Know What’s Happening in Your Brain and Short Circuit It

There’s lots of advice out there on thinking happy thoughts and keeping yourself busy during the pandemic: some better than others.

You know you can rely on me to come at it from a neuroscience perspective.

The big idea for me this week is the difference between fear and anxiety. Spoiler alert: fear is useful because it’s designed to get you out of harm’s way. Anxiety is the empty calorie of the emotional world.

Here’s how to prevent the first from becoming the second.

Want a little more on fear (who doesn’t)? Here’s a short article that recap’s Dr. Mark Goulston’s approach to getting your brain back when you’ve lost your mind.

This week, pay attention to your emotions. Name your fear. Ask yourself if you’re in imminent danger — and should be afraid — or it’s an amorphous phantom feeling.

Then take action, which may include doing something that nourishes you.

Remember: emotions are contagious. Even if you’re working remotely, people can hear it in your voice and see it in your body language in a virtual meeting.

And because this is going on at a subconscious level, it will likely take a while for others to notice the anxiety you’re spreading and do something to counteract it.

Choose to prevent all the havoc on and lost time for them!