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A Natural Anxiety Treatment

December 19, 2008 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

What do you do when you’re feeling anxious? Do you “drink your problems away”? Do you indulge in “comfort food”? Or maybe you try to distract yourself by watching TV or playing video games. If any of that sounds familiar to you or if it describes someone you know, then you’ll want to read the rest of today’s blog.

Brand new research out of the University of California Berkeley offers us tantalizing clues about the best ways to cope with feelings of anxiety, and the proposed solution may surprise you.

ChessIn the past, the common perception about anxiety-sufferers was that they were too sensitive to their own “fight or flight reflex”. In other words, their brains would perceive danger in situations where a real threat was unlikely. One example of this would be getting anxious when surrounded by unthreatening groups of people, like in a shopping mall.

But now there is a new theory on the block. Dr. Sonia Bishop, a psychologist at UC Berkeley, has shown by way of brain imaging that a different part of the brain also plays a role in anxiety disorders. Dr. Bishop found that individuals with anxiety had a hard time activating the prefrontal region of the brain. But, if their brains were challenged by a complex task, a shift occurred and the prefrontal brain began to work more like that of “normal”, anxiety-free people.

Crossword PuzzlesThe bottom line is that anxious minds appear to benefit from mentally challenging exercises like playing “brain games”, such as doing crossword puzzles, playing chess or sudoku. The key appears to be that the activities must be demanding in nature. Engaging in such games and challenges can not only help manage anxiety, but may also improve “control planning, organization and memory”.

Tune in, not out. Make your brain work for you. What have you got to lose?

Be well!

JP

Referenced Material

Link – Challenging Anxiety

Link – Full Text UC Berkeley Study

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7 Comments & Updates to “A Natural Anxiety Treatment”

  1. Desmond Says:

    This is an interesting topic. I believe this would work with slight to moderate anxiety. But for someone who suffers from severe anxiety. Still I do belive it can help as simple as it may seem. Nice article.

  2. JP Says:

    Thanks, Desmond!

    Be well,

    JP

  3. Frieda Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am researching this topic and this is very helpful and informative.

  4. JP Says:

    Thanks, Frieda!

    I wish you all the best on your research.

    Be well!

    JP

  5. Jacob Says:

    That’s great advice, keeping your mind busy will prevent you from thinking about your next attack. It’s amazing how simple things like this can be so effective.

    Thanks for a great article!

    Really enjoyed the read

  6. JP Says:

    Thanks, Jacob!

    I appreciate your input and kind comments.

    Be well!

    JP

  7. Anxiety Fighter Says:

    Nice article, here are some more tips

    1. Drop your shoulders.
    2. Relax both arms
    3. Focus on your hands – do some sort of activity that focuses on them, like knitting, drawing, typing, playing a computer game
    4. Get a little notebook small enough to fit in a bag or pocket. When you’re feeling anxious, think of stuff you like and write it down. Anything – wet pebbles on the beach, the noise a gas fire makes, fluffy pillows…
    5. Read your previous entries in the little notebook
    6. In the car: Read out number plates of other cars to get through a particularly scary bit of road
    7. Recite a poem

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