Even spiderman’s girlfriend gets anxious, so, what happens in our brains?



With her amazing Hollywood career, screen siren looks, wardrobe to die for and hot boyfriend Andrew Garfield, it’s hard to believe that Emma Stone lacks confidence.
But in a recent interview with Vogue magazine, the 23-year-old has proved that it’s not just us mere mortals that suffer from personal insecurities, having confessed that she took up acting only to help her deal with her own demons.
“I had a panic attack when I was eight,” she tells Vogue. “My mum couldn’t put notes in my lunch because I would be reminded that she existed and I would want to go home. And I was sick all the time.”
“When I went through therapy, I tried improv for the first time, and I think there was some cathartic element to it,” she added.
Loved up couple Emma and Andrew recently moved into a New York apartment together having fallen for eachother during filming The Amazing Spider-Man movie.
But after striving for acting success after all this time, she simultaneously fears it. She said: “I worry about my fame making New York unliveable. To not walk around would be awful .  .  . that idea makes me physically ill.”
Emma, who was born in Arizona, shot to fame in 2012 with teenage comedy Easy A and has since won much critical acclaim for her performance in the Oscar-nominated the Help, and has ever increasingly been blossoming into a world-wide renowned fashionista.
You won’t be able to walk freely around NYC soon, Emma…
So what does happen to the brain during anxiety or panic attack?
Amygdala – a brain part where anxiety, fear and panic originate from. It’s sometimes called Anxiety Brain.
Anxiety is a natural human emotion that all of us experience from time to time. It comes with a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, worry, or fear. Typically, this emotion may be experienced during times when you are in a lot of stress such as before taking a test or walking down a dark avenue alone. These illustrated occasions where anxiety is felt are actually helpful for you. In the test-taking situation, anxiety helps you to be more focused on your examination so that you can answer correctly each test item, thus get a high mark. While for the dark alley situation, anxiety helps you to be more alert so that you are prepared for any danger that the dark night might bring. In conclusion, anxiety protects us from any danger that our senses have perceived. It acts like a guardian for our self-preservation. This is clear enough. But what if you want to get to the particulars on how our body does this instinctive mechanism?
Truthfully, it does not quite matter what the real cause of your fear and anxiety is. You just have to remember that this feeling expresses itself throughout your whole body. It does not merely affect or linger in your mind alone. This fearful feeling always connects with your body.
So how does this feeling of fear, anxiety, or panic actually created? What happens inside the brain or what is usually called as the ‘anxiety brain’?
Scientists have moved very far in the area of neurophysiology of anxiety and fear in the last few decades. Just imagine for one second that you get back home from work, it is late, you open your house’s door and suddenly you see a moving shadow inside one of your rooms. In a split of second, the whole chemistry in your body changes. It could be a threat to your life, so your neural circuits become pumped up and start their job. And usually this happens before you can even rationally digest what is really happening. It is just that fast.
So the signal enters your eyes and your ears and then to your brain stem. From there, it travels to the thalamus where the impulse branches off. One part of the signal moves to the part of the brain where it will be interpreted and the other part of the signal moves to your anxiety brain – the amygdale – and hippocampus. Although amygdale is a small part of your brain, as small as an almond, its size is insignificant to the role it plays in your everyday life. On the other hand, the hippocampus is a part of your brain that is responsible for remembering things such as your memories. When the nerve signal reaches the hippocampus, this part of your brain will analyze it with the memories it has already stored to find out if this is a threatening situation.
If you are sure that the stimulus means nothing, the signal’s journey will stop right there. However, if you are not really sure about it, your brain will go into a ‘warning’ mode. Then that impulse will be sent back and forth between the hippocampus, your temporal lobe and amygdale (the anxiety brain); your whole body becomes alert and you are prepared for the worst.
As mentioned, your emotional brain (amygdale) plays a major role in this whole process. This is a place where anxiety, fear and panic originate from. If there was a way to physically remove amygdale out of your brain, you wouldn’t feel fear, anxiety or panic at all. Furthermore, you wouldn’t be able to tell if people around you are scared or not.
Your anxiety brain is always on alert, sorting every signal received to see if you are facing anything threatening. If some signal will be recognized as threatening, this little almond-shaped anxiety brain will signal other parts of your brain to put those scary expressions on your face and stop everything that you are doing in order to fully concentrate on the possible danger ahead.
Understanding your anxiety and its probable causes is crucial, because it gives you a starting point – a steady foundation from which you can build toward your well-being.
Make a change, go see someone and start accepting, breathing and changing
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