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The difference between fear and anxiety?

By Monica van de Weerd
What's the difference between fear and anxiety?
Fear is an immediate response to a specific threatening stimulus.
Anxiety is a less intense but more sustained response to anxiety-inducing sources.
For example, you might feel anxious about driving in heavy rush-hour traffic, but if there is a car heading towards you in the wrong lane - fear kicks in.
We used to believe that the amygdala (a cluster of cells at the base of the brain) was responsible for anxiety - now we understand it is more complex than that.
Anxiety is the result of a constant chatter between a number of different brain regions - a fear network. No one brain region drives anxiety on its own. Instead, interactions among many brain areas are important for how we experience anxiety.
This complexity means that often behavioural changes can help as much as pharmaceutical support.
Connection, downtime, meditation, exercise, sleep and diet can all influence our state of anxiety.
We would love to hear what works for you as our experiences and solutions can really differ.
For me personally (Anna writing this), sleep and diet are critical - both influencing each other.
Reducing sugar and processed foods (especially white bread) and intermittent fasting has improved my sleep quality and reduced my general anxiety - flattening the emotional rollercoaster. Research into the gut-brain axis has shown just how critical our gut health is for our brain health.
Changing habits and living healthily is hard to get right all the time - life, biology and events get in the way! I am also using the #Noom ap to help me keep on track mentally and food-wise.
Source: Zestt Wellness: Anna Campbell (PhD, plant biotechnology)

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