I do a lot of research on mental illness. By that, I mean I google the shit out it; Particularly anxiety, as I struggle with it personally. One thing inevitably crops up in the articles that I read: Fight or Flight -The natural instinct that kept our ancestors alive.
But, how does this relate to Anxiety?…
We may live in a world where we no longer need to spend our days fending off man-hungry beasts or killing for our food (hello Veganism), but this doesn’t mean we’ve suddenly lost our primal instincts along the way. Psychologically, we still have that fight or flight reaction within us and in some people, it surfaces daily manifested as Anxiety. I am one of those people.
When this happens, the everyday stresses and uncomfortable situations we experience in our lives get mistakenly interpreted as ‘life-threatening’. Which means our bodies become perpetually cautious.
In some instances, our brain recognises unpleasant situations and automatically goes into an overly cautious mode, even if you don’t find the situation uncomfortable. I sometimes experience this when I talk to someone face to face; I tend to blush a lot, despite feeling confident. I often look back and remember times when I have had awkward conversations and embarrassed myself, these thoughts created fears; I seem to expect the worst in every similar situation. Other examples of this could be getting overwhelmed in crowded places or the way you feel before an interview: Trembling hands, racing heart, dry mouth etc… These are warnings from your body to err on the side of caution in preparation for impending danger.