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Anxiety Triggers: What’s Real, What’s Not

CB037965To all those sitting around him, the young man sitting in the middle of the college classroom was at the top of his game. Physically fit, bright eyed, energetic and attentive are how they would have described him. But inside it was a different story.

His heart was pounding. A slight flush spread up his neck and across his cheeks. With each passing second he grew more convinced the professor would call on him to answer a question. He was terrified that he wouldn’t know the answer.

He started to sweat and his breath came harder. If he didn’t know the answer the others would laugh. They would point and laugh and he would only stammer more. He gripped the sides of his desk as his head started to swirl.

His worse nightmare was coming true. The professor was coming towards him, was stopping right in front of him.

“Are you all right?” the professor asked. “You don’t look at all well.” Our young man could only shake his head as he got up and bolted from the room.

If this scene reminds you of feelings you yourself have experienced, I tell it only to show you are not alone. The panic and fear of a full blown anxiety attack are caused and do cause very real physical symptoms.

This is an all out adrenal “fight or flight” response. Unfortunately, for many of us, it’s just another in a long line of such attacks that seem to come from the blue.

Even more unfortunately, the young man above may have received heaps of well meant, but misguided, advice on how to overcome his fear of being called on to speak in public.

The fact is, that trigger was more of a final straw than a real cause for the anxiety attack. Our young man had been on a path to crash long before he stepped into that classroom, probably long before he even started college.

To find the real causes of the crushing anxiety attacks and the deepest depressions we need to look within ourselves, beyond what we do or what we think. We need to look at what we are actually building our bodies on and with. We need to consider the foods we eat — and don’t eat — as the culprits and causes of many of our physical and mental reactions to our environment. Anxiety therapy can be as easy as choosing and egg omelette versus fast food for lunch. In all reality, the anxiety therapy we do for ourselves will be the most effective.