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Worry: Controlling It and Using It Wisely by…

Worry: Controlling It and Using It Wisely

by Edward M. Hallowell

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345424581, Paperback)

As far as we know, plants and animals don't do it. Worry is a human "skill." And it comes in different forms. Some kinds indicate diagnosable conditions, such as depression, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Others, such as shyness, are built in from birth, and some seem plain old existential--stemming from broken trust or loss of faith. But worry is uniquely human. "To create worry," Dr. Hallowell writes, "humans elongate fear with anticipation and memory, expand it in imagination and fuel it with emotion. The uniquely human mental process called worrying depends upon having a brain that can reason, remember, reflect, feel, and imagine. Only humans have a brain big enough to do this simultaneously and do it well."

Illustrating his theories with the personal stories of and dialogues with clients, Hallowell provides a full picture of the ordinary yet chronic worry-problems. Thus, each presenting problem is dramatically rendered, and the ensuing therapies practically understood. Hallowell emphasizes the physical, not the psychological aspect of worrying, which helps stop the cycle of self-blame many worriers are prone to. When worry is no longer identified as a lack of moral courage, for example, but a natural phenomenon, it can begin to be managed.

The steps set forth in Worry: Controlling and Using It Wisely are practical and straightforward. First comes awareness, which, over time, sets the stage for new patternmaking in the brain. An entire chapter is devoted to methods of running interventions on worry without medication. Worry offers an articulate and powerful reframe of a debilitating condition that's as old as the human brain. By releasing the deeply entrenched habit of negativity, a worrier can step out of the cycle, and freed from phobia, move ahead.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

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If you constantly imagine the worst, or are a perfectionist who fears even minor failures, you may have a bad case of "toxic worry". Chronic worrying can impair judgment, and cause fatigue or other health problems. Dr. Edward Hallowell, a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School, offers a simple program for identifying your fears and taming runaway worry once and for all.… (more)

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