Transcript for How to confront anxiety
All right, back on "Gma." There's nothing like a pandemic to send anxiety levels soaring. We're going to look at what anxiety is and what the science says about how you can imagine it. -- Manage it. Let's define anxiety. As we know, the word does get thrown around a lot. The American heritage dictionary defines anxiety as a state of uneasiness and apprehension about future uncertainties. According to the experts we've spoken to, anxiety boils down to overestimating a potential threat or underestimating your ability to cope with that threat. I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life. And for me, at least, it's especially bad when I'm in a small space. Quite infamously, I had a full-on panic attack on live television right here on "Gma" back in 2004. Health news, now. One of the world's most commonly prescribed medications may be requiring a big bonus. People who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statens, may also lower their risk for cancer. It's too early to prescribe statins for cancer production. We're going back now to robin and Charlie. Reporter: Some experience anxiety as in muscle tension or headaches. For others, it's in avoidant behaviors. And for some people, it's worrying thoughts about job loss or romantic rejection or something bad happening to somebody you love. When we get anxious, two parts of our brain are competing for attention. The amygdala, immediately scans for damage, which turns off our prefrontal cortex, our thinking brain. What happens is we start to misinterpret information as threat. Reporter: I suspect we all know that feeling, that moment, when anxiety sets in and sends us spinning. But here's the good news. You do actually have the power to stop it. It's learning how to pause. To take a moment and to examine what is actually going on in your mind and your body. Dr. Luana Marquez calls this process of self-assessment the teb cycle. It stands for thoughts, emotions and behavior. It's a way to understand what is happening in our brain, for exploring the teb psych. Reporter: One way to practice, is getting comfortably uncomfortable thing is in meditation. In our meditation practice, again, we're not diving into the deep end. We're not going to the biggest fear we have and just be like, show me what you got. We're feeling into what it feels to be a little bit uncomfortable. Reporter: One of the most promising ways to manage anxiety is, as it turns out, other people. Study after study shows how strong social connections are one of the most important predictors of long-term health and happiness. But even in the face of overwhelming evidence, leaning on the people close to us can be hard. Social support is known to be the strongest buffer against any mental illness. Reporter: Even intentionally spending some time out in nature. According to one study, taking 15-minute so-called awe walks where you intentionally shift your attention outward, can reduce anxiety. Just inside our own bodies, we have these anxieties and these fears. And then, they pass, just like this wind is passing through right now. Reporter: So, if you want to gain the skills to manage your own anxiety and do life a little bit better, you can sign up for a free meditation challenge on the 10% happier app wherever you get your apps. You can download it. As I said, it's free. I expect whit to be doing it every day and reporting in. Of course. Share any updates. I think it's important what you said the importance of social connections. Now, we've been missing that for so long. An important message to share. I also like seeing your old hairstyle. Eva turned to me while that was on and said, your hair was so much darker back then. What happened? What happened? I forgot to use the grecian formula.
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