16 min

How Anxiety Affects the Brain 9/30 How to Recognize and Turn off the Fight Flight Freeze Response Therapy in a Nutshell

    • Mental Health

How does anxiety impact the biology of your brain? When your deep brain perceives a threat it turns on the anxiety response. Anxiety turns down your ability to think and goes into a protective reactive mode called the Fight Flight Freeze Response. This is a huge part of anxiety, the physical reaction that your brain and body has, and it makes it hard to solve problems and control our behaviors. When you learn to identify the Fight Flight Freeze Response, you can learn techniques to calm yourself down, get thinking again and respond differently. Many people don’t know that the way their brain and body responds to stress or anxiety is really a reaction intended to keep us safe from danger. Your brain has many different responses to emotions, but in this section we are mostly going to focus on the fear and anxiety response, because that’s the one that often leads to the worst reactivity on our part. We freeze, we get anxious, we feel hopeless, we get angry; all of this stems from the fear reaction in your brain. Understanding how anxiety affects your brain can help you learn how to stop reacting to emotions, stop doing stupid stuff that you regret later, and live a happier life where your actions line up with who you want to be.


 


Looking for Affordable Online Counseling? My sponsor BetterHelp connects you to a licensed professional for $65/week. Try it now for 10% off https://betterhelp.com/therapyinanutshell


Learn more in one of my in-depth mental health courses: https://courses.therapynutshell.com/


Support my mission on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/therapyinanutshell


Sign up for my newsletter: https://www.therapynutshell.com


Check out my favorite self-help books: https://kit.co/TherapyinaNutshell/best-self-help-books


Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC and the information provided by Emma McAdam, is solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Emma McAdam is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.


 


About Me I’m Emma McAdam, I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I have worked in various settings of change and growth since 2004. My experience includes Juvenile Corrections, Adventure Therapy programs, Wilderness Therapy programs, an Eating Disorder Treatment Center, a Residential Treatment Center, and I currently work in an Outpatient Therapy Clinic. In therapy I use a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Systems Theory, Positive Psychology, and a Bio-Psycho-Social approach to treating mental illness and other challenges we all face in life. The ideas from my videos are frequently adapted from multiple sources, many of them come from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, especially the work of Steven Hayes, Jason Luoma, and Russ Harris. The sections on stress and the mind body connection derive from the work of Stephen Porges (the Polyvagal theory), Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) Francine Shapiro (EMDR) and Bessel Van Der Kolk. I also rely heavily on the work of the Arbinger Institute for my overall understanding of our ability to choose our life direction. And deeper than all of that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ orients my personal worldview, sense of security, peace, hope and love. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/believe


 


If you are in crisis please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or your local emergency services. Copyright Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC

How does anxiety impact the biology of your brain? When your deep brain perceives a threat it turns on the anxiety response. Anxiety turns down your ability to think and goes into a protective reactive mode called the Fight Flight Freeze Response. This is a huge part of anxiety, the physical reaction that your brain and body has, and it makes it hard to solve problems and control our behaviors. When you learn to identify the Fight Flight Freeze Response, you can learn techniques to calm yourself down, get thinking again and respond differently. Many people don’t know that the way their brain and body responds to stress or anxiety is really a reaction intended to keep us safe from danger. Your brain has many different responses to emotions, but in this section we are mostly going to focus on the fear and anxiety response, because that’s the one that often leads to the worst reactivity on our part. We freeze, we get anxious, we feel hopeless, we get angry; all of this stems from the fear reaction in your brain. Understanding how anxiety affects your brain can help you learn how to stop reacting to emotions, stop doing stupid stuff that you regret later, and live a happier life where your actions line up with who you want to be.


 


Looking for Affordable Online Counseling? My sponsor BetterHelp connects you to a licensed professional for $65/week. Try it now for 10% off https://betterhelp.com/therapyinanutshell


Learn more in one of my in-depth mental health courses: https://courses.therapynutshell.com/


Support my mission on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/therapyinanutshell


Sign up for my newsletter: https://www.therapynutshell.com


Check out my favorite self-help books: https://kit.co/TherapyinaNutshell/best-self-help-books


Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC and the information provided by Emma McAdam, is solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Emma McAdam is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.


 


About Me I’m Emma McAdam, I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I have worked in various settings of change and growth since 2004. My experience includes Juvenile Corrections, Adventure Therapy programs, Wilderness Therapy programs, an Eating Disorder Treatment Center, a Residential Treatment Center, and I currently work in an Outpatient Therapy Clinic. In therapy I use a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Systems Theory, Positive Psychology, and a Bio-Psycho-Social approach to treating mental illness and other challenges we all face in life. The ideas from my videos are frequently adapted from multiple sources, many of them come from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, especially the work of Steven Hayes, Jason Luoma, and Russ Harris. The sections on stress and the mind body connection derive from the work of Stephen Porges (the Polyvagal theory), Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) Francine Shapiro (EMDR) and Bessel Van Der Kolk. I also rely heavily on the work of the Arbinger Institute for my overall understanding of our ability to choose our life direction. And deeper than all of that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ orients my personal worldview, sense of security, peace, hope and love. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/believe


 


If you are in crisis please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or your local emergency services. Copyright Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC

16 min