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There are two different parts to an anxiety disorder, and someone with anxiety may suffer from one or both. The first part is mental ? verbal worries, nervous thoughts, etc. The second part of anxiety is physical. For example, a racing heartbeat, panic attacks, lightheadedness, and other physical symptoms.

It's possible to experience physical symptoms with less worry, and it's possible to worry often without many physical symptoms. Researchers also found that both of these excited different parts of the brain. Those with worried thoughts showed more left brain activity when nervous. Those with physical symptoms experienced more right brain activity.

Another study looked at the way that those with a spider phobia reacted to the belief that they were going to encounter a spider. They found that those with the phobia had their dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula, and thalamus become more active than those without a phobia.

Yet another study at the University of Wisconsin ? Madison found that those with generalized anxiety disorder appeared to have a weaker connection between the white matter area of the brain and the pre-frontal and anterior cortex. This was compared to those without generalized anxiety disorder and the results appeared to be significant.

These are just some of the ways that anxiety can activate the brain.

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