Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Brain and Anxiety

A recent study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry reported that anxiety symptoms in people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment are associated with medial temporal brain atrophy and predict conversion to Alzheimer's disease. Knowing this, you might evaluate how much you worry and the level of your everyday anxiety. Worry never solves anything; it can negatively impact your life. In terms of brain function, prevention is typically better than cure—although individuals with mild cognitive impairment reportedly have improved their memory and brain function through a variety of brain-enhancing life-style changes. Based on this study, altering one’s habitual behavior patterns related to worry and anxiety would be one of those important life-style changes. When you become aware of a thought that is anxious or worrisome, take steps to prevent or solve whatever it is you are worried about insofar as it is possible to do so. Then let go of the worry. Whenever the thought pops up try telling yourself:  ‘Mary, you let go of that thought. You are replacing it with a thought of something for which you are grateful (e.g., ‘Your name ____, are grateful for _____________’). Typically, habits of worrying can be often replaced with habits of gratitude. Seek professional help if you need assistance.

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