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The Oxford English Dictionary defines anxiety as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress, and according to the Mayo Clinic, having occasional feelings of anxiety is a typical and unavoidable part of life. Further, psychologists have established that moderate amounts of anxiety can yield significant advantages. Researchers have found that anxiety can help you avoid danger because its presence elicits a heightened state of alertness which in turn can help to detect and attend to potential threats. Situational anxiety can contribute to boosting your motivation and increasing performance levels. Anxiety can enhance empathy. Nevertheless, the symptoms of anxiety can be unpleasant and difficult to control.

The Fight-Or-Flight Response

There is an evolutionary reason why controlling anxiety is not easy. Psychology Today asserts that “anxiety is built into our primate origins as a warning system.” Anxiety triggers the fight-or-flight response, also known as the acute stress response. This response refers to the automatic physiological reaction that occurs when in the presence of something mentally or physically terrifying and activates the sympathetic nervous system that prepares the body to fight or flee. It causes the brain to send a surge of adrenaline (which amplifies energy output by expanding the airways, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and redistributing blood to muscles) and cortisol (which rapidly increases blood glucose, providing a prolonged burst of energy to cope with acute stresses more effectively) throughout the body. Verywell Mind breaks down the three stages of fight-or-flight as follows:

  • The alarm stage: During this stage, the central nervous system is ramped up, preparing your body to fight or flee.
  • The resistance stage: This is the stage in which the body attempts to normalize and recover from the initial elevated fight-or-flight response.
  • The exhaustion stage: If the first two stages occur repeatedly over time, such as when under chronic stress, this can cause the body to feel exhausted and begin to break down.

Psychology Today explains, “Through the process of evolution, our brains became hard-wired to be on the lookout for threat and mobilize our bodies to deal with a potential predator by fighting or running away.” Hence, controlling anxiety is not intended to be easy.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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