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If You’re Struggling With Anxiety - Watch This


Dr. Sam Harris




If you're battling anxiety, watch this enlightening video for practical tips and comforting insights. Discover strategies to regain calm and take control of your mental well-being.


The neurophysiology of anxiety is pretty well understood. But I don't think understanding that in any detail really helps you, there are drugs you can take to mitigate the effects of anxiety. I would think that if anxiety is really crippling, there is some role for drugs to play, whether it's beta blockers that impede the effect of adrenaline on your heart rate, so you don't get the racing heart experience, or anti anxiety drugs that work on the neurotransmitter GABA. But in general, the people who work with anxiety therapeutically, to my understanding, don't recommend you take those drugs, and that you do something more along the line of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is to say you, you expose yourself in manageable ways to the things that provoke anxiety and you reframe them. Conceptually, you become open to feeling the effects of anxiety, and realize you can get through it. And there's certainly a role for meditation and mindfulness to play in this part of the process.

For instance, many people are afraid to fly. And even those of us who aren't especially afraid to fly can feel anxious in significant turbulence. Now, why do we feel anxious? Well, we have some thought that turbulence might be dangerous, right? That it makes it more likely the plane will crash. And, of course, truly significant turbulence can cause a plane to crash. But this, as we know from the statistics of plane crashes is a very, very rare thing. So there are two levels to respond to this experience, so as to mitigate anxiety. So picture this, you're in an airplane, and it begins to bounce. Now, unless you're in that rare and horrible experience of being actually thrown around the cabin, so as to get injured, it's very likely that the bouncing is not physically painful, right? This is you're not being harmed by this sensation. And in other contexts, you would subject yourself to even more violent bouncing, and not be worried about it at all, you might go on some ride at an amusement park, which exerts greater force on you bodily, and you do it, because you're seeking that experience out. Now on an airplane, it's totally unwelcome to you because you're afraid of dying. But if you just take the raw sensations, they are not your problem. It's what they portend. It's your interpretation of them. That worries you. There are at least two levels at which you can deal with this.

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