The Humanness of Anxiety

We are human, therefore we all will experience anxiety at one time or another. The question is: Are you equipped to manage it???

Anxiety is any emotion that creates a negative reaction in the body (emotions such as frustration, anger, fear, resentment, disappointment, etc.). It is a state of being where the body produces stress hormones, such cortisol, which results in a chemical imbalance that leaves us feeling overwhelmed for hours or days, or if chronic, can lead to severe depression. Anxiety can often be caused by an underlying physical condition. Figuring that out is necessary, but managing anxiety in the meantime remains important.

Anxiety can be caused by underlying physical conditions such as autoimmune disorders or anything that disrupts normal hormone levels. Imbalances will negatively affect gut health and therefore overall health. There are also mental factors that cause anxiety such as worry and danger. These common, stressful thoughts again, require cortisol to activate fight/flight mode. That cortisol has a 26-32 hour shelf life, so you can just imagine how much is coursing through our veins after a day or week of negative thoughts.


What are we doing that contributes to this kind of anxiety for ourselves in daily life? 

Anxiety is not only created when we experience trauma, but when we ruminate on daily frustrations, negative experiences, and repeated thoughts of worry or judgment. The problem is we are not addressing these on a conscious level. In other words, most of us are walking around REACTING to life, but not processing the negative effects of it in a healthy way. We are just coasting along, absorbing the impact and either don’t realize it or we don’t know HOW to process it physically and emotionally. We think we have things under control, but  it doesn’t take much until we are overwhelmed and losing it at the smallest things. 

The body under stress builds up and has to find a way to release the pressure and rebalance the nervous system. This is when panic attacks or shut down occur. Have you ever thought about something stressful or have those thoughts you resist because they are so uncomfortable and it gives you a stomach ache, your heart speeds up or your palms start to sweat? When this happens the body’s response to stress is to inject those fight or flight chemicals to help you avoid danger. The problem is we think we have it under control and we avoid it even longer. The FACT is that unless we deal with the real issue on a conscious level and actually process it, it will persist and cause more anxious reactions. 

Is it difficult to process these chemicals and are we doing the right things by meditating, getting good sleep and doing things we love like hobbies or spending time with friends and family?

Those are all healthy habits that do help by creating positive chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to balance our system, but when our gut and nervous system is under constant attack by the effects of cortisol our body needs more help to process it and essentially clean out the negative effects. Otherwise we will experience mental, physical and emotional distress which leads to things like depression and disease. 

So what does ‘processing in a healthy way’ look like?

Learning the steps to manage your emotions is fairly simple. It includes physically expelling the cortisol through tears and specifically strength training not just going for a run or stretching. So planks, wall sits, tightening and releasing your muscles are quick activities to start the process, but the most effective is learning to manage your thoughts because that is where the process originates. 

So positive affirmations and faking it till we make it?

Actually NO. That is where people tend to get sidetracked and frustrated because affirmations are great mood boosters IF you believe the thoughts, but our subconscious operating system is pretty mean and our brains will call us out if we try to ‘fake it til we make it’.  There is a fairly simple solution to prepare ahead of time and keep in mind (or as a note or reminder on your phone) for any future anxiety attacks. 

These may seem obvious and elementary at first, but they are essential steps to get you in the right mindset and pull you back from your thoughts of worry (future stress) and regret (past stress).  I’d like to share my antidote for anxiety with you: 

Coach Lisa’s ABCD protocol or my  ‘Antidote to Anxiety’:

A- Be AWARE that you are resisting or experiencing a thought… you know, when you think something and it creates that pit in your stomach or triggers anger/disappointment/frustration. Awareness is KEY that that is happening!

B-Breathe to calm the nervous system and bring you back to THE PRESENT MOMENT, because we can’t predict the future and we can’t change the past. So take a big breath in for 4 seconds, HOLD it at the top for 4 seconds and release SLOWLY out the lips for 8 seconds. So 4-4-8and repeat for several minutes. This process resets the vagus nerve and restores your physiological system. 

C- Confident thoughts of certainty and calm. As you are breathing you are being brought into the present moment and need to tell your brain that you are SAFE, you are STRONG and you can DO HARD THINGS.

D- DISTRACTION: Splash cold water on your face, hold an ice cube or cold drink, smell something pungent, etc. These actions will quickly focus your attention on the present moment and keep your brain occupied with keeping you safe NOW, not worrying about the future or past threats.

These are all just the anxiety attack protocol, to learn HOW to fully process emotions my clients learn simple strategies to be proactive so they can manage their thoughts whenever necessary. When they can shift their thoughts to an elevated state they learn how to stop the cycle of anxiety once and for all which, in turn creates more happiness every day! 

I’d love to help you or your loved ones with individual and specific life-long strategies that will empower them against anxiety for good.  Visit for your strategy session or course information today!

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