difficulties that are presented to them. Anxiety becomes an obstacle to lead a normal life when symptoms appear without an apparent reason or when it causes disproportionate reactions to a real problem.
The individuals who suffer from pathological anxiety often feel blocked and paralyzed for no apparent reason, when facing situations that at a conscious level do not seem to have a connection with the intensity of the anguish that is felt.
In order to diagnose an anxiety disorder, it is necessary that this discomfort is prolonged and that it negatively affects one or more areas of the person’s life, such as work, personal or family relationships, school, etc.
Symptoms of anxiety
It is important to recognize the symptoms of anxiety so that you can cope with it before the person experiences additional attacks that could become more severe.
The most common symptoms that people suffering from anxiety present are:
- Feeling of disconnection from reality
- Feeling of anguish and excessive worry
- Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with problems
- Stomach or digestive discomfort
- Panic attacks (although not always present)
- Procrastination, inability to cope with problems when they arise
- Difficulties in breathing and increased heartbeat
- Excessive sweating
- Memory and attention problems
- Avoidance behavior in stressful situations
- Insecurity and limiting beliefs towards one’s ability to solve problems and overcome them
- Thinking too much, turning thoughts
- Need for comfort from others
- Inability to control your reaction to fear
Nowadays, anxiety disorders are becoming more frequent and common because the development of our society and external reality is so fast that the brain has difficulty keeping up with it. Anxiety is a protection mechanism that the brain offers us against unknown stimuli that could be harmful or dangerous. This adaptation mechanism does not always flow spontaneously, allowing to lower the level of anxiety. Often the brain becomes hooked on a fight or flight reaction, re-presenting this response to situations or stimuli that do not represent any danger at all. In most cases, pathological anxiety is due to inadequate protection during childhood, or to frequent exposure to stressful and dangerous situations, which is why the brain learns to present this fight or flight response more frequently.
It is very important that people with this type of disorder do not feel different from others, and that they seek help to allow themselves to live a happier life with fewer worries. In the same way that the brain learned the need to enter a state of alert, this automatic and subconscious response can be unlearned to modify the beliefs associated with dangerous situations, through psychological therapy. Neurofeedback helps you train the brain to achieve these goals, and also allows you to maintain a more relaxed and balanced state of physiological activation.