- According to neuroscientist Dr. Wendy Suzuki, anxiety is a natural emotion that helps us.
- You can’t “turn off” your anxiety, but you can “turn it down.”
- Suzuki shares three things she does to rebuild her anxiety.
Neuroscientist Dr. Wendy Suzuki wants people to rethink anxiety.
While it’s important to learn how to “manage” anxiety in our anxious modern world, Suzuki, a professor of neuroscience at New York University, said anxiety is also a normal human emotion meant to help us. I got
In her book Good Anxiety, Suzuki explores ways to use anxiety to your advantage.
She said that changing the way we think about anxiety can increase our productivity and empathy.
Anxiety is a natural emotion that is difficult to control completely.
When you feel anxious, your body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated, causing your heart rate to increase, your breathing to increase, and blood to be drawn away from your digestive and reproductive organs.
This response has evolved into a way to help deal with danger, but the constant presence of anxiety can damage the body, she said. It can lead to conditions such as depression and cause reproductive problems.
That’s why exercise can help “turn the volume down” on anxiety, releasing a burst of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins in your brain as a countermeasure. Breathing exercises and meditation, on the other hand, help activate the “relax” part of the nervous system.
However, even those with mild anxiety may not be able to completely eliminate those feelings through exercise or meditation. (In such cases, Suzuki recommends talking to your doctor about treatment options).
How to use “good anxiety”
1. Align each problem with one action
Suzuki said there are simple tricks that can help turn anxiety into something productive.
Make a list of your worries and come up with practical actions you can take to resolve them. Suzuki said that just coming up with something you can do gives you a sense of satisfaction.
“In the early stages of our evolution, the response was either fight or flight, because that was usually physical danger. It was like, ‘Oh my God, the oceans are warming. What am I going to do?’ Are you going to?” It wasn’t,” she said. she said. “So taking action on each of these worries can bring us back to action-oriented solutions to anxiety.”
2. Knowing what anxiety feels like increases your empathy
Suzuki was always shy, and although she liked school, she had trouble participating in class.When she became a professor, she said this anxiety gave her perspective on her students .
“I realized that that personal insecurity was a huge force for me, because what did I do? I was able to answer a lot of questions that I didn’t have,” she said.
She said that when we understand what it’s like to experience anxiety about something, we can help people who share their worries.
3. Take inspiration from others to reframe your fears
Suzuki said he feels uneasy about what we believe to be true.
One way to redirect these beliefs is to think about your fears and how other people facing the same situation are coping.
“Who is your most admired student in your class? Who is your teacher? Who is your life leader? Who is your world’s most admired author? Tackle, what’s their mindset?” she said.
Suzuki said this isn’t always easy, but if you take it seriously, you can turn your insecurities into a tool to help you become who you want to be.