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The Vicious Anxiety Circle

The Vicious Anxiety Circle

Anxiety is caused when danger is perceived and often overestimated and the coping strategy is underestimated. The nervous system, comprising the Central Nervous System (CNS) Autonomic Nervous system (ANS) and Enteric Nervous System (ENS), acts as a messenger service and when danger is perceived these systems work interdependently to produce a reaction. For example, if you hear footsteps behind you late at night your CNS receives the information and makes you walk more quickly, your ANS will prepare you for running or dealing with the danger (fight or flight) and your ENS may try to eliminate waste to speed you up.

This helped when, as early humans, we faced predators, but now, much perceived danger is in the form of others’ opinions, or too much work etc, but our bodies still react in the same way. This fight/flight response by the ANS results in faster heartbeat, shallow, quick breathing, tension in the muscles, sweating and disturbed digestion etc.

If there is a constant perception of ‘threat’ the autonomic system it goes into overdrive and after months or years of this, might result in illnesses, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, migraines etc. of course, chronic anxiety can also produce psychological problems too. The main cause of the anxiety is how the ‘danger’ is perceived.

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