Main content

The Anxiety Triangle

Anxiety is our body’s reaction to perceived danger or important events.  Anxiety is like an internal alarm system.

It alerts us to danger and helps our body prepare to deal with it.  For example, it allows us to jump out of the way of a speeding car.  It also helps us to perform at our best, like when you are studying for that final exam.  Anxiety is something that everyone experiences from time to time.

When we’re anxious it affects our thoughts, body, and behaviors. When faced with real danger, you will have worrisome thoughts that are focused on the danger, your body will rev up to help you deal with the danger, and you will take action to help you either get away from or fight the danger. So, anxiety protects you – it’s how we’ve evolved and stayed alive as a species. Without anxiety we would be extinct!

When we’re anxious, it affects our thoughts, body, and behaviours. For example, imagine that you’re out walking your dog, and a skunk pops out of the bushes. You will have thoughts about the skunk such as, “What if it sprays us?” Your body will also react (pupils dilate, heart beats faster, muscles tense up) and you’ll probably try to run away.