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PsychCentral – Anxiety Experts Reveal What They Really Want Everyone to Know About Anxiety

Anxiety can be helpful, and we shouldn’t always try to eliminate it. Very pleased to join other experts for another great piece by Margarita Tartakovsky for PsychCentral on what we need to know about anxiety.

To read the full article, click HERE.

Psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D, also emphasized that anxiety can be rational and productive. “Anxiety is there to help us protect what we care about most, harnessing our focus and energy to do what is needed.”

For instance, you start worrying that your friend or family member hasn’t reached out to you in a while, she said. You wonder, what’s going on? Is there something wrong? What can I do to reconnect to them? That zap of worry “can be just the boost you need to do something proactive about it.”

You also worry about different work demands: Did I respond to that email? Did I carve out enough time to complete the project? Have I been thorough enough in my report? These worries help you remain laser-focused to get things done, and to do a good job.

You worry about your health: You’re tired, and get winded too quickly. You have an unusual mole on your skin. All these worries prompt you to take action, and consider whether you need more sleep, more movement or a medical checkup, said Clark, author of the book Hack Your Anxiety: How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You in Life, Love and Work (co-written with Jon Sternfeld).

Bilek likened anxiety and fear responses to house alarm systems. They help us respond appropriately when there’s a true danger or risk, she said. Some people, however, have an especially sensitive system. “It goes off when there is a true threat like an intruder, but also when there is a strong wind.”

 

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD

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