Mental Wellness Wednesday | Managing Anxiety

We often think of anxiety as one thing, but brain imaging studies have found that we use 2 different parts of the brain when we experience anxiety

1) Anxious apprehension (worry, overthinking; OCD): Left brain – language (speech production)

2) Anxious arousal (Panic / phobia): right brain (temporal lobe) threat response

What does this mean? It is important to: Use the right tool for the job

Ex: Fear of flying,

Don’t: Use your Left/Language brain to “talk” yourself out of that fear won’t help.


Why it works: Multiple studies have demonstrated the power of visualization in managing anxiety; it “tricks” the brain into thinking you have already done the activity (flying) and survived!

Ex: Overthinking / worry

Don’t: Use your right/emotional brain to try to “feel happy”

Do: Acknowledge the worry, and create a different Narrative