Anxious – Book – 4 Coping Strategies

TaiLopez.com Book Of The Day

Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety
by Joseph LeDoux
Link: http://amzn.com/0670015334   Amazon

If you are expecting a quick and easy read, this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you are an educator or interested in learning historical psychological concepts and treatment of mental health disorders and treatment, you may find the premises in this textbook both interesting and refreshing.1

1. Just take a deep breath: “This folk wisdom has a grain of truth to it. During stress the sympathetic nervous system dominates, overshadowing the parasympathetic system. But when one breathes slowly and deeply, “The vagus nerve, becomes more active and the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic system improves.”

2. Focus less on self by meditating: “Our conscious self will do almost anything to maintain the independence, power, control, or success that it has achieved, even if to do so other people, other cultures, or the world has to suffer. A healthier approach is to let go of the ‘absolute self’ that we construct and recognize our broader role in life.”

3.  Combine self-exposure with proactive avoidance: If you have fear of crowds, “Rather than forcing oneself to ride out anxiety at a dinner party, use anxiety control strategies, such as relaxation and active coping (like trips to the bathroom or stepping out to make a call) that enable regrouping before reexposure.”

4.  Hang out with resilient, non-anxious people: “Resilient individuals tend to have a large repertoire of active coping options.  We’re able to use observation and instruction to explicitly learn to avoid. We create avoidance concepts or schemas, and when in danger we draw upon these stored action plans.”

If you are naturally a worrier you can change: “Although some people are by their nature’s more anxious than others, ever increasing anxiety doesn’t have to be their destiny. Just as the brain can learn to be anxious, it can also learn to not be that way.”
Stay Strong
Tai

Amazon – Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What’s this? )

Some reviewers say that the book is too academic for them, but the description on the cover clearly states that this “explains the science behind fear and anxiety disorders.” Maybe these reviewers were expecting another soft new age psychology book. Rather, this is a refreshing different perspective from real neuroscience breakthroughs in understanding this problem. The examples from the book below show that the language is easy to understand for any level audience, ranging from high school to university research professor.

The first half of this book is a wonderfully exciting journey through the mechanisms of the brain, explaining how the biology of fear and anxiety works, in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. The book ventures into cutting edge research, so even someone with a neuroscience or medical background would benefit from this as a knowledge refresher. The second half of the book describes pros and cons of the traditional therapy approaches, and the author’s recommendations for improved strategies based on the latest research advances in understanding the contribution of the conscious mind and higher levels of thinking to anxiety problems. On page 252:

“Putting Conscious Experience Front and Center in the Science of Anxiety
As I have argued, the essence of anxiety is the unpleasant feeling — the apprehension, dread, angst, and worry — that one experiences when he perceives he lacks control in situations of uncertainty and risk. It is a by-product of our unique ability to envision our future self and especially to anticipate unpleasant, or even catastrophic, scenarios regardless of their likelihood..”

The book explores a variety of techniques, including learning to control anxiety through meditation.Read more ›

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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What’s this? )

While Joseph LeDoux states in the preface that he negotiated his way out of the textbook format to work with Viking editor, Rick Kot and write “Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety” this is clearly a college level psychology textbook. It is a researched based study of the science behind fear and anxiety disorders.

Following the preface are 317 pages broken down into 11 chapters with ample figures and tables. Pages 310 through 360 are chapter notes while pages 361 through 451 compose a detailed bibliography.

I was surprised by the format of this book; however, as an avid reader of both self-help and textbooks dealing with psychology and mental health issues and treatment, I found this an interesting and easy to follow review of historical psychological concepts that I have learned in the past, as well as concepts that are new to me in in the study of the biological and cognitive human brain and environmental factors impacting human feelings, behavior and mental health, as well as medical treatment and therapy.

One example is the author’s statement that “anxiety” (meaning feelings fear or apprehension about what might happen in the future) is the price humans pay for autonoetic consciousness. I learned that the concept of autonoetic consciousness centers on self-awareness, self-analysis and our ability to think about our past and present thoughts, emotions and experiences and relate them to present and future events. While that gift enables us avoid danger and learn from our experiences, sometimes it causes undo fear and anxiety.

If you are expecting a quick and easy read, this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you are an educator or interested in learning historical psychological concepts and treatment of mental health disorders and treatment, you may find the premises in this textbook both interesting and refreshing.

Enjoy!

Compliments:

Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
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Office Phone: 678-576-1913
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