Resilience in the Age of Anxiety

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The Therapeutic Power of Laughing at Yourself

I was what can only be described as a spaz during an interview. (I somehow got a second chance.)  I broke up with my boyfriend and accidentally pooped my pants all in one week (I was 21).  I tried to demonstrate a high kick, only to go flying backwards.  I took a bite of wasabi thinking it was guacamole, only to black out for an unknown period of time.

An elephant, and a hyper-sensitive anxious female, never forgets, and this litany of embarrassing moments is one that I think about often. Not in shame, but as a treasure trove of anecdotes that I keep up my sleeve for parties or family dinners if we need to lighten the mood a little.

I haven’t always been this way; I used to internalize every little moment of shame and ruminate over the embarrassment. (I can still remember when I was a five-year-old kindergartener in private school and my plaid skirt blew up to reveal my pink underwear.) I thought that these moments would define people’s memories of me. During the hardest and darkest times of my life, I thought that these moments, no matter how trivial, defined me—displaying my weakness, lack of intelligence, and folly…


Child Abuse Prevention Month: Building resilience in our children and ourselves

The good news is it can be learned!

Building resilience — the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats and/or significant sources of stress — can help us and our children manage stress, uncertainty, and feelings of anxiety. However, being resilient does not mean that we won’t experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common when we have suffered major trauma or personal loss, or even when we hear of someone else’s trauma.

Resilience is not something we either have or don’t have. Developing and maintaining resiliency abilities is an ongoing process. It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned over time. The following are tips to building resilience in children…


Resilience in the Age of Anxiety

Chances are you know precisely what anxiety feels like. How can you not? We live in the Age of Anxiety. It has reached epidemic levels, at least in Western Europe and the US. We consume increasing amounts of pharmaceuticals, attend yoga classes and mindfulness retreats, eat plant-based diets and explore herbal remedies…anything to find some release from the paralysing dis-ease. And yet who do you know who can say they have overcome anxiety? Have you? Chances are slim. As a society, that is desperately sad.

So, how do we defeat anxiety and recover our old self? The answer: We don’t. We don’t defeat it because it’s not here to be fought. We don’t recover our old self because our anxiety is here to help us create a new self. Our anxiety is showing us the errors of our ways, if we can only see it for the sign post it is and work with it, not against it. Your anxiety is showing you what you need to change in your life in…

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