Blog — Overcoming Anxiety

How to (Best) Handle Criticism

None of us like to be told what we've done wrong, and yet, this is often a great way to learn and grow. How do we handle criticism best? Here are some ideas from my conversation with Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner on her program, A Better You. 

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Lies My Anxiety Told Me: The Bear, The Psychologist and an Impractical Purple Skirt

bearPeople are always asking me why I became a therapist, and an anxiety therapist to boot. Perhaps this will explain:

I've had two close calls in life. One with a bear, one with a purple skirt.

First the skirt. The year was 1968. I was in first grade.

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Freeing Your Holidays (and Yourself) From Anxiety: 6 Steps to Having More Joy and Less Stress

visualpanic / Foter / CC BY

The clock is ticking toward Thanksgiving and the holidays beyond, and two very different feelings are flashing on your emotional news feed: impending joy and impending doom.

OK, maybe doom is overstating it; dread may be closer to the mark. But let's face it, many of us are finding ourselves up at 3:00 in the morning checking our to-do lists and reviewing incessantly the parade of possible catastrophes: "Will my brined turkey be a disaster?" "Will everyone be happy with their gifts?" "How much weight (and debt) am I going to gain?" "What if my family doesn't get along?" "What if I'm not ready?" "What if I totally fail?!" Wait, are we preparing for the holidays -- or final exams?

It doesn't have to be this way.

It's time to change our relationship with the holidays.

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7 Ways to Cope with Family Stress During the Holidays

Cia de Foto / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Ah, how magical to celebrate the holidays with family. Oh, wait... really? With... family? @&%#!, with family?! This year, do yourself a favor -- if you want to thrive (and not lose your mind) during the holidays, give yourself a gift: Expect what's most likely to happen. If you're wrong and things go great, all the better! But if you're right and history repeats itself, no harm, no foul, no nervous breakdown. Here are some ideas for freeing yourself from anxiety during family gatherings.

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What is the Secret to Keeping Your Resolutions? Allow Imperfection.

Thomas Hawk / Foter / CC BY-NC

Research shows that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so now is a good time to asses how those new year's resolutions are going. I set a goal to do crunches everyday, and two weeks into the new year I can say I've probably done them 50% of the time. Some might look at this as failure and give up, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm succeeding half the time! It shows I'm building commitment and at the same time fulfilling one of my other resolutions: to allow imperfection.

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When Daily Stress Gets in the Way of Life (New York Times)

Stephen Poff / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

"Anxiety is a fact of life. I’ve yet to meet anyone, no matter how upbeat, who has escaped anxious moments, days, even weeks." -- Jane Brody. I am so honored to have had the opportunity recently to speak with Jane Brody of the New York Times. She wrote an amazing article about how anxiety can take over our life. Please take a moment to read it and share with anyone it might help.

 

 

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April is Stress Awareness Month: Six Steps to Have Less Stress

Chi King / Nature Photos / CC BY

Are you feeling stressed? Do things feel out of your control? Know that you are in good company, and more importantly, you are in a very good position to make a difference in your life and sense of well-being. It's not the stress, it's what you do with it, and there's a lot you can do! Check out this piece I wrote for Stress Awareness Month.  

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How to Not Let Anxiety Fake or Freak You Out: Dr. Chansky's Talk at Drexel

libraryman / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

How many times have we "what if'd" ourselves out of taking risks, only to find after the fact that our worst fears weren't even in the ballpark of what actually happened? How many times have we sort of known that all along, but can't seem to turn off the anxiety alarm in our heads? In a recent talk I gave at Drexel University as part of their Mental Health Awareness Week, invited by the student-run group, Active Minds, I spoke about how to not let your amygdala (the emergency control center of the brain) ruin your day or your plans-- or your life!  Click here to read highlights of that talk from this excellent summary in the Drexel On-line Newspaper, The Triangle. 

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