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Fight your flight: how meditation can help you tackle anxiety

Fight your flight: how meditation can help you tackle anxiety

Article by: Dnyanada Sahasrabudhe

“I think I will collapse” 

“My heart is racing too fast” 

“I can’t breathe well, I need more air” 

“If I do not do X, Y will happen to my loved one” 

“I am going to fail, it is going to be terrible” 

These are some thoughts that cloud a person with anxiety.

Anxiety is our body’s natural response to any looming threat. When you encounter a dangerous situation via your sensory organs, your brain relays this information to the thalamus and immediately hotlines the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. The amygdala alerts the hypothalamus and brainstem to trigger the “fear response”. Once the “fear response” is activated, your adrenal glands start flaring and lead to an increase in your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and you acquire a state of hyper-vigilance. All of this occurs before you consciously feel fear.

In an alternative route, the information relayed from your sensory organs also goes to your cortex, where you access the “threat” of the encountered situation and regulate the fear response. 

To give you an example, if you are walking in a forest and encounter a long, narrow shape coiled up at your feet. Your visual system immediately alerts your amygdala and triggers the fear response. The same visual stimulus is sent to the cortex, where it is scrutinized in-depth and helps you process that the snake-like shape is instead a discarded piece of garden hose! 

The physiological response of our body to a dangerous situation is crucial for our survival. But what is perceived as “threat” has changed over the course of human evolution. We’re a bag of nerves ahead of delivering a speech, a must-win sports game, or walking up the aisle. When our cortex fails to rationalize the threats and to abate the intensity of our fear response over time, it is diagnosed as “generalized anxiety disorder” (GAD). 

A core feature that dictates the mind of a person with GAD is an unstoppable stream of negative thoughts and emotions. These negative thoughts prolong the “fear response”, and inhibit your cortex to rationalize and act over your fear. For instance, right before an important exam or interview, the mind of a person with GAD is flooded with scenarios where they wouldn’t perform well, or in extreme cases, thoughts of fainting or a physiological dysfunction start to emerge.  

Thought-stopping is a renowned technique that replaces your negative thoughts with that of neutral or positive valency. Going back to the aforementioned instance, one way of practising thought-stopping would be to imagine a scenario where you outperform your exam or interview, or to divert your attention onto something pleasant like the thought of a wonderful vacation you have had in the past.  

But like any other skill, thought-stopping is a technique that requires practice. It has to be deeply ingrained in your psyche, so that your body chooses to act upon it when necessary. Meditation is an eminent tool to imbibe this technique into your daily routine. Meditation helps you to figure your stressors i.e your fears that elicit a fear response, it also provides you with the clarity to simply observe your body, but not to react. 

Dhyana’s smartphone application has a targeted 7-day package called “Reducing your anxiety” specifically designed for this. As part of the package, you can use guided-meditation sessions to imagine your stressors and use them to reflect and rationalize your fears. Additionally, you can track your meditation performance, and other physiological metrics such as your average heart rate. The app also collects your subjective input after every session. 

As humans take a stellar leap into digital reality, we are bathed in information and potential stressors. The key is to rationalize and reflect on your fears naturally. Meditation is not a quick-fix, it is a long-term approach. But if you had to invest in a mentally stronger – you, would you opt for a shortcut or something long lasting?

Fight your flight: how meditation can help you tackle anxiety

Article by: Dnyanada Sahasrabudhe

“I think I will collapse” 

“My heart is racing too fast” 

“I can’t breathe well, I need more air” 

“If I do not do X, Y will happen to my loved one” 

“I am going to fail, it is going to be terrible” 

These are some thoughts that cloud a person with anxiety.

Anxiety is our body’s natural response to any looming threat. When you encounter a dangerous situation via your sensory organs, your brain relays this information to the thalamus and immediately hotlines the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. The amygdala alerts the hypothalamus and brainstem to trigger the “fear response”. Once the “fear response” is activated, your adrenal glands start flaring and lead to an increase in your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and you acquire a state of hyper-vigilance. All of this occurs before you consciously feel fear.

In an alternative route, the information relayed from your sensory organs also goes to your cortex, where you access the “threat” of the encountered situation and regulate the fear response. 

To give you an example, if you are walking in a forest and encounter a long, narrow shape coiled up at your feet. Your visual system immediately alerts your amygdala and triggers the fear response. The same visual stimulus is sent to the cortex, where it is scrutinized in-depth and helps you process that the snake-like shape is instead a discarded piece of garden hose! 

The physiological response of our body to a dangerous situation is crucial for our survival. But what is perceived as “threat” has changed over the course of human evolution. We’re a bag of nerves ahead of delivering a speech, a must-win sports game, or walking up the aisle. When our cortex fails to rationalize the threats and to abate the intensity of our fear response over time, it is diagnosed as “generalized anxiety disorder” (GAD). 

A core feature that dictates the mind of a person with GAD is an unstoppable stream of negative thoughts and emotions. These negative thoughts prolong the “fear response”, and inhibit your cortex to rationalize and act over your fear. For instance, right before an important exam or interview, the mind of a person with GAD is flooded with scenarios where they wouldn’t perform well, or in extreme cases, thoughts of fainting or a physiological dysfunction start to emerge.  

Thought-stopping is a renowned technique that replaces your negative thoughts with that of neutral or positive valency. Going back to the aforementioned instance, one way of practising thought-stopping would be to imagine a scenario where you outperform your exam or interview, or to divert your attention onto something pleasant like the thought of a wonderful vacation you have had in the past.  

But like any other skill, thought-stopping is a technique that requires practice. It has to be deeply ingrained in your psyche, so that your body chooses to act upon it when necessary. Meditation is an eminent tool to imbibe this technique into your daily routine. Meditation helps you to figure your stressors i.e your fears that elicit a fear response, it also provides you with the clarity to simply observe your body, but not to react. 

Dhyana’s smartphone application has a targeted 7-day package called “Reducing your anxiety” specifically designed for this. As part of the package, you can use guided-meditation sessions to imagine your stressors and use them to reflect and rationalize your fears. Additionally, you can track your meditation performance, and other physiological metrics such as your average heart rate. The app also collects your subjective input after every session. 

As humans take a stellar leap into digital reality, we are bathed in information and potential stressors. The key is to rationalize and reflect on your fears naturally. Meditation is not a quick-fix, it is a long-term approach. But if you had to invest in a mentally stronger – you, would you opt for a shortcut or something long lasting?

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+91 9346 2056 75 | support@smartdhyana.com



Accepted payment methods:

Cards

Paypal

Dhyana is made in India by Avantari
+91 9346 2056 75 | support@smartdhyana.com



Accepted payment methods:

Cards

Paypal

Connect with us:

Dhyana is made in India by Avantari
+91 9346 2056 75 | support@smartdhyana.com