“We are all multi-dimensional. I think we focus so much on what we look like and how we are perceived, that we often don’t give ourselves any real acknowledgment. Biologically, psychologically and emotionally.”
“When our body reacts to something we are afraid of, we start to feel panicked and scared. This then leads on to physical symptoms such as racing heart, bowel movements, we emit sweat as our body tries to fight the surge of adrenaline coursing through our veins. We may get a headache or start shaking as the chemical reaction of the anxiety takes hold of our body and mind. These are very real emotional responses from a very real thought or event that occurred in our life. It can be so delibitating and crippling that it affects our entire functioning and we isolate ourselves further into a safety net to avoid the next occurrence of anxiety. It can stop your whole life and make you retreat into your own world, and you feel powerless to this crippling emotion overtaking your body.”
I nodded, “That’s exactly what it’s like.”
“Psychologically, it starts in the mind in the mental room. It’s a thought or a memory that kicks the mind into action. This is then translated over to the emotional room. The pituitary gland in your brain, then secretes hormones or chemicals into the blood stream and the central nervous system. These chemicals then travel through the the body, down the endocrine system. The endocrine system sends messages to our organs and transmits this via the blood stream and central nervous system. Anxiety is then felt in the body, one of the main glands is the adrenal glands where adrenaline is released. It’s also felt in the heart giving the racing heartbeat. This activates the physical body, the pancreas, which is why we feel bowel urges or nausea, also the heart, racing and pounding with fear. These organs communicate together and secrete a chemical called cortisol, which causes fight, freeze or flight reaction. Depending on previous conditioning and buried memories from sensory systems of childhood programming, the memory transmits a chain of emotions, directing the body. Essentially our body has stepped into overdrive and we are then faced with a choice, to run from this uncomfortable feeling, to freeze in shock or fight against it. This activates how we respond emotionally, so we can either become terrified, or agitated to this overwhelming feeling. So all the rooms are working together simultaneously.
The anxiety itself has its root cause in sensory stimuli. Sensory stimuli is what we perceive with our senses. So it could be a visual or audio trigger. What I mean is when we are young children, we experience lots of things and learn to regulate our responses to what we feel emotionally. Therefore, if we hear a loud bang, we learn to associate load bangs with a jump or a startle. If we taste something that was edible, but then develop and upset stomach we no longer like that particular food we were consuming. It’s the same with textures and touch, being uncomfortable wearing something but unable to challenge our carers at the time, we carry on wearing the uncomfortable clothing; however, during this experience we attach memories or emotions and develop an aversion to it. What I’m trying to explain is that the sensory stimuli that we experienced as children, created an emotional attachment to something physical in this world. That emotional attachment, is then in the driving seat of further anticipated anxiety in the future of our lives.
Anxiety is a fear of the future. A fear of something that hasn’t actually happened, but we have conditioned our brain and mind to respond to something that we believe is going to either fail or be unrewarding. So the anxiety is then holding you as hostage to your life. This can then escalate and permeate into other areas of your life, destroying any possibility of a future as the anxiety that grips you, controls you and your direction.
Sometimes we think of something and this jump ignites anxiety. Other times it could be an emotion we feel that then becomes associated to anxiety and we start to plant thoughts in our mind. The two work in tandem and are expressed physically through our bodies, such as racing heart, overwhelming dread and so on.”
What I’m trying to explain is that the sensory stimuli that we experienced as children, created an emotional attachment to something physical in this world. That emotional attachment, is then in the driving seat of further anticipated anxiety in the future of our lives.
Taken from the novel – A Prison without Walls.