The Roots of Anxiety & How to Regulate Its Effects

Anxiety can get in the way of modern life, but it doesn’t have to! There are ways you can manage your anxiety and there is help out there if you need it.

Immediate Return Environment Vs Delayed Return Environment 

Imagine this, you are a caveman or cavewoman. When you want or need something you go out and get it, most resources are out for the taking if you are fast or strong enough to acquire them. Whilst you can get these resources there is constant danger that means that you are forced to only really think about life in the moment. This is what scientists call an immediate return environment, as your actions result in an immediate result. 

In the modern age, most people live in what researchers call a delayed return environment as most of the choices people make in the moment will not benefit them immediately. If you go to work for a full day today you will get a paycheck at the end of the month instead of being paid for your time immediately. If you save money today you will have more money in the future. 

Most of the problems humans face today are problems that may (or may not) happen in the future. People can get stuck worrying too much about the future instead of focusing on the moment, meaning that they may not be taking full advantage of the opportunities in front of them which can benefit them in the present and the long run. But someone with anxiety won’t see the world that way, they will spend their time worrying about things in the present that have not happened yet. Our brains were not designed to handle the additional stresses of future problem-solving, which can lead to chronic stress, anxiety and low confidence in modern humans.

What To Do About Anxiety

  • Breathing Exercises: If you are feeling stressed or anxious you could try using breathing exercises, which are proven to help alleviate anxiety – at least in the short/immediate term. You could try breathing in for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds and exhaling for 8 seconds. Repeating this process for a couple of minutes can help to calm your anxious mind and gain a clearer perspective on the moment you are in right now.
  • Exercise: Even going on a 30-minute walk can help reduce anxiety, but by running or going to the gym your brain can release happiness brain chemicals called endorphins. Which promotes feelings of happiness and reduces negative feelings. Endorphins usually affect people during or just after they have completed their exercise, but by exercising over weeks or months the endorphins effect can last for up to several days after your exercise. This means that if you stick to a regular exercise schedule you may end up feeling endorphins most if not all of the time which can reduce your overall anxiety.
  • Eat A Better Diet: Eating a diet of junk food and food with high sugar content can be bad for your mental health. Naturally, you may gravitate towards these food groups when you are feeling under the weather; but by making healthier choices instead, you will be able to help alleviate your anxiety over a longer period of time. This will be very much about immediate gratification at the expense of the future vs delayed gratification for the betterment of the future for most people. However, there are plenty of healthy options that can be just as delicious as comfort foods. If you are not sure about how you can improve your diet you could ask your local dentist in Milton Keynes for their opinion.
  • Remind Yourself You Are Safe: When feelings of anxiety arise you may feel a sense of physical danger, but in the majority of cases when people feel anxiety they are not in any physical danger – they just feel like they are.  
  • Talk To Close Family And Friends About Your Anxiety: By speaking to those you trust about your anxiety you can gain comfort from them knowing about your anxiety in the first place, they may be able to talk to you about your feelings and help you make more positive choices in your life that could lead to you feeling better. They may even decide to join you in engaging in positive changes in their own lives. For example, you could both start exercising together. Working out with other people can motivate each person to push themselves harder, and they can also motivate each other to work even when members of the group are not feeling like doing so.
  • Try To Reframe Your Negative Feelings: After you push yourself to do something new that scares you it can be easy for someone with anxiety to focus on negative feelings, instead of focusing on the fact that you have pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and have helped yourself grow as a person.


By engaging in positive activities you can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and replace them with feelings of hope and excitement.