Anxiety has ability to perceive changes in our breathing: Study

EXPLAINER: How wildfires impact wildlife, their habitat

The porcupines were walking slow and funny, more so than they usually do.  Their stride concerned some residents in a South Lake Tahoe neighborhood who called a rehabilitation center. Turns out, the porcupines had extensive burns to their paws, fur, quills and faces after a wildfire burned through the area.

A bear she treated in 2017 named Lucy forced her to think differently.

Wildlife centers in the U.S. West are caring for animals that weren’t able to flee the flames or are looking for food in burned-over places.  An emaciated turkey vulture recently found on the Lake Tahoe shore couldn’t fly, likely because food isn’t as plentiful in burned areas, said Denise Upton, the animal care director at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.

“That’s what we’re seeing in the aftermath of the fires — just animals that are having a hard time and being pushed into areas they are not traditionally in,” she said.

Not necessarily either, says Brian Wolfer, the game program manager for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“It’s a disturbance on the landscape that changes habitat,” he said. Some species benefit from wildfire, such as raptors that hunt rodents running from the flames, beetles that move into dead wood and lay eggs, and woodpeckers that feed on them and nest in hollow trees…READ ON

Anxiety has ability to perceive changes in our breathing: Study

People with higher levels of anxiety have altered perceptions of their breathing, which can lead to even more anxiety, according to a University of Otago researcher. Lead author Dr Olivia Harrison, now a Rutherford Discovery Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology, says anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions, with even more people suffering in the current pandemic.

“We might believe we are very ‘in-tune’ with our bodies, but what we’ve seen is that anxiety can actually reduce our ability to notice changes in our breathing.”

Dr Olivia Harrison

For the paper, published in Neuron, the researchers looked at how the symptoms of anxiety that end up in our body, such as a racing heart, sweaty palms, fast breathing, can feedback and possibly start a negative spiral of emotions, creating even more anxiety…RAD ON

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