Is Your Brain Listening to Anxious Dragons?
Ever wonder why you’re so anxious? It could be from Anxious Dragons that are breathing fire on the emotional centers of your brain, causing you to feel nervous, fearful, tense, or out of control. The Anxious Dragons are one of the 13 “Dragons from the Past” I write about in my new book Your Brain Is Always Listening.
As a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and brain imaging expert, I have found that your brain is always listening to these dragons and unless you recognize and tame them, they will steal your happiness.
When Anxious Dragons take control of your brain, it can contribute to anxiety, panic attacks, irrational fears, chronic stress, phobias, conflict avoidance, a tendency to predict the worst, sensitivity to rejection, and physical symptoms like headaches and stomach aches. In some people, the deep desire to escape these uncomfortable feelings can lead to self-destructive behaviors, such as drinking or using drugs.
The Anxious Dragons are the most common of the 13 Dragons from the Past, as 31% of the U.S. population will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in life. Living through the coronavirus pandemic has certainly spawned millions more of these dragons around the world. According to a report published in April 2020, the number of prescriptions filled for anti-anxiety medications spiked by over 34 percent in just one month during the pandemic.
Many things can trigger the Anxious Dragons and make you feel nervous, panicky, or tense.For example, reminders of past situations that caused anxiety—such as someone getting angry, a disapproving look, a smell, or even a song—can trigger these dragons. Knowing your triggers is one of the keys to learning how to tame your Anxious Dragons.
The good news is you can learn to take control of the Anxious Dragons and reset your emotional brain, so you can stop feeling so anxious, fearful, and nervous. Some of the science-backed techniques I use with my patients—and that I share in the book—to tame the Anxious Dragons include:
- Breathe in relaxing scents (including lavender and chamomile)
- Listen to soothing music
- Take calming natural supplements (such as GABA, magnesium, and theanine from green tea)
When you tame your Anxious Dragons you can overcome anxiety, panic, and irrational fears, so you can start feeling better and living the life you want.