It's a good thing we have structures in the brain that generate fear. They keep us safe. From an early age we become fearful when getting too close to the edge of a cliff, or when we encounter a bear and her cubs in the woods.
The problem with anxiety is that these brain structures are capable of generating fear in situations where really none should exist: social situations, airplanes, elevators, exposure to common germs or giving a speech to a class. None of these situations are likely to harm you, but your brain gets fooled and gives you the feeling that you’re about to go over a cliff.
The brain is a highly plastic organ, meaning that it rewires itself to reinforce your experiences. Once you become fearful of something, the brain will generate anxiety every time you encounter it. But the brain’s ability to change is also the solution for overcoming anxiety. You can retrain your brain to reinterpret and re-experience what should be nonthreatening situations.
Retraining your brain is the only way to overcome anxiety. Medications can be helpful but they only work on the symptoms of anxiety, and often their effects are short-lived. Retraining corrects the causes of anxiety.
Brain retraining starts with correcting faulty assumptions and expectations. You must then learn a new skill-set of behaviors that help you master your environment and experience success. Overcoming anxiety requires motivation and strong effort, but once you succeed you will find that it wasn’t too difficult after all. At Peak Performance Psychiatry we will train you to train your brain to overcome anxiety.
Dr. Michael Reznicek