Blame the Anxiety

Many of us do not speak in front of a group of people on a daily basis and it takes practice to develop this skill. On Sunday, Miss Utah had to address a room full of audience members and a national TV audience regarding a questions which asked about fair pay for women. She answered, what seemed to be a not very well thought out phrase, "I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to figure out how to create jobs right now. That’s the biggest problem and I think, especially the men are, um, seen as the leaders of this and so we need to try to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem. Thank you." 

What does this even mean? Well according to research the explanation is anxiety. Anxiety is a component of the "fight or flight response." This means our brain senses danger, even if the danger is not real and we become anxious. It is not something we can just snap out of and in the moment the danger can seem very real.  Our pupils begin to dilate, blood stops flowing to non-vital organs, our heart rate increases, breathing increases, blood glucose levels rise and adrenaline is released. 

This is not a new discovery, our bodies have been doing this since the beginning of time. It was a defense mechanism for our ancestors who would have to hunt and survive in the wild. The only difference is that now our "fight or flight" response kicks in when we may not need it, lets face many of us do not need to run away from dangerous situations on a daily basis. People who experience an anxiety attack are having a "fight or flight" response and may not even realize it. 

Although, most of us blame Miss Utah's ability to speak on purely her cognitive ability. This may not have been as important as the anxiety she was experiencing in the moment. Let us not jump to conclusions but try to reduce our own anxiety by recognizing the power in "fight or flight."