anxiety disorder dra martha castro noriega tijuana baja california usa states
inspiration, mental health

Learn How to Read Your Body Signals to Avoid Anxiety and Be Happier

LEARN HOW TO READ BODY SIGNAL TO AVOID ANXIETY

Take a deep breath. …

Get active. …

Sleep well. …

Challenge an anxious thought. …

Say an encouraging statement. …

Stay connected to others. …

Avoid caffeine. …

Avoid mind-altering substances.

anxiety disorder dra martha castro noriega tijuana baja california usa states

The ability to perceive the signals of your body is known as interoceptive accuracy (IAc). There are, different psychosomatic cues that you pick up within yourself during states of anxiety. But above all, a beating heart is the hardest one to ignore.

anxiety disorder dra martha castro noriega tijuana baja california usa states

It’s for this reason that heartbeat perception, as brain scientists call it, is a direct proxy for measuring people’s IAc and reported anxiety and stress levels.

IAc and a beating heart

Having the ability to accurately detect your own heartbeat is critical for reappraising your anxiety on a moment to moment basis. We know that anxiety is as much in the body as it is in the mind, and that a (mis)perception of a fast heart rate can easily contribute to the catastrophization of a panicked state.

anxiety disorder dra martha castro noriega tijuana baja california usa states

It’s why some of the most effective anxiety-related therapies, like progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing, tend to focus on muting a physiological response followed by a cognitive reappraisal technique.

anxiety disorder dra martha castro noriega tijuana baja california usa states

What this says is that your ability to detect and therefore modulate your bodily responses during an anxious state is not fixed. These signals are amenable to change. You can learn to more accurately perceive your beating heart in a high-stress environment. You can apply reappraisal techniques in mitigating your anxiety.

The findings of this study have the potential to inform research on stress and anxiety management. For example, having a general idea of how much your IAc is dependent on biological predisposition could provide leeway to pharmaceutical interventions to help combat debilitating responses to stressful situations.

For now there’s therapeutic power in knowing you can improve your IAc and work towards minimizing your anxiety.

“If you believe in yourself, everything is possible. Live the life of your dreams. Let it be!”—dramacn

Dr. Martha Castro Noriega, MD