Anxious: The Moden Mind In The Age Of Anxiety
Anxiety is all around us: phobias, panic, post- traumatic stress, OCD. Why are our brains so anxious? And what can we do about it?
Anxiety is natural. It is useful. By anticipating harm, we are better equipped to deal with it. But when anxiety is persistent and excessive, and chronically interferes with daily life, then an anxiety disorder exists. These are the most common mental health problems in the UK today.
Using cutting-edge research from his lab, neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux explains both how fear and anxiety are natural, adaptive ways of dealing with challenges and opportunities, and how they become pathological states. Some people are cool cats, their feathers never seem to be ruffled, while others are nervous Nellies. Your disposition affects the way you approach the world; anxious people find threats where others don’t, and their brains are different, as LeDoux shows.
Anxiety is part of life, but we want to be able to use it rather than be used by it. In order to survive and thrive, the brain has to marshal its resources and energies. It is when these resources are unevenly allocated that problems arise. But there are methods each of us can learn for regulating this process. LeDoux outlines them and explains the science behind them that makes them work.
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