1st week: anxiety and the body

Physical symptoms of anxiety

Momentary anxiety is necessary for life, which is why we have developed the ability to become anxious. Anxiety is like a general alarm of the body. It lets us know when something is wrong and prepares us for action. Momentary anxiety improves our performance and prompts us to protect ourselves against a potential threat.

Our body reacts to threatening situations based on our assessment of the threat. In a distressing situation, it prepares to fight or flee if necessary. When faced with an extreme threat, the body may completely freeze. Watch the video below to learn what kind of physical symptoms the ‘fight or flight’ state or complete freezing can cause.

Anxiety in the body

When we enter a ‘fight or flight’ state, our logical thinking and judgement cease to function, rendering us unable to rationally calm ourselves. This is why physical anxiety management methods are useful for most – they enable us to calm our body down and return our attention from our anxiety to the present moment. 

Exercises for the week

Great, you have reached the end of the first week’s information section! Now it is important that you start practising. This week’s exercises are listed below. Download the monitoring form for keeping track of your practising and contemplating on things. You should reserve five minutes for practising every day. For example, try to make vagus nerve exercises a part of your everyday routines and reserve a moment of belly breathing after dinner or before going to sleep, etc.

  • Belly breathing
  • Activating the vagus nerve by humming, singing, making the ‘ng’ sound or gurgling