Rewiring the Anxious Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Anxiety Cycle: Anxiety Skills #21



You can rewire your brain to be less anxious through a simple, but not easy, process. Understanding the anxiety cycle and how avoidance causes anxiety to spiral out of control unlocks the key to learning how to tone down anxiety and rewire those neural pathways to feel safe and secure.
In this video, I teach three essential things you need to understand about anxiety, three steps to face and overcome anxiety, and how the brain can actually change (rewire) its structure, function, and chemistry when you change how you think and act.
Rewiring the Anxious Brain Part 2:

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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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34 comments

  1. Great video! I am on a binge watching videos about neuroplasticity right now and this was an interesting and helpful approach to anxiety. Great work!

  2. Why do we need to expose ourself to anxious triggering scenarios??!! For what?! For money?! For social status?! to be accepted in an inevitable broken society?!
    we should discover our capabilities, recognise our limitation and what kind of environment we are most likely to be at peace. second, acknowledge our aims in life and focus 100% towards it. The rest is just noise for people with a purpose.
    Why do we need to torture our natural inclinations to be applauded or recognised? The recognition comes from inside and from the ones that we genuinely care about.
    I lived with anxiety disorder for years and never felt free as a bird since I learned to know myself effectively.
    If going to university makes you sick then look for other ways to learn what you feel passionate about.
    Your thoughts are going to turn optimistic when you liberate yourself of the others opinion specially the ones that come from toxic corners. You are most likely distracted fulled of noise than depressed.
    You will be then embarked in your goals, your natural goals not the imposed ones. And only then you will see yourself functioning up to your set expectations and optimism will flow naturally and you will experience contentment.

  3. if not possible then follow the millet diet by khadar vali south indian and wim hoff method.u willbe 100% cured

  4. I really hope everyone overcomes their anxiety! Whoever has it you can do it. I am working on mine and its been so hard. I’ve been anxious just for being anxious this past year. Especially with the pandemic it made it even worse because I was able to avoid going out and stuff. My brain has drove me crazy with it and I wouldnt ever wish this on my worst enemy. It really can be the worse thing ever and some days are the worst and can make you feel like you dont want to live at all. But i’ve been trying to be in control again and I know gradually I will make progress. I wish everyone below the comments who has anxiety, that one day you guys will overcome it. We can do it 🙂

  5. My issue was a fear of the dark/sleeping at night so I’d stay up really late despite being tired 🥺 I appreciate this video!

  6. But recently what happens is, i don't anxious during the type of events that trigger my anxiety but later on i get extremely anxious thinking as those events keeps replaying in my head like, "I could've died", "I could've messed up really bad"

  7. Question to anyone, how do you deal with anxiety thats tougher to practice? For example, if you live in the suburbs but occassionally have to drive in city like places and get anxiety with the fast decision making and rude crowded atmosphere?

  8. "I realized that the stress I was having was not just regular grad school stress" =story of my life. I
    used to think that I was just experiencing the normal stress of school and life and that everyone was going through what I was going through. But then I realized that it wasn't normal for me to shaking, crying, and sweating everyday den i consulted with Planet Ayurveda….now i'm much better.

  9. Wowww…..you are amazing…the way you explain i started imaginging me facing my fears the same way and feel i soooo good. Thanks

  10. can you please make some with Christian applications, I know you are strong woman of faith and read scriptures which is why God is using you so greatly! PLEASE! BLESSINGS!

  11. Thank God for neuroplasticity. Applying the tools I learnt from therapy and what I gathered from self-help.
    Anxiety is excitement for me this time. Suddenly, my body knows it’s okay. We can reframe our attitude towards anxiety and befriend it. 😃
    Awesome video.

  12. Why is it possible for anxiety to stay even if one doesn't run away and faces the situation over and over again.
    Example: A maths student is afraid of facing difficulties when trying to understand the lecture material or solve homework problems. Also this person is afraid of failing tests or doing poorly despite giving their best. Why is it, that despite getting up every day, facing their study work and giving their best, day after day, month after month, semester after semester – and experiencing good and not so good grades and having failed some exams and survived – the fear sticks and shows up every day making that person to continuously live in an emergency state physically despite exposure and experience?

  13. I beat my literally crippling anxiety by just not caring anymore. When I’d feel a panic attack come on I just thought “whatever, this is the millionth one and I’ve made it through the rest”. Took me a LONG time to get that way, but I haven’t had a panic attack in getting close to a year now.

  14. Thank you for this informative video. I'm seriously grateful for you to share your knowledge and make it sound so easy.

  15. Thank you so much for all the work you put in your videos
    Could you please make more videos on how to deal with unhappiness/ dour demeanour related to ocd anxiety
    How to practically help someone regain their joie de vivre ( cheerfulness) when they are so anxious due to chronic ocd. Thank you

  16. Could you please share the Udemy link to the course you mentioned? I can't find it in the description. I'm very interested in learning more and would be interested in this course. Thank you for all your videos and information, too!!!

  17. I don't know what is this but.
    I can't sleep in night my heart beats too fast I can't think properly I'm scare to die but I don't know wth is this????

  18. The most simple way I have found to rewire your brain is guided meditation for anxiety. Try it for 30 days and see what happens. It has dramatically helped my anxiety and has helped me to focus on the present moment to an extreme degree it’s actually pretty amazing. The one I use is called “20 minute guided meditation for anxiety”. It will completely rewire your brain very quickly only within 5-10 days. I need to listen to it more often though, even though I don’t have anxiety as much as I used to( Thank God) And yes it’s permanent and you thank neuro-plasticity for that haha. Love y’all and stay safe ❤️❤️

  19. I love your Motivating comments ideas and processes rewiring really can work thanks you awesome young lady

  20. Girl radiators may not be dangerous, but who want to be next to a running radiatior in a room. Of course it will give anybody anxiety.

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