The UnBroken Podcast is a call to action to create a different direction, dialogue, and narrative for your life. Dr Rachel Taylor discusses how to manage anxiety in this episode, sponsored by A Podcast Company.
Pre-pandemic, anxiety was the second most commonly reported mental health condition in the world, with over 20% of people globally reporting that it had a significant effect in their lives. Now, that number has risen to 29%. Contrary to popular belief, anxiety is not a mental disorder or illness, Dr Rachel claims – it is an evolutionary benefit that serves as an alarm system to potential threats in our environment. One of the first steps towards managing anxiety involves shifting your thinking to understand anxiety for what it is. She credits the rise of globally reported anxiety levels to environmental changes and fear messaging.
Joy is hypothesized to be the only emotion we are born with, underpinned by hormones and neurotransmitters such as oxytocin. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Dr Rachel believes, is fear. “We need to reset and recalibrate our anxiety mechanism,” she says.
We can do this by engaging in neutral activities that make us feel okay – jumping straight ahead into things that spark a lot of joy may not be best, as we cannot simply jump from one extreme to the other. We have to slowly dip our toes in neutral territory before wading into joyful abandonment.
- To manage anxiety, you must first see it for what it is – an ally, not an illness.
- Fear is the antithesis to joy, according to Dr Rachel.
- When your anxiety is high, engage in neutral activities before doing things that make you really happy.