2 min preview
Get Started Free

How the Cycle of Anxiety Works

7 Min
Healthy Mind
17.8k+ Plays
1k+ Favorites

Avatar
Happiness Insight
Clinical Psychologists Wellbeing Experts
Discover more about the cycle of anxiety and what you can do about it.
From the community
78 reflections
A
Amy
Avoiding things because of anxiety
I can’t avoid situations that make me anxious because that will cause even more anxiety the next time that situation comes about because I will feel less able to cope.
R
Ramona
I learned a lot
I found this informative and helpful. I thought I was managing my anxiety but I am just building it. The logic makes sense, now I need to be more forward with my choices.
M
Meg
Anxiety
Learning how to hope and quiet our Minds will help with my day to day fears and challenges.
T
Therese
Informativt
Er så mye som i grunn er opplagt når man hører det, selv om en ikke klarer å se det selv.. men det er så sant.
S
Samantha
Controlling anxiety
There are ways I can interrupt the circle of anxiety and just knowing this makes me feel less anxious. I think. Anxiety has a lot to do with control and if you are able to learn a wide range of coping skills, like a survival kit,you are back in control.
M
Mick
Reflection on anxiety monologue
I was surprised to realize that I may not understand what anxiety is. I guess I had not thought of myself as anxious, until I listened to the piece about anxiety. I can see it now more. The stuff about the cycle of anxiety makes a lot of sense.
S
Sam
Cycle of anxiety
I learned that anxiety is just a cycle the body goes through in response to a perceived threat or worry about future events. These “threats” aren’t what they seem to be and that the worst case scenario almost never happens. I have control over the cycle and I’m gonna break it.
l
lenore
Cycle of Anxiety
The more I avoid situations that causes anxiety, the worse it’ll become in the future.
A
Amanda
Cycle of anxiety
I learned that the more I avoid certain situations that make me anxious, the worse it becomes.
W
Wes
Anxiety
Fear driven and feelings of overwhelming. Slow down practice mindfulness. Stay in the moment
J
Jeff
The cycle
I learned long ago about the mind/body connection when it comes to anxiety but it’s always helpful to be reminded of how these things work and how important it is to break the cycle
A
Alex
Confronting fear
I learned to break the cycle of anxiety I should build resilience and tolerance of situations rather than avoid them.
S
Samantha
Ending
I love the last line about making decisions based on our greatest hopes rather than our greatest fears.
S
Steve
Coping with anxiety
What’s interesting is that I know most of what she said, yet I still find it very difficult to break the cycle. I see a therapist and I’m learning, so I’m hopeful that the cycle is shorter and shorter, which does seem to be happening. I’m thankful for the Aura contributors and my therapist, because life was much more rough before I found them.
K
Kayla
Feeling anxious right now
I’m learning abit but know most of what she said, still feeling abit anxious because evening is coming then bedtime and I know I’m going to have trouble sleeping, I can never fall asleep naturally, I always have to take something to sleep, usually gravol or I was prescribed Trazodone. I just joined lastnight, I’m so sick and tired of feeling like this.
J
Jules
New Thoughts 08.26.2021
My anxiety is such a physical thing. A compulsion to run out of a large crowd. A motivator to stay home rather than go to a gathering. A driving factor for not having a tough conversation. I haven’t really broken down the “why” behind the physical response. Haven’t even realized there was a “why”. Just have focused on making it through some of those moments. Like I am working on it from the top down instead of the other way around. Finding ways to cope with the symptoms and not the cause. Maybe go back after a big episode and try to break down the reason behind the reaction will help.
M
Maddie
The Cycle
When people ask why i get so anxious, i always reply that my thoughts create a cycle of anxiety. It snowballs out of control and im left in a state of panic. I think it’s important to remember that there isn’t anything wrong with me and im not broken!
R
Rose
Anxiety Cycle
I learned that I’m stuck in an anxiety cycle. I’m not unmotivated I just got myself stuck because I’m afraid to fail in life and by doing so im not giving myself a chance to succeed.
T
Tenacity
Anxious moments
I am aware that anxiety is present in various forms and can be helpful or challenging; either way it’s part of the process of understanding possibilities and deserves respect, whether it is our own or as we experience this in others, compassion helps.
H
Human
Girl Human Transformative understanding wavy frequency
I noticed that my focus is in and out. Im not sure if its stories, frequencies or energy checks to ensure secure space of privacy
H
Human
Girl Human Transformative understanding wavy frequency
I felt that my energy of awareness to stay focused is shifted easily and often unnoticed until the story is louder and the space for understanding is fighting to listen to transmission
W
Will
Today
I learn that I really do love the mountains walking in the sea. I feel down about my relationship and that I can’t seem to bring up things bother me from the past for fear of just raking up the embers
b
brayde
I am okay
Today I learned I will be okay, to be aware of my breathing, and to take the time I need.
E
Emily
understanding ➡️ acceptance
“Understanding this vicious cycle of anxiety helps us learn how to unwind it…to choose to respond differently…to learn how to make decisions based on our hopes rather than our fears ❤️”
S
Serena
Avoidance makes it worse
As a longtime sufferer of anxiety and newly diagnosed PTSD, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I am the queen of avoidance. It really does make it worse, no joke. Every time I put myself in a (safe) situation with certain people I avoid because of my trauma, I feel less panicked. It makes it better and more manageable. Do it with a safety net if need be, but do it!
R
Rach
Understanding my anxiety and the cycle of, will change my response to upcoming situations that may make me uncomfortable. Avoidance is key for short term relief, but long term relief is what we are all after here, being uncomfortable now will make me more comfortable in the future.
M
Moi
Anxiety
I learned that avoiding situations will only make anxiety worse because the next time you come across as minimal situation, you will feel as though you are not able to do it or cope.
D
Donielle
Relaxed
I am not my fear! Fake Reality Appearing Real. I feel relaxed now. Able to get on with my day.
R
Roger
Stop the mayhem
I learned that our minds exaggerate things unforeseen and place us in fight or flight mode. We must methodically think these falsehoods away…..
L
Laurie
Anxiety
Anxiety builds up over time when you avoid experiences that cause you anxiety. You are initially rewarded when you avoid. However causes you to avoid more in the future.
R
Reilly
I learned
I learned how the cycle works. This is perhaps one of the most enlightening pieces of info I’ve learned with the most important point being how it’s important to face your fears instead of avoiding them. Identify negative thoughts and challenge them.
S
Scott
Decisions
Decisions based on our great hopes, rather than our deepest fears
M
Meg
Anxiety CBT
I learned that stress triggers old fight or flight and avoidance creates a temporary relief mood hit. However giving in to avoidance creates a sense that the next challenge will be even harder to overcome.
J
Jazmyn
Mindfulness is key
Because of this meditation I’ve become aware of a vicious cycle that I was unaware that I was trapped in. Mindfulness of the cycle is the first step to breaking it. Thank you to the creators for this beautiful insight.
A
Andy
This session gave a little insight into the overwhelming anxiety feeling. I learned that it is a normal response but maybe just to step back from the fears and crap and concentrate on healing.
Healing is the way forward. I’m off work at the moment after a hand operation and need to rest it but so worried about money and letting people down and losing my job and fitting back in and not wanting to go back because it’s giving me time to thinking this is really how I want to spend my precious time. I’m a hard worker and creative and a good soul
M
Miguel
Dissonant ambience
I ve been enjoying a lot all this great listenings however it’s was hard to focus on this one due to the dissonant ambience on the background. Thank you.
K
Kate
Manifesting
I’m learning more about manifesting positivity, in response to feeling anxious, as well as being mindful of automatic thoughts. Instead of letting those negative thoughts hijack my emotions I’m going to be late it with myself and guide my thoughts to a more positive, or at least a neutral place.
K
Katherine
Anxiety fight or flight
Our brains tend to go straight to the negative worst case scenario.
K
Kimberly
I felt this was difficult to follow. I had a hard time concentrating tonight.
I learned that negativity is one of my first reactions. I often just feel overwhelmed and unsure of my future. I wish I had some definite plans for my life. I feel like I am in an open field without shelter aimlessly going in all directions.
J
Jane
Vicious cycle of anxiety
Nothing wring just old software in my brain thinking there is a tiger chasing me snd i have to run away.
H
Hannah
I learned
That there's nothing wrong with me for thinking the worst case scenarios and getting bad anxiety. It's natural, part of the brain is still oldwired to fight or flight and hasn't adapted to the modern world
J
Jess
Day 4
I feel great, using this app and with it’s variety of optional scenarios my mood has been greatly improved. Hopefully when I return to work, I can make the extra time yo focus and be relaxed throughout the day. I work in a stressful career field and it’s taking til now to realize I need to invest in myself
A
Aimee
Fight or flight
I learned that it’s normal for me to feel flight or flight and that it’s embedded in our wiring from the beginning.
K
Kate
Anxiety
I learned that it is ok to be anxious, but not to let it rule me all the time. It’s ok to feel anxious, but I need to work through it and not let it control me.
J
Jai
Hope > Fear
I was able to resonate with the descriptions of anxiety provided here and pinpoint times in my life where I’ve been at each stage in the vicious cycle of anxiety. It made me feel seen and oddly comforted. I really appreciated the sentiment about learning to lead with hope over fear - so much that I may get it tattoed so I never forget it. I feel empowered to continue knocking down negative beliefs and emotions on my journey to peace.
S
Sarah
Fear
I relearned that I have many things I fear. Not coping and being out of control. This is anxiety and nothing else.
S
Shane
Afraid / Fear
I learned that I need to stop avoiding situations for short term relief and challenge myself to go and do more things. Although it will be very difficult, it will benefit me in the long run
H
Heidi
Anxiety
I learned that by stepping into my fears I can create hope and my anxiety will not control me. Thank you~
H
Heidi
Hope
I learned that by stepping into my fears I can create hope and my anxieties will not have control over me.Thank you~
J
Julie
Creating dreams based on deepest hopes
I believe in myself to befriend my fears and take them with me to pursue my dreams. This track gave me the language for my brain to rethink about how I plan for my future.
P
Patrick
Fight or flight
I’ve learned in life that this coping mechanism can literally save your life. It’s natural in all of us. The truth is, in my opinion, that there is a medium in between the two. A balance to be found right around the middle. A place where words can be used to diffuse a situation or conflict that’s happening. Sometimes, though, we must fight or flee depending on the severity of the situation. In general though, 90% of the time, mediation can had and peace is achievable through conflict resolution.
E
Elisabeth
Anxiety is natural
There is nothing wrong with me, anxiety is a natural response. With time we can learn to adapt to these feelings. For give up and take the easy option of avoidance as it sets you up for further anxiety.
F
Frank
Hope
“Make decisions based on Hope, not fear” Hope will highlight the positive possibilities, and help me stop the racing negative flight/fight thoughts and responses.
Is
Inès
Another pearl
This series on Anxiety is full of wisdom, advices and inspiration. I will have to listen to them again and write down the ideas, advices and actions to take. This is extremely precious for someone like me currently dealing with extreme anxiety related to work and family issues for a long long time. As Victor Frankl said: when you cannot change a situation, you are confronted to change yourself. Thank you Aura and thank you to the wonderful teachers.
J
Jennifer
Anxiety
This is the second time that I received this one and I believe it is truly a message for me because it is what I often experience lately. I feel I must meditate on why and learn my triggers. Thank you
W
Will
2am thoughts
The anxiety is the body’s FF system Too tired to write more
A
Anna
Up too early
Anxiety is a self-fulfilling cycle. Not sure how to stop it yet.
F
Fauzia
Anxiety
I learned what I already know, but it’s how to apply what’s learnt into a system that is actually your lifestyle
S
Stacey
Anxiety
I am learning new ways to understand anxiety and small steps to change my thoughts and behaviors.
V
VA
Anxiety
I learned that anxiety is a product of the fight or flight response.
M
Michael
Anxiety
I learned that anxiety stems from primitive responses in our brain to negative stimuli.
C
Carly
Anxiety
I learned that the way I handle anxiety falls right in line with the way anxiety works. I holds you in its grasps and long term effects of anxiety produce even more anxiety. It’s best to dust yourself off and try again. Even if the results aren’t pleasurable, keep trying until you get it right.
A
Alex
Anxiety
I learned that my anxiety is normal, and that I can use my brain to break out of the cycles of anxiety by understanding how it works.
N
Nicole
Applicanility
The will intentioned I found my thoughts constantly drifting because the examples provided in the speakers frequent stumbling over words took me away from her point. It’s the daily stressors like dealing with a boss day in and day out who has power over you that are real killers not only life events like giving a speech or going on a date. Broaden the applicability and this could be more helpful
J
Julia
Anxiety
Anxiety can get worse over time due to the vicious cycle that ensues. It is a reminder to me that I need to take care of this now before it gets worse.
H
Heather
Worst fears
When I was younger my worst fear was being kidnapped and murdered and being Away from my momma now it’s the same thing but with Austin I have to learn how do be okay without him around me all the time I have to give him space because sometimes holding onto something to tight pushes them away stella deserves to have her mom back too
A
Amz
Day 2 of anxiety course
This one made me cry. A realisation kind of cry. It’s time to stop avoiding.
B
Brianna
The cycle of anxiety
I learned that instead of being afraid of anxiety and allowing the panic to take over I should welcome the anxiety and allow myself to feel it but remain in control and try to hold focus on my awareness and surroundings and feelings.
K
Kat
Avoidance as a momentary relief, not a solution
I was already aware of how anxiety tends to build upon itself, but I hadn’t really thought about how avoidance was an unhealthy coping mechanism that would only lead to more anxiety in the future.
M
Madison
CBT- Cycle of Anxiety
Thinking about anxiety as a cycle that grows and gets worse over time is a helpful way for me to look at it. In the moment it might be a relief to skip things that make me anxious, but in the long term it’ll only make it more difficult to cope and bring more anxiety. It also helps me to think about the negative “what ifs” as “automatic thoughts.” I was told before that you can’t control your first thought, but you *can* control your second. Thinking about the anxiety and panic thoughts as automatic first thoughts, makes it easier for me to see them as less permanent and start thinking about my second thoughts, the ones I can choose, as more important and more real.
C
Chrissy
Cycle of anxiety
I learned that anxiety becomes worse with each time I decide to remove myself from a situation that I feel I can not cope with. Slowing down and thinking about what is happening will give me the ability to realize that I can cope with what is happening. It is not going to kill me. I feel relieved after this session and also eager to make time to slow down.
D
Diana
My anxiety is so bad . I feel like I’m going to died. I can’t breathe . It keeps me from going anywhere . I’m scared.
Anxiety is horrible.please help me get through this horrible feeling.
J
Judy
Very informative
I learned a lot about anxiety vicious cycle and that we’re all hardwired with old software that we need to learn how to deprogram
J
Jennifer
Cycle of Anxiety
It's helpful to know how anxiety begins and what happens from there. Fight or flight.
L
Leah
How the Cycle of Anxiety Works
I learned that the fight or flee response is a “very old software piece in our brains.” Built to deal with tigers coming at me but now triggered by my memories of abuse.
D
Derek
Negativity bias
I learned that the brain has a negativity bias and will tend to place too much weight on the negative scenarios we construct
H
H
Cyclical Anixety
In understanding the routine cycle that Anxiety brings: I feel in order to personally move forward through one’s journey to a more calm mind you must come to a place in your heart where you are eager to find a professional outlet that provides you with a comprehension of Anxiety and the brain’s chemically altered state along with a path to healing. Anxiety is not merely circumstantially based. Once you are open to choosing this as an ongoing dialogue is how you will be able to work towards restoring the broken thought process that Anxiety is.
E
Erika
I felt validated
I learned that my progression in social anxiety is natural due to my avoidance over time. And it gives me hope that if I try not to avoid that I will improve and be me again.