Is Your Brain Listening to Anxious Dragons?

Anxious Dragons

By Daniel G. Amen, MD

Ever wonder why you’re so anxious? It could be from Anxious Dragons that are breathing fire on the emotional centers of your brain, causing you to feel nervous, fearful, tense, or out of control. The Anxious Dragons are the most common of the 13 “Dragons from the Past” I write about in my new book Your Brain Is Always Listening. In the book, I reveal how your brain is always listening to these dragons, and unless you recognize and tame them, they will steal your happiness.

Ever wonder why you’re so anxious? It could be from Anxious Dragons that are breathing fire on the emotional centers of your brain, causing you to feel nervous, fearful, tense, or out of control. #YourBrainIsAlwaysListening Click To Tweet


When Anxious Dragons run wild in your brain, it contributes to a number of issues that make you feel awful. In particular, these dragons drive the following issues:

They can also lead to self-destructive behaviors to escape the anxious feelings, such as drug or alcohol abuse or eating disorders.


The Anxious Dragons are the most common of all the Dragons from the Past, as 31% of the U.S. population will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in life. Living through the coronavirus pandemic has certainly spawned millions more of these dragons around the world. According to a report published in April 2020, the number of prescriptions filled for anti-anxiety medications spiked by over 34% in just one month during the pandemic.


Many things can trigger the Anxious Dragons and make you feel uncomfortably nervous, panicky, or tense. Some of the most common triggers include:

  • Reminders of past situations that caused anxiety—such as someone getting angry, a disapproving look, a smell, or even a song
  • Frightening events—such as a global pandemic, a natural disaster, or rioting in the streets
  • Having to speak in public—such as giving a report at work, hosting an online event, or doing a sales pitch
  • Hearing loud noises—such as a siren, a door slamming shut, or a whistle
  • Being overscheduled—whether it’s at work, school, or home

Knowing your triggers is one of the keys to learning how to tame your Anxious Dragons.


The brain imaging work at Amen Clinics shows that anxiety is often associated with increased activity in the emotional centers of the brain. At Amen Clinics we do a study called brain SPECT imaging that measures blood flow and activity in the brain.  It looks at how the brain works. SPECT basically shows three things about the brain: areas with healthy activity, areas that are underactive, and areas that are overactive.

SPECT shows that people with anxiety often have too much activity in the limbic or emotional parts of the brain. The most important lesson we have learned from over 160,000 brain scans from patients in 150 countries is that you’re not stuck with the brain you have. You can make it better to calm the Anxious Dragons.


The good news is you can learn to take control of the Anxious Dragons and reset your emotional brain, so you can stop feeling so anxious, fearful, and nervous. My new book Your Brain Is Always Listening will help you do it. Here are just a few of the science-backed techniques you’ll learn to tame the Anxious Dragons:

  • Breathe in relaxing scents (including lavender and chamomile)
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Take calming natural supplements (such as GABA, magnesium, and theanine from green tea)

When you tame your Dragons from the Past you can overcome anxiety, as well as other issues, so you can start living the life you want.

Your Brain Is Always Listening is written by psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and New York Times bestselling author Daniel G. Amen, MD. In this book, Dr. Amen equips you with powerful weapons to battle the inner dragons that are breathing fire on your brain, driving unhealthy behaviors, and robbing you of your joy and contentment. Order your copy here.

If you want to join the tens of thousands of Amen Clinics patients who have already tamed their dragons and overcome their symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, and more, speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. What helps with Generalized anxiety disorder?

    Comment by Sandi Anderson — January 27, 2021 @ 3:10 AM

  2. Very helpful

    Comment by Christina Gazzola — January 27, 2021 @ 3:32 AM

  3. I couldn’t agree more and I am very anxious to read it.
    I ordered it on Amzon unfortunately it’s not available until March 19th
    perhaps because I am presently living in Italy
    Anyway thank you
    I’m looking forward to read it
    Donatella Dillon

    Comment by DonatellaDillon — January 27, 2021 @ 3:59 AM

  4. Thank you

    Comment by William demolitor — January 27, 2021 @ 6:29 AM

  5. Thank you for another great article.

    Comment by Timothy Lee — January 27, 2021 @ 7:32 AM

  6. I ordered a copy of Your Brain Is Always Iistening. There was an offer of free gifts with the order. One was hypnotherapy. How do I collect on this?

    Comment by Mary Cutrera — January 27, 2021 @ 8:35 AM

  7. To redeem your free gifts click on the “ order now” link in the article and fill out the form including the order number from your purchase.

    Comment by Camille Bullock — January 27, 2021 @ 9:09 AM

  8. Is there a way for people who cannot afford a brain scan to get one? Maybe a discount or payment options.

    Comment by Kathy — January 27, 2021 @ 11:53 AM

  9. Hello Kathy, thank you for reaching out. We do offer financing options through Care Credit. Our Care Coordinators can assist you with additional information:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 3, 2021 @ 8:34 AM

  10. Hello Sandi, thank you for reaching out. We have information on our website regarding generalized anxiety (including different types of anxiety): Our Care Coordinators can assist you with additional information regarding our services ( You can reach us here:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 3, 2021 @ 8:35 AM

  11. How can I take the scheming dragon quiz?

    Comment by K — February 11, 2021 @ 11:30 AM

  12. Hello K, you can take the Dragons Quiz here:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 11, 2021 @ 4:00 PM

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