Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion

Wendy Suzuki. Atria, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-98217-073-8
Neuroscientist Suzuki (Healthy Brain, Happy Life) proposes that anxiety is not only useful, but essential to living in the modern world in this helpful self-guide guide. In the first part of the book, Suzuki delves into the science behind anxiety, educating readers on where anxiety comes from (“an automatic reaction to possible danger”) and how to differentiate common anxiety from clinical disorders (such as rapid breathing, persistent feelings of danger, or gastrointestinal upset). She goes on to explain that anxiety can be controlled due to the plasticity of the brain, primarily through removing anxiety from a negative categorization and regulating emotions: “We can learn to use awareness to reframe a situation, remove the perception of danger, and reappraise it.” In the second half, Suzuki digs deeper into the details of using anxiety to fuel resilience, ambition, activism, and productivity. Some of the coping mechanisms come across as simplistic—like finding a hobby or playing with pets—but the overall message shares research-backed methods to manage anxiety. While Suzuki primarily writes to readers without diagnosed clinical disorders, her techniques will be helpful to those trying to navigate low-level anxiety. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/12/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-3029-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-3031-6
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