Jill Hewlett - Brain Fitness Authority Toronto - Brain Health and Exercises

Anxiety Warrior

Do you get nervous or anxious from time to time?

If you ask around, you’ll find that everyone does, and fairly often too!

For some, however, these feelings become so frequent and intense that the anxiety takes over their lives. It makes it very hard to function and equally difficult to meet new people, to maintain relationships, and to advance at work or in school.

Anxiety is a word sometimes used to describe a reaction to a specific stressor like an exam or interview. This kind of anxiety can be good, because it serves as a catalyst or motivator to better prepare for the test or interview or to apply oneself more.

When people struggle with an anxiety disorder, however, they’re anxious almost or all of the time. Yet there are times when they can’t spot the source of the stress or when they have a difficult time just getting through the day. Even small responsibilities, like managing a schedule, make these people with the disorder feel anxious.

An anxiety disorder involves intense, excessive, and prolonged anxiety, along with other debilitating symptoms disproportionate to the stressor, whereas normal anxiety is fleeting.

If anxiety is affecting you or someone you know, it is important to learn the difference.

Experiencing the following symptoms on a regular basis is an indication you or the other person may want to get an expert opinion.

Excessive Worry: persistent anxious thoughts most days of the week, for six months, and it interferes with daily life

Self-Consciousness: feeling all eyes are on them and they often experience blushing, trembling, nausea, profuse sweating, or difficulty talking

Irrational Fears (phobia): when the fear becomes overwhelming, disruptive, and out of proportion to the actual risk involved

Near-Constant Muscle Tension: consistent jaw-clenching, balling their fists, or flexing muscles throughout their body

Chronic Indigestion: chronic digestive problems or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be considered an anxiety in the digestive tract

Sleep problems: chronically lying awake, worried or agitated about specific or unspecific problems, or they wake up feeling wired, mind racing, and unable to calm down

Stage fright: worrying for days or weeks leading up to a particular event or situation and dwelling on it afterward, wondering how they were judged.

Panic: sudden, gripping feelings of fear and helplessness that can last for several minutes, accompanied by scary physical symptoms such as breathing problems, a pounding or racing heart, tingling or numb hands, sweating, weakness or dizziness, chest pain, stomach pain, and feeling hot or cold

Perfectionism: constantly judging themselves or anticipatory anxiety about making mistakes or falling short of their standards.

Self-doubt: persistent self-doubt and second-guessing is a common feature of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

When someone struggles with an anxiety disorder, it affects their entire life as it impairs or interferes with their activities or may cause them to avoid getting involved.

Thankfully there is a lot of information and resources available today to become aware of the many faces of anxiety and how to take natural and healthy measure to address it.

Brain Fitness is one of those tools. It’s about engaging in the kinds of activities useful to creating a Fit Brain and a Fit Life. It is relevant to people of all ages.

Scientists have proven that the brain can develop to a fuller capacity physically, mentally, emotionally, and functionally, so that we thrive in situations where we once struggled and become the best we can be. In fact, we are wired for this kind of meaningful growth.

When we engage in the positive and effective habits that develop our Fit Brain, then we inevitably create a Fit Life.

We can’t always control what happens to us or around us, but we can control what happens within us. With mental health issues at an all-time high, one of our greatest allies in effectively managing these concerns is a Fit Brain. The sample Brain Gym* technique described at the end of this article will show you how you can impact how you think, act and feel, now and into your future.

Daily life stressors are not going to vanish any time soon. However, we can learn to outsmart common workplace and daily life challenges and issues by creating our own Fit Brain.

You can shift yourself from reactivity to responsiveness, from stress to balance and from confusion to clarity with tools like this Brain Gym® activity.


This activity brings both sides of the body and brain together into connection and balance. It invites an experience of calm, while focusing and organizing scattered attention. As tense muscles relax, mental chatter dissipates and breathing deepens.

Notice: are you focused, organized, and able to concentrate on the task at hand, or are you easily distracted and unable to think?

Part 1: Cross your ankles. Next, extend your arms in front of you and cross one wrist (on the same side as your top ankle) over the other. Then, interlace your fingers and draw your clasped hands up towards your chest. Hold this for a minute or more, breathing slowly, with your eyes closed and your tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you inhale.

Part 2: When ready, uncross your arms and legs. Put your feet flat on the floor and put your fingertips together in front of your chest, continuing to breathe deeply for another minute while holding the tip of your mouth when you inhale.

Notice again: your level of focus, organization, and concentration.

What this looks like in daily life

Hook-Ups instil an overall relaxation, peace, and comfort as the person unplugs from outer world stimuli and distractions, and plugs into their own inner awareness and connection. The body positioning creates a connected circuitry, with an emphasis on the midline, where the physical, mental, and emotional realms can communicate and integrate.