Book Freak #10: How to Overcome Anxiety


Three pieces of advice about overcoming anxiety

Book Freak is one of four newsletters from Cool Tools Lab (our other three are the Cool Tools Newsletter, Recomendo, and What’s in my bag?).

In each weekly issue of Book Freak, we offer three short pieces of advice from books. Here’s the advice from our latest issue, from books about overcoming anxiety.

Use the Good Parts of Bad Experiences
“Without experiencing disappointment, you’d never learn patience. Without the hurt and frustration you receive from others, you’d never learn kindness and compassion. Without exposure to new information, you’d never learn anything new. Without fear, you’d never learn courage and how to be kind to yourself. Even getting sick once in a while has an important purpose—strengthening your immune system and helping you to appreciate good health.”
― John P. Forsyth, The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Don’t Ignore the Present
“I learned that anxiety is ‘excitement about the future.’ The problem is that the future never comes, and it is almost always worse in my head than it is in reality. Today I would worry about what might happen tomorrow; then tomorrow would come, and I would be focused on the day after that, and so on. So you’re never in control. This is a great way to make yourself miserable. By focusing and spinning out on what might or might not happen tomorrow and what I had done yesterday, I was missing out on the fun and enjoyment of what was happening today. By always focusing on the future and the past, I generated my own chronic stress, and I was always missing out on the happiness of today.”
― Robert H. Lustig, The Hacking of the American Mind

Focus on Your Power
“Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid.”
― Cheryl Strayed, Wild