How to regulate anxiety at the physiological, motor and cognitive level

You probably often think that you would like to know how anxiety works and what you can do to be able to control it.

Anxiety is one of the most common psychological problems psychologists see in a clinic. More precisely, people without serious mental health problems who are overwhelmed by anxiety.

All human beings, or almost all of us, can end up suffering from such a problem during their lifetime. And the most important thing I want you to know is that it’s not about never being anxious or stressed, but that you are able to regulate anxiety. But for that, we must first understand this psychological phenomenon.

    What is anxiety?

    I will tell you in a few words what anxiety is and how we can do it so that it does not overwhelm us.

    You must know this anxiety it is adaptive behavior in the face of a dangerous situation for your integrity or is new.

    In a situation of danger, we react instinctively in three possible ways: we escape, we fight, or we remain dead, trapped. The latter comes from our ancestors. When they were in front of a beast, they would show themselves as if they were lifeless so that it would pass and not attack them. This is the explanation of getting stuck in a situation that our brain interprets as dangerous.

    When something is new to us, anxiety prompts us to activate ourselves, to be with “batteries in place”. In short, we are where we need to be, with the five senses.

    How to regulate anxiety so that it does not overwhelm us?

    We can manage anxiety at three levels: physiological, motor and cognitive (of thought).

    At the physiological level

    These are the signs that appear in anxiety, we have palpitations, sweating, chest tightness, …, a whole long list of things that happen on the physical plane when anxiety overwhelms us.

    At the engine level

    As for motor anxiety, we feel very agitatedWe cannot stop moving and stand still in one place.

    At the cognitive level

    Our brain is an extraordinary survival “machine”, No well-being. So what he does very well is anticipate negative things that can happen to us and ruminate on negative things that have already happened to us. We are very often in this state naturally.

    Well, when it comes to regulating anxiety, it’s not about not going through this process, as our brains have an innate tendency to fall into this bias of giving more strength and importance to the body. negative, but be aware of it and, as much as possible. as you know, try to give more value to the positive, And don’t believe all the negative you think.

      Various tips: what to do?

      At the physiological level, as with two fundamental tools. The first is Jacobson’s progressive relaxation. It consists in stretching and relaxing the different parts of the body. As you work out, you will be able to relax when you are tense.

      The other technique we have to regulate the level of physiological activation is deep breathing. When we feel anxious, we hyperventilate; we take short, shallow breaths. This prevents us from oxygenating ourselves properly.

      To remedy this, what we need to do is a very simple thing: take more and more inhales and exhales. We managed to regulate the level of activation. The added benefit is that you can do this at any time. No one will notice that you are breathing deeply.

      At the motor level, another important key that psychologists constantly recommend regular practice of sport. As you exercise, it will increase your well-being and you will be able to regulate anxiety considerably.

      As to what to do cognitively, something needs to be considered. As we mentioned earlier, the brain is a magnificent survival machine and as such continually presents us with the negative. We must learn not to value all the negative as much as we anticipate or remember, and for that we need to focus our attention on what we have, not what we lack.

      This way, we will manage to not give so much importance to all those negative thoughts that come easily to us. We have a lot of thought junk that doesn’t need to be given more weight.

      As long as you are able to implement these tools, you can access anxiety as an ally, not as an enemy. And if you are able to value anxiety as an ally, you can control it.

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