Neuroplasticity: how to use anxiety to improve your life

We need to try new things and develop our resilience

While doing some squats recently, I reflected that only a couple of years ago, my squats were, frankly diddly. I had to be taught to do them properly. Nowadays, when personal trainer Kasia’s eyes narrow, and she demands squats, I merely groan, but generally manage an approximation. It is another matter entirely when it comes to lunges. These I hate with a passion, and I think I know why. I am crap at them.

“We need to encourage people to try things and to expect to fail.”

It raises the question, can you be interested in something at which you think you are not very good? It turns out that it depends on the role you are seeking. In particular, it depends on whether you are interested in being an actor or an active participant, or whether you want to be a spectator or supporter…READ ON

Neuroplasticity: how to use anxiety to improve your life

This idea that anxiety is dynamic and changeable blew me away. Sure, anxiety is an inevitable feature of life, and none of us is immune. But understanding anxiety against this more fulsome backdrop has allowed me to stop struggling against it. Instead of treating my feelings as something I need to avoid, suppress, deny, or wrestle to the ground, I have learned how to use anxiety to improve my life.

Credit: Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

What a relief. Like all of us, I will always encounter bouts of anxiety. But now, I know what to do when those negative thoughts move into my mind like an unwanted roommate. I can recognize the signals and make adjustments that will take the edge off, calm my body, or settle my mind so I can once again think clearly and feel centered. What a boon to my life — personally, professionally, and certainly emotionally. I feel more satisfaction and meaning from my work. I have finally achieved a work-life balance, some­ thing that always seemed out of reach…READ ON

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