Anxious, stressed and angry all at the same time? You’re probably experiencing “frazzlebrain”
Written by Amy Beecham
How we can learn to quiet our “frazzlebrains” and cope with the stress of modern life.
It seems like the busier and more stressful our lives get, the more terms we’re given to help us understand what we’re feeling. If we’re not burned out, we’re languishing. And if we haven’t got brain fog, we’ve got “frazzlebrain”.
As explained by Dr Gina Simmons-Schneider in her book Frazzlebrain: Break Free From Anxiety, Anger, and Stress Using Advanced Discoveries in Neuropsychology, “frazzlebrain” results from a hidden combination of emotions, including stress, anger, and anxiety.
And you only have to look around at what’s happening in the world to understand why so many of us are feeling this way.
The term seems to perfectly sum up the chaos of everyday life, and the unique mix of stress, anger, and anxiety that plagues us all from time to time.
“People rarely feel just one emotion at a time,” Dr Simmons-Schneider shares with Psychology Today, adding that to help us manage our feelings, we need to stop considering each emotion in isolation.
Because overwhelm, anxiety, anger, and stress all connect within our body’s complex nervous system, very rarely do we experience one without hints of the other.
“Imagine for a moment that there are two parts inside of you in a tug of war,” says Dr Simmons-Schneider. “You may feel pulled at one end of the rope by your anger, irritation, fury, and at the other end, anxiety, fear, worry.
“Our thoughts shape our brain chemistry in several ways, too. We can think scary thoughts and instantly elevate our heart rate (head-heart connection). Those fearful thoughts release hormones into our bloodstream and acid into our gut (head-gut connection). Soon we can have gut discomfort.”
Dr Simmons-Schneider warns that if we don’t learn emotional coping mechanisms, like relaxation, meditation, anger and stress management, and positive self-talk, we could risk harm to our health.
“We should all make stress management a daily habit,” she advises, whether it’s through exercise, meditation, mindfulness or other peaceful practices.
“Socialising with friends and loved ones strengthens our human ecosystem of support,” she continues, adding that online encounters can be just as fulfilling as face-to-face friendships.
“If you prioritise stress management, you tend to make better decisions,” she adds. “Your life feels more manageable.”
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