Evette Rose, Author, Life Coach & Founder, Metaphysical Anatomy

As an Author, Life Coach, Trauma Release Practitioner, and Personal Development Teacher, Evette Rose strives to support people in their healing journeys. She is the founder of the Metaphysical Anatomy Healing Technique. She is best known for her work in helping people to resolve trauma from their past and freeing them to live successful and fulfilling lives. Evette’s work is drawn from personal experience moving from a difficult past into a well-balanced life and career. She has traveled around the world twice and taught personal development seminars in more than 43 countries, and helped thousands of people worldwide. She is highly gifted and well-equipped to help and support her students and clients throughout their healing journeys in ways that bring permanent and satisfying results.


Are you or a loved one affected by anxiety? Anxiety is a prevalent and often debilitating mental health condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide and it’s something that has deeply affected me as well. While it can feel overwhelming, it is important to understand that anxiety is rooted in the complex workings of the brain. By delving into the neuroscience behind anxiety and implementing effective strategies, we can begin to combat its impact on our lives. This article explores the intricate relationship between neuroscience and anxiety while providing actionable techniques to manage and alleviate its symptoms.

Let’s start by defining what anxiety is as this is a widespread topic often with many misconceptions. Anxiety is a mental health condition characterized by excessive worry, fear, and apprehension. It is a normal and adaptive response to perceived threats or stressors, helping individuals prepare for potential danger. However, when anxiety becomes chronic, intense, and interferes with daily life, it may indicate an anxiety disorder.

The neurological causes of anxiety are complex and involve various brain regions, neural networks, and neurotransmitters. We have what I would call the Amygdala. The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure located deep within the brain’s temporal lobe, plays a significant role in anxiety. It processes emotional stimuli and initiates the body’s stress response. When the amygdala perceives a threat, it triggers the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, preparing the body for a fight-or-flight response.

Then we have neurotransmitters that also play a role in anxiety. Imbalances in neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain, can contribute to anxiety. Serotonin, which regulates mood and emotions, is often associated with anxiety disorders. Low levels of serotonin may lead to heightened anxiety. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter, helps regulate anxiety by reducing neural activity. Reduced GABA levels or impaired GABA functioning may contribute to anxiety disorders.

The HPA Axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) is also a key player in the body’s stress response. When the brain perceives a threat, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which triggers the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary gland. ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, a stress hormone. Chronic activation of the HPA axis and elevated cortisol levels are associated with anxiety disorders.

Anxiety and the Prefrontal Cortex carries more weight and influence than what we might realize. The prefrontal cortex (PFC), located in the frontal lobe of the brain, is involved in executive functions, decision-making, and emotion regulation. In individuals with anxiety disorders, the PFC may exhibit reduced activity and connectivity with other brain regions involved in emotional processing, leading to difficulties in regulating anxiety. You know that moment you feel anxious, and you don’t understand why? The PFC is in a state of confusion as often older traumatic explicit memories could be triggered by your environment; however, your conscious mind is not aware of which memories. This ‘misfire’ in information processing can have a big impact in the onset of anxiety. The body and mind feel stressed, it does not know why and therefore it can exasperate feelings such as feeling unsafe in that moment. 

Neuroplasticity plays a big role a well. The brain’s ability to adapt and reorganize itself, known as neuroplasticity, is also relevant to anxiety. Chronic anxiety can lead to changes in brain structure and function, potentially perpetuating the anxiety response. Conversely, engaging in activities that promote neuroplasticity, such as mindfulness and therapy, can reshape neural connections and alleviate anxiety symptoms.

It’s important to note that anxiety is a multifaceted condition influenced by both biological and environmental factors. While neurological processes contribute to anxiety, psychosocial factors, life experiences, genetics, and individual temperament also play significant roles in the development and manifestation of anxiety disorders. Understanding the neuroscience behind anxiety provides valuable insights into its mechanisms, but a comprehensive approach that addresses both neurological and psychological factors is necessary for effective treatment and management.

As you can see, anxiety involves a complex interplay of neural networks, neurotransmitters, and brain structures. The amygdala, a part of the brain responsible for processing emotions, plays a central role in anxiety. When faced with a perceived threat, the amygdala triggers a cascade of physiological and psychological responses, including increased heart rate, heightened alertness, and a sense of fear or unease. Additionally, imbalances in neurotransmitters like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) can contribute to anxiety symptoms.

I have made many adjustments to my life that supported me in overcoming anxiety. Practicing mindfulness and deep breathing was a big step in my healing journey. Something as simple as taking a deep breath in your mouth, hold it as long as you can and then exhale our nose can bring almost immediate relief!

Mindfulness-based techniques can effectively counteract anxiety also by redirecting attention away from distressing thoughts. By focusing on the present moment, mindfulness helps regulate the activity of the amygdala and activates the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions and emotional regulation. Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing, help activate the body’s relaxation response, counteracting the physiological symptoms of anxiety. 

I challenged negative Thoughts! Anxiety often stems from distorted or irrational thinking patterns. By identifying and challenging these negative thoughts, you can gain a more realistic perspective on your fears. Employ techniques like cognitive restructuring, where you reframe negative thoughts into more positive or neutral alternatives. This practice helps rewire neural pathways, promoting healthier thinking patterns and reducing anxiety triggers.

Engaging in regular physical exercise has a profound impact on anxiety management and it did for me as well. Exercise releases endorphins, the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals, which help improve mood and reduce stress. Physical activity also promotes neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and reorganize itself, enhancing resilience against anxiety. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, or yoga, several times a week.

Sleep deprivation can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and impair the brain’s ability to regulate emotions. Prioritize good sleep hygiene by establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing pre-bedtime routine, and maintaining a comfortable sleep environment. Limit exposure to screens before bedtime and consider relaxation techniques like meditation or reading to promote better sleep quality.

For individuals with severe or chronic anxiety, seeking professional help is vital. Mental health professionals, such as therapists or psychiatrists, can offer evidence-based treatments tailored to your specific needs. These interventions target the underlying neural processes associated with anxiety, helping you regain control over your life.

By incorporating mindfulness, challenging negative thoughts, exercising regularly, prioritizing sleep, seeking social support, and considering professional help when needed, it is possible to alleviate anxiety symptoms and cultivate a sense of well-being. Remember, managing anxiety is a journey, and with patience, perseverance, and appropriate strategies, you can regain control over your mental and emotional well-being.

In the face of anxiety, remember that you possess incredible resilience and strength within you. Each step you take to confront and manage your anxiety is a testament to your courage and determination. Embrace self-compassion, knowing that it’s okay to have moments of struggle. Believe in your ability to overcome challenges and cultivate a life filled with peace and joy.

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