My wife makes fun of me as I pick up the latest issue of Reader’s Digest.
“You’re so old.”
“But I like Reader’s Digest.”
“Yeah, that makes you old.”
I think about this claim as I adjust my glasses.
“And those silver rimmed glasses make you look old.”
I worry about looking old. I worry about getting old. I worry about my life. I worry about my wife. Is she going through menopause? I worry about getting cancer. I worry about fake news. I worry about the amount of trash piling up in our country. I worry about earwax. What’s earwax for anyway? I wonder why I worry and how to stop.
Before I met my soulmate, I must have scared off many potential partners with the number of self-help books on my bookshelf.
As I’m helping students deal with test anxiety as the semester winds down, I decided to grab a book off my shelf for some guidance.
In Coping with Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear, & Worry, the authors surprisingly write about coping with anxiety and unexpectedly offer ten simple ways to relieve anxiety, fear, and worry.
I’d like to highlight three simple strategies outlined in the book.
First, I should note that I’m not trying to simplify the complex nature of anxiety, and I’m certainly not trying to minimize or discount the suffering of those who experience extreme anxiety or have anxiety-related disorders.
Here are the three strategies:
Meditate and relax. I recently purchased some guided meditations and relaxation music from iTunes, and I was amazed at how beneficial it was to my well-being.
Challenge your thinking. Recognize your anxiety-producing thoughts and challenge them. For example, the authors of Coping with Anxiety provide a strategy for challenging catastrophic thinking: identify it, question it, and replace it with a more realistic thought.
Simplify your life. Experts say that a great strategy to decrease stress is to simplify your life. I agree. Less clutter, less stress. I would add fish. More fish, less stress. I miss my pet fish.