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It's Not You Versus Anxiety

Poor anxiety, it gets such a bad rep!

Did you just cringe at that statement? If you did, it’s okay, I totally get it! I used to be team, To heck with anxiety, and F*** anxiety! This was until I better understood the anxious response...

The anxious (fight-or-flight) response exists to protect you. It’s something that happens to all of us, even if you don’t struggle with an anxiety disorder. It’s a physiological reaction that occurs in your body when there is perceived danger. But when you struggle with anxiety, panic, or agoraphobia, your brain is often perceiving many things as dangerous even though there is no true danger present. And once the signal is sent that danger is perceived, you quickly begin to experience the racing thoughts and the physical and mental symptoms.

And instead of feeling like the anxious response is protecting you, you feel like it’s working against you because it’s leading to all of these really challenging thoughts and feelings. Trust me, I get it! Once the signal went to my brain telling me that it perceived danger and the symptoms kicked in, well, I would convince myself that I was in danger and there was no way that it wasn’t leading to something terrible.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, panic disorder, or agoraphobia, you likely fear the anxious response. And what you likely fear most is your body’s reaction to the anxious response and to the symptoms. You also probably have a very memorable first experience with the anxious response...