Why anxiety is NOT a brain problem

How do you manage stress?

This is one of the questions on my Client Health Form. And this is the answer I get 9 out of 10 times: “Not very well”.

Anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings… In essence, today, we have 2 approaches to emotional challenges:
From Science: they’re caused by a brain chemical imbalance.
From Psychology: they’re caused by past trauma, neurological and cognitive dysfunctions.

While these are true, they’re also incomplete. In both cases, emotions are confined to the brain.

From here, it’s only a short way to mood issues being “chemicalized”.


Are chemicals involved? Of course. But chemical imbalances are downstream effects of what is happening upstream.

Sometimes the problem is rooted in poor lifestyle choices with lack of sleep and inadequate diet that wreck the gut. The gut is also known as our second brain by the way, and for good reason.

Time and again I see clients’ anxiety and memory problems improving, if not taking an 180 degree turn into full healing, by changing their eating.

In other words,

by taking on the life challenge of owning their health.

When a practitioner favours one approach, despite his or her great strategies, all efforts will fall through the cracks if that particular approach doesn’t happen to be the root of the problem of the patient. Unfortunately this is often the case.

The gist of it is, 

We tend to reduce emotions to “stuff of the brain”. And yes, emotions are triggered and mediated by chemicals and hormones, but the question we MUST be asking is, what triggers and regulates these chemicals, these hormones in the first place?

Here’s a thought:

It’s time we redefine emotions and their physical symptoms, and that starts with you, me, us.

Don’t you think?


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