Why you shouldn't be anxious

Researchers discover the mechanism that is behind anxiety disorder and explain why it's difficult for people who are anxious to make decisions.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor

Being in Santa Monica is definitely a change of pace than the hustle and bustle in New York City.

It turns out that anxious feeling can actually inhibit your ability to make decisions. The University of Colorado at Boulder researchers found out what happens in the brain when we make decisions. Knowing this could improve the treatment options for people suffering from anxiety.

"The breakthrough here is that this helps us clarify the question of what is happening in the brain when we make choices, like when we choose our words," Boulder professor Yuko Munakata said in a statement.

"Understanding more about how we make choices, how the brain is doing this and what the mechanisms are, could allow scientists to develop new treatments for things such as anxiety disorders," Munakata said.

Anxiety can cripple people's thought process and inhibit their ability to make decisions when we are faced with many options.

The researchers found that the activity in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain showed signs of being "less typical." They used the word choice model because it simplifies the decision making process — the struggle between neurons to pick the right word.

So when the researchers gave people a drug called midazolam to increase inhibition, the people had an easier time making difficult choices.

Knowing how the brain gets messed up when a person is anxious will help in developing drugs to treat the disorder. It might help patients control their environment to prevent them from having to make a decision.

You know what helps me when I'm anxious? Spending time at the beach.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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