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What is Anxiety? Does it have a function?

Anxiety is hard-wired into our nervous system. It is part of the original equipment. It's there for a reason. Anxiety is part of the oldest survival systems in the body. It is there to save you.

When I talk about the healthy function of anxiety with clients, I talk about survival. Literally. In our earliest days as a species we had to determine what was safe and what wasn't. Which plants were  safe to eat. Which people were safe to interact with. Which snakes and insects were poisonous. What water was safe to drink. We needed  to be alert to our environment. Constantly. Ready to run. Fight. Flee. Freeze. Hide. Our survival depended on it.

But anxiety was never designed to run your life. When anxiety is doing a lot more than keeping you aware of your environment and thoughtful about your decisions and actions, chances are it is getting out of hand. If your anxious responses within your mind and body are  now running your life, running you into the ground, keeping you in a state of high anxiety, stress, rumination, and fear, then it is no longer in service to you. It's time to bring your anxiety to heal.

When we are out of balance in coping with our well-meaning anxious selves, we can become demanding, reactive, and irritable. When things have finally gotten on our last nerve, we brim over and we can get snappish, irritable, dysregulated.

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