The Ugly Butterflies: Managing Anxiety Better | Psych Central

In the case of a breakup or death of a loved one, this has become known as broken heart syndrome. Flickr photo by Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has been at the forefront of stress research since the 1990s. Early on, he showed that chronic stress lasting more than a month but less than six months doubled a person’s risk of catching a cold. His more recent research has tried to figure out why, and results seem to point to inflammation. It appears that stress hampers the body’s ability to fight inflammation, by making immune cells less sensitive to the hormone that “turns off” inflammation, HealthyDay reported. Flickr photo by anna gutermuth A March study found that, at least in mice, chronic stress impaired the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in abstract thought, cognitive analysis and detecting the appropriate behavior for a given situation. Previous research in mice also showed that shorter bursts of stress impaired the centers of the brain involved in memory and learning, and left the mice struggling to remember how to find their way through a maze. A number of studies have also found that stress increases the amount of certain proteins in the brain that have been linked to Alzheimer’s, possibly accelerating the development of the disease.
More: How To End An Anxiety Attack

Anxiety makes you feel like your mind is in handcuffs and your body is disconnected from itself. You feel a complete loss of control, or as if you are losing your mind. This is terrifying, and often causes the individual to feel that she needs to escape or find a comfort zone to return to a less anxious state. An anxiety or panic attack can last for several minutes to several hours. Certain anxiety disorder symptoms can be felt every moment of every day. Positive anxiety or stress, called eustress, also exists. It frequently is referred to as having butterflies. I refer to the anxiety that is not a positive experience as the ugly butterflies. Many research-based therapeutic techniques exist for treating the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness therapy are among the effective approaches that mental health professionals might use to work with an anxious person. Here are some steps that you can begin incorporating today to regain control over symptoms of anxiety: Become aware.
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