What about when you wake up from a stressful, anxiety-producing dream, only to realise that you were just… dreaming? It’s not real. Well, the anxiety is real but the threat is not. And while your mind understands the reality of the situation (I am safe, there is no danger, it was my imagination), the anxiety, discomfort and ‘fear’ in your body (elevated respiration, heart rate, stress hormones, blood pressure, nervous system) remains. Despite your knowledge (there is no imminent threat), the stressful physical experience continues. Often for hours, sometimes for days. This is a very brief (but interesting) chat about how that works.