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For far too many people, being anxious, nervous, and worried, has become a way of life. It’s just the norm. Anxiety disorders are chronic, disabling conditions that are seen across the world in epidemic proportions.

Globally, anxiety disorders were the sixth leading cause of disability in 2010. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults or 18 percent of the population in 2005. A study by the University of Queensland Australia involving 480,000 people in 91 countries in 2012 found that clinical anxiety affected around ten percent of people in North America, Western Europe, and Australia/New Zealand, about eight percent in the Middle East, and six percent in Asia.

Anxiety starts in your brain with your thoughts and can manifest into physical symptoms, including digestive disorders, memory loss, head aches, chest pain, numbness, dizziness, and more.

At the most basic level, your thoughts are nothing more than electrical signals travelling through your head from neuron to neuron. One neuron activates the next, and it may wake up a few thousand more and so on and so on. Neurons that repeatedly fire in sequence become physically connected as a pathway in your brain. This basic premise of neuroscience: “Neurons that fire together, wire together” known as Hebb’s Law, explains how your brain changes its form and function, neuroplasticity, based on your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and experiences.

Your life literally sculpts your brain in this way. Through associative learning, conditioned from your environment as you grow up, neutral thoughts and events get associated with fears and anxiety, which may initially have nothing to do with each other, but become connected in your neural web to produce an anxious brain and a nervous wreck.

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