Thursday, May 23, 2013

Understanding, managing, and overcoming anxiety

I read Understanding, managing, and overcoming anxiety, in exchange from review from Empowerment Nation. I read the book, while baby was in my lap, kicking me, while I was sitting in my bed, surrounded by things I needed to organize and toss. Brad lays on the floor, watching Disney, letting his medications slowly creep in.

Second, The book discusses anxiety and anxiety disorders. There is nothing wrong with being anxious, but chronic anxiety is an issue. Next, the book discusses three types of anxiety disorders (generalized, panic, and phobias). Third, the book provides quizzes to assess anxiety levels, with the interpretation of results, immediately following the quiz.

  1. The first quiz on generalized anxiety disorder, I scored high on severe anxiety.
  2. The next quiz is the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety scale, which said I  had mild to moderate anxiety
  3. On the social phobia quiz, the book provided a quiz but did not provide points for each option. I could not take the quiz. The interpretation is provided, but still needs points.

Third, The book also discusses the causes, purposes, and effects of anxiety. Anxiety can be hereditary or genetic or evolved over time. Anxiety is also a normal reaction to stress (so maybe I have normal anxiety levels but that's just rationalization and justification :-). Anxiety also can be caused by self-esteem or self-worth. 

Next, the book discusses how the mind responds to anxiety. When we are anxious, the brain has to compensate for our craziness by adjusting blood flow and hormone levels. If we look to Maslow, people need safety and security, before belonging, love, affection, and self-actualization. If we are anxious, then nothing else matters but removing the source of the fear. Sometimes, we get trapped in the fear (and I have experience with that very well). 

Yet, we do not have to remain anxious and fearful. The book recommends tactics such as yoga, meditation, sleep, structure, and exercise. We also need to find time to get away from the children, the job, and focus on self. If we are insane, we affect our environment. I am no good to the kids if I go crazier. We also can turn negative energy into positive energy. The first step is to identify why we are anxious. If we do not know the root causes, then how can we resolve the problem? Other methods to eliminate anxiety include: seeking out professional help (psychotherapy: cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, family therapy, psychoanalysis, for example). The book also discusses how to choose the right therapist with the right approach. 

Fifth, the book discusses famous people, who have experienced anxiety. The list includes Abraham Lincoln, Cher, and Johnny Depp. Next, the book provides tips for mediation and reducing anxiety. The methods are simple such as doing breathing exercises and using visualization. 

As I finish the review, boy 1 is knocked out sleep on the floor, while boy 2 is crying because he wants out of his crib. He is getting sleepy, then I can focus on cleaning up a little more of my mess on the bed. 

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Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie