Chest pain; racing heart; shortness of breath; dizziness. Most people today have experienced these and other telltale symptoms of anxiety.
Faith G. Harper is a licensed professional counselor among other consultation specialties and has written several “five-minute therapy” zines on subjects such as anxiety, depression, and grief. In her latest short book, This Is Your Brain on Anxiety: What Happens and What Helps, Harper commiserates with others who suffer from anxiety, explains the basics of how anxiety affects the body, and offers practical suggestions on how to alleviate it. None of the methods – ranging from meditation to a distillation of Martin Seligman’s ABDCE model – are groundbreaking or in-depth.
Harper uses a conversational, casual, and comedic tone about a serious subject, which is part of how she exudes empathy to the reader.
“It’s really fucking hard to tolerate uncertainty, disruption, and change in all aspects of one’s life at once when you don’t even know exactly who you are and who you are supposed to be.
And when SO much is going on, it’s too big to fear. Fear is specific. It is outward in the fact of a threat. When you fear something you have the opportunity to move away from it.
Anxiety is different. With anxiety, you don’t know what the fuck to do, because it’s all internal. There is no specific threat (13).”
This Is Your Brain on Anxiety excels in its brevity, it’s almost Reader’s Digest version of coping and living with anxiety. While people, who’ve lived with and researched anxiety for many years, might not find anything new in This Is Your Brain on Anxiety, this book could be an indispensable guide for a teen or young adult who’s just starting to understand his or her own anxiety.
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