I am thrilled to announce my forthcoming book with Harper Wave – Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good for You.
In this age of a global pandemic, political polarization, and catastrophic climate change, anxiety is on the rise, and many of us feel overwhelmed by our fears for the future. Clearly, hundreds of self-help books, thousands of rigorous scientific studies, and 30 different anti-anxiety medications are not helping enough. To cope, we believe we have to attack anxiety like we do any life-threatening disease – prevent it, avoid it, and stamp it out at all costs.
This is the disease story of anxiety. But it is harming us more than it is helping.
Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good for You argues for the radical idea that anxiety is not the enemy – it is our ally. When we tap into our anxiety instead of attack it, we realize that human anxiety evolved to not only be protective, but to build our creative capacity to be productive. Anxiety achieves this by making us into time travelers, propelling us into future thinking, where we are smarter, more focused, and more hopeful in the face of challenge.
This book details how – and why – we should adopt a new mindset about anxiety – a fresh set of beliefs and insights that allow us to explore and leverage anxiety rather than be overwhelmed by it. I share real-world examples and stories combined with the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, genetics, biology, and sociology. This book celebrates the lives of people who are using anxiety to their advantage and with the goal of making the world a better place. The best solutions in the world won’t stick if our view of anxiety unintentionally accelerates it.
Let me be clear – very little about anxiety is simple. Very little about anxiety is about willpower – we can’t just will our anxiety into be more useful and less painful. And if we struggle with debilitating forms of anxiety – anxiety disorders – the idea of making anxiety an ally may seem to dismiss the suffering that anxiety can cause. But even anxiety disorders are made worse by our misunderstanding of anxiety. Through this new prism of thinking, even crushing anxiety can be alleviated. That’s because changing our mindset about anxiety is the only way to begin to make anxiety work for us instead of against us.
By challenging our assumptions, we can reclaim anxiety for what it has always been – a gift rather than a curse, and an inner source of ingenuity and striving.
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Read more about Future Tense, along with tips and life lessons, in this recent interview with Authority Magazine.