Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The 10 Best Anxiety Busters

The 10 Best Anxiety Busters

When my son started eighth grade I had completed 20 years of a
maternity leave of indeterminate length. I believed that by high
school he would be capable of spending unsupervised time at home.
Perhaps it was time to figure out how I could get myself into the
world of work. Americorps sounded perfect. I spent a year
researching their positions and discovering none that did not require
a valid drivers license. (For that matter just about every decent job
does these days.) Adam's freshman high school year I took every free
class offered by Women, Work, And Career up to University of Maine
Augusta/Bangor to try to find a way to circumvent this. No luck. The
last few years I have tried for jobs in the very limited geographical
area I can get to reliably without being able to drive. Most days I
am upbeat but now and then I would feel myself overcome by terror of
being trapped into getting a job I'd hate at a workplace that would
violate every ethical belief I cherish. Think WalMart. I'd ask
myself where that came from. It was so out of character. So when I
discovered Margeret Wehrenberg's The Ten Best Anxiety Busters on the
new book shelves at Orono Public Library I borrowed it in search of
Wehrenberg knows that a lot of people's daily lives are
compromised by anxieties. Only, unlike the ads on television that
assure folks that one little pill will do the trick, she advocates an
insight based program that encourages people who want improved quality
of life to mindfully seek individual solutions. Being aware of what
symptoms he/she experiences, what situations trigger them, and how the
fear of symptoms can worsen the situation can help someone discern
what strategies can help when practiced conscientiously.
Let's take an example that gets a lot of press these days:
social anxiety (the fear of being rejected, not knowing what to do or
say, making a faux pas that noone else would commit...) being
experienced to the extent that it interferes in day to day life. Some
anxiety busters touted as especially relevant are improving patterns
of breathing, learning how not to catastrophize, creating goals,
replacing negative self thought, and planning and practicing what to
do in likely anxiety provoking situations. Exercises go into helpful
but flexible detail.
At least trying this book is, in my mind, a very good
alternative to going straight for a prescription with a list of bad
side effects which Big Pharma would like us all to do.
On a personal note, at first the book had me perplexed. Most of the
ideas like mindful living are things I already do. Then I hit a
question: what does the fear really represent. It was not as
straightforward as I'd thought. My husband supports the family and
has no plans to ditch me for a hottie half my age. Then I realized it
was also symbolizing my fear of how lonely and isolated the house will
feel when there are no longer resident children. I'm still continuing
my job search, working on my writing, and seeking out odd jobs in the
interim. But I'm also more actively seeking out opportunities to do
what I enjoy, especially activities of a spontaneous nature, and
people who are real pal prospects.
A great big shout out goes out to the other folks like me who have
disabilities big enough to limit life options (like not being able to
see well enough to get that almighty valid drivers license) but not
obvious enough to require accomodations.
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

No comments:

Post a Comment