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How to Not Let Anxiety Fake or Freak You Out: Dr. Chansky's Talk at Drexel

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Fight or flight instinct causes stress

By Lauren Haynes, www.thetriangle.org

The Good Idea Fund and Drexel’s Active Minds hosted an event May 13 for the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week with Tamar Chansky, a psychologist focused on anxiety disorders, who gave a lecture titled “Freeing Yourself from Anxiety: How to Not Let Stress Freak You Out or Worry Fake You Out of Doing What You Want.”

Throughout her presentation, Chansky reminded the audience of her key point: “The problem isn’t ourselves; it’s the alarms we have.” In other words, humans are built with a fight-or-flight response triggered by the brain’s amygdala. This type of response has allowed the human race to prosper in the face of great perils over time.

However, even though humans typically do not have to confront those types of dangers anymore (like tigers), the amygdalae still respond the same way to nervousness at an interview or anxiety over beginning a new serious relationship. It is the reason why many people find their hearts racing and palms sweating when they are anxious.

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