Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to use the neuroscience of fear to end anxiety, panic & worry

Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to use the neuroscience of fear to end anxiety, panic & worry

The world is rapidly changing. So are humans. One characteristic growing at an untenable speed is the number of people struggling with anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, An estimated 19.1% of U.S. adults had any anxiety disorder in the past year.” With that being said, books focusing on understanding and managing anxiety are hitting the bookshelves daily.

One such book, Rewire Your Anxious Brain, by Catherine M. Pittman, PhD and Elizabeth M. Karle, MLIS explains the science behind anxiety and focuses on how the reader can build on this neurological understanding to recognize the root of, and ultimately rewire the brain to successfully manage, anxiety. The first several chapters provide an easy-to-understand review of the brain and the network process of how triggers result to anxious outcomes. From there they examine two roots—the cortex and the amygdala. Their approach is helping the reader gain an understanding of the seat of anxiety to help them fashion techniques for managing and perhaps ending anxiety overall.

Having a protective, fear-producing amygdala is nearly universal among humans.”

Dont let the term neuroscience” scare you off.

This isnt lengthy scientific study, nor is it a psychology textbook. In fact, its a fabulous tool for everyone who has ever experienced worry, panic, or fear. And Im assuming that encompasses everyone since most of us share a similar neurological system. Whether anxiety is thought based, emotional memory, or perception triggered, learning how to rewire it can keep diseases, fears, and unhealthy habits at bay.

The brain remains flexible and capable of making changes throughout life (no matter your age). If you want to change the anxiety you experience, you need to change the neural pathway leading to anxiety responses.”

The authors offer several exercises throughout the book for exploring levels of anxiety, along with outline techniques that will work (and wont work) depending on the root cause. I appreciated how they explained the distinction between the two causes, and ultimately the treatment methods considered impact the source. For example, how reason and logic wont work if fear stems from the amygdala, especially since what triggers the amygdala may not make logical sense.

There are many applications for this book.

You dont need to feel anxiety has taken control of your life, or that its impairing your functioning. Rather, you might find your fight or flight response trigger during a conversation, or in an environment and are unhappy with your reactions. Maybe someone youre struggling to work alongside with or visiting a certain place seemingly sets you off.” Understanding the why” and learning what you can do to temper your response is abundantly helpful. Because slight or intensive, you dont want fear” or unsettledness” to impair your relationships, professionally or personally.

In summary, this is a great read for professionals, parents, young adults, and anyone who wants to understand and thoughtfully manage anxiety.

Source: Purchased

Image: Courtesy of New Harbinger Publishing

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