Calming Anxiety With Your Body’s Built-in Anti-Anxiety Response 11/30



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Your body has a built-in, natural ability to calm anxiety. Learn four simple, body-based ways you can calm anxiety by turning on the parasympathetic nervous system.
Calming anxiety is something you can learn to do when you learn how the parasympathetic response works as an anti-anxiety reaction.
Anxiety, PTSD, trauma, and other intense emotions are rooted in the nervous system, specifically the sympathetic response, but our body has a built-in natural ability to calm anxiety by turning on the parasympathetic nervous system.

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Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC, and the information provided by Emma McAdam are solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and are not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Emma McAdam is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.

About Me:
I’m Emma McAdam. I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and I have worked in various settings of change and growth since 2004. My experience includes juvenile corrections, adventure therapy programs, wilderness therapy programs, an eating disorder treatment center, a residential treatment center, and I currently work in an outpatient therapy clinic.
In therapy I use a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Systems Theory, positive psychology, and a bio-psycho-social approach to treating mental illness and other challenges we all face in life. The ideas from my videos are frequently adapted from multiple sources. Many of them come from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, especially the work of Steven Hayes, Jason Luoma, and Russ Harris. The sections on stress and the mind-body connection derive from the work of Stephen Porges (the Polyvagal theory), Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) Francine Shapiro (EMDR), and Bessel Van Der Kolk. I also rely heavily on the work of the Arbinger institute for my overall understanding of our ability to choose our life’s direction.
And deeper than all of that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ orients my personal worldview and sense of security, peace, hope, and love

If you are in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or your local emergency services.
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21 comments

  1. And when your brain and nervous system have been damaged by benzodiazepines, what do you then? Nothing works. I was prescribed Ativan for insomnia caused by menopause. Did not help with sleep, but gave me GAD and panic disorder. Now six years off, still suffering the physical damage…the inability to absorb the neurotransmitter, gaba, which affects nerve every cell in every part of your body. I can't take it anymore.

  2. Sit in meditation posture, close your eyes and see the blackness for 15 minutes. And see how calm you feel. Your compulsiveness, usual reactionary urges will go away for the day.

  3. Thank you. While watching this video, I felt like I was sitting with you in a session. Monday mornings are my worst stressor. New patients I need to meet. Staff emails reporting things to take care of. A doctor whose demands are unpredictable. All compete for my immediate attention. It isn't until Thursday when I can feel a little better knowing it's the end of the week. I'm ready to work towards feeling calm at this job. There's so many reasons I want to stay working here, but I don't want to be a bundle of nerves doing it.

  4. I'm a survivor of an unwanted divorce due to infidelity. My husband walked away with another woman AFTER years of lies, manipulation, then emotional abuse after discovery. It was VERY traumatic for me. I lost a lot of weight, slept very little, and checked out mentally due to all the stress. Now, 2 years after divorce, I'm having PTSD triggers and can't figure out how to change my painful and tearful response. If I happen to be with people when it happens, I hold it all in(unable to concentrate on what's happening where I am) until I get away alone and then I come unglued. It's awful. I'm really hoping these exercises will help! I hate the triggers so much!!

  5. Is it a good idea to separate stress response from a situation when you truly are in a dangerous situation ? ( I’m thinking of abuse and abusive situations/relationships. )

  6. I’m so happy that I’ve come across this video. I’m a nurse and as many people are aware it’s such a stressful time to be a nurse. I’m constantly stressed at work and when I’m not at work I’m thinking about work. I get anxious before shifts hoping that the shift will go well. I almost quit my job due to the effect it was having on me. Since then I’ve had to really look at how I can do my job and not get so stressed and so anxious

  7. If you're here to try figure out a way to deal with the next full blown uncontrollable, unfathomable panic attack, (the beyond "real" kind) because breathing exercises seem to make it worse for you: Here's most soothing thing I've personally ever been told by someone else who also deals with them is that everyone who's experienced it, their main biggest fear is that it'll last forever, rendering u a hysterical incompetent mess who'd rather die for the rest of your life but it's just not true.

    Also in sheer desperation I've found, that in the midst of one or when it's creeping up, If I make myself eat something, take vitamins & drink alOootta water, (esp. water) The chances of me getting a grip enough to function and feel somewhat okay within the next hour are FAR more likely.

    Btw, if anyone has a way that helps them get outta that lingering state of mind all day once it starts other than taking sleep aid to pass out and reset your brain..let me know

  8. Love your channel and love that you talk about EFT. Just to let you know that there is lots of research on EFT. Peoples brains have been scanned when they tap. Peta Stapleton is one of the leading researchers on eft and its impact on healts. She has recently released a book on eft and health ❤️

  9. Thanks a lot. I do not have social anxiety any more. I live in a bit strange but real world. I know what I feel, what I want and most important what God want from me. With pure love. Artur.😀😀🌹🌹🌹❤️

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