Anxiety: A Monster That Feeds On Our Adrenaline
Anxiety is a monster that feeds on our adrenaline. Adrenaline is a substance that our bodies release when it feels like there is some sort of danger in the environment and wants to prepare us to protect ourselves. It can be provoked by the sight of a lion or a snake, something that is rather unlikely in the world that we inhabit today and therefore does not seem very adaptive to us. However, adrenaline is also released when we suddenly slip going down the stairs or oil in the frying pan pops onto us while we are making dinner.
In this moment, our adrenaline is released and helps us to hold onto the rail or step away from the heat on which we are frying an egg; that is to say, our adrenaline puts us in motion and helps us act in time before any fatal consequences takes place.
But in that same instance, as our adrenaline is released, the monster of anxiety is awakened from its sleep. In principle, it also is a part of that protection instinct, which is why it contributes to us grabbing the rail and managing to keep our balance before falling down the stairs.
However, despite the fact that slipping on the stairs is a daily situation, the monster of anxiety may reveal itself and never manage to go back to sleep. Then it remains in us, feeding on the adrenaline that we have released while we feel our heart keep beating and our fear stay in our body.
Any time this monster keeps having adrenaline to feed on, we will feel it inside us. However, once we no longer find ourselves in that dangerous situation, the monster, knowing that its adrenaline reserves are running out, will go into hibernation from the lack of food.
It sometimes happens that the monster of anxiety makes us so afraid that we fight so that it will leave our body, we yell that we do not want it, that we do not accept it, and that it should not be inside of us.
This psychological battle makes our body set aside another rush of adrenaline, only this time there is no real danger that justifies it; instead, there is a monster that is delighted that we keep feeding it more and more.
Then, thanks to the excess of adrenaline, the monster of anxiety becomes enormous and tremendously aggressive. Threatening, it yells that it is going to paralyze our hearts, that it will make our throats dry, or that it will devour our brains.
It cannot do this, but it tells us this louder and louder because it knows that in this way, we will hear it better and it will manage to get more emotional food, more adrenaline. Then it fills our day-to-day lives with an insatiable hunger that knows that we are going to care for it.
Now, if we do not listen to it and accept its cries as normal, we will stop paying attention to it and it will not get adrenaline from our bodies, so the monster of anxiety finally will not have any option but to return to its pleasant sleep.
The monster of anxiety can only frighten our body. As we can see, it represents our body’s natural reaction when faced with something that our body or mind understands as an immediate danger.
It is a simple and normal mechanism that we can all understand. Now, whether this monster is already enormous or has the potential to get out of control, we have to remember that it is in our control to make it smaller and more irrelevant. We can do so by accepting that its presence will depend on us opening or limiting ourselves to experiencing those natural sensations.
Bibliographic source of interest: Understand and manage your anxiety (Entiende y maneja tu ansiedad) by José Antonio García Noguera and Javier García Ureña