Thursday, October 1, 2009

Monthly Challenge: October 2009- Let's Get Educated!

Welcome to the very first Reality of Anxiety monthly challenge!

With this being our first challenge, it only seems right to start at the beginning. Its hard to read the word "cat" if you don't know what the letter "c" is. And its hard to fix our anxiety if we don't really understand what it is and what our brains are doing. Its not necessary to know this information to improve your anxiety, but as Margaret Wehrenberg says in her book The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques, "It will be easier to exert the effort to manage anxiety, even when it seems hard to do, if you know you are changing your brain every time you control the symptoms. You automatically gain a certain measure of control over anxiety when you say to yourself, 'This is my brain doing this. It is not me, and I can control it.'"
Another great reason to take an interest in learning more:

“Lifelong learning is essential to the vitality of the human mind, body, and soul. It enhances self-worth and self-actuation. Lifelong learning is invigorating mentally and is a great defense against aging, depression, and self-doubt” -Elder Robert D. Hales

So let's get educated about these crazy brains of ours!

Challenge: Find and read a book or article that explains how our brains work in relation to anxiety. It doesn't have to be the subject of the entire book but at least some portion of it should talk about how the brain correlates with anxiety.

If you don't want to purchase a book, I usually go to my local library because its free and these days its all about pinching pennies right? You'll be amazed at all of the resources you can find there. You can also find articles online. Want some book suggestions?

  • I am going to read the book I mentioned above, The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques, by Margaret Wehrenberg, because it looks like it has valuable content, and seems like an easy read without a bunch hard to understand technical lingo. The first 34 pages are related to understanding your brain and anxiety. 
  • A reader named Brian once recommended the book by the same author, The Anxious Brain by Wehrenberg. He said, "This book has changed my life. It's written for clinicians but is so readable and gives you a wonderful explanation of why your brain will not stop worrying until it is trained to do so. The systems in your brain that are designed to be alert for potential threats are simply switched on all the time. It also removes much of the shame and guilt for us about the fact that we think we should be able to control our thoughts and stop our anxiety by sheer will."
  • If you weren't the lucky winner of the giveaway you should also check out The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne. Out of all of these suggestions this is the only one that I have already read and can verify is worth your time and money.
  • A final book a reader told me to check out is "Extinguishing Anxiety: whole brain strategies to relieve fear and stress" (2009) which discusses the role of the amygdala in the formation of emotional memories and extinction.  It gives an in-depth discussion of CBT and the use of medications in treating anxiety.
A new Category has been posted on the forum titled "Monthly Challenges" with a forum started "October 2009: Lets Get Educated! where you can share the knowledge you are learning. Let us know which book is changing your life, or which one not to waste our time on. 

Good Luck! Let me know what book or article you are reading and what you are learning!



Anxiety Bites Me said...

it is great that you are doing this...i'll be listening to Dr. Claire Weekes..Pass through panic. Freeing yourself from anxiety and fear."

Anonymous said...

I'll be rereading Lucinda Basset's From Panic to Power until my awesome package arrives in the mail ;). It's an awesome book and she spends a lot of time focusing on how we can overcome anxiety by changing the things we tell ourselves, by have compassionate self talk, by loving ourselves. It's really positive. I am so excited for this challenge!

Anonymous said...

I got my new book! Time to change over!

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