Do not Mistake Arousal as Anxiety

We infer our emotions by looking at the body. All emotions are a combination of physiological arousal and cognitive appraisal. When arousal occurs, the immediate environment is examined for emotional cues which might label the arousal. The brain is literally asking “Why is this? What is causing this arousal?” Until the brain can evaluate the environment, it can’t determine the best possible reason for your arousal. This explains why people with anxiety are constantly scanning the environment for, and identifying threats: Whether they exist, or not, threats explain what is happening in the body.