As a teen or young adult, things like school work, social media, and navigating friendships can bring tons of stress, and you may often feel anxious and overwhelmed. That's why Psychologist Terri Bacow, Ph.D., developed this book with fun and accessible writing exercises designed to diminish worries, insecurities, fears, conflicts, and stressors just for your unique issues. Even better, you will learn practical coping skills that you can use whenever you feel anxious.
• 100+ journaling prompts that offer space to write down your worries and release your anxious feelings
• 40+ CBT- and DBT-based strategies to help you challenge worry thoughts and conquer anxiety-inducing thinking patterns
• 50+ practical tools, including coping strategies and supportive statements that you can use whenever you feel worry starting to take hold
These coping skills include highly effective strategies to reduce anxiety, incorporating cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and other scientifically based therapy approaches.
Say goodbye to anxiety and enjoy your life!
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About the Author
Erin Wallace is an illustrator and artist living in Seattle, Washington. Her work balances simplicity and depth while remaining fun and approachable.
Read an Excerpt
If you are reading this book, you are probably familiar with the
emotion that we call anxiety. Maybe just a little bit, or maybe a ton. Quite
possibly, your anxiety is quietly a big deal for you, something that pops
up and interferes in different aspects of your life. It may not always be
a feeling that you are aware of at every moment, but it is likely always
there. Anxiety can be stealthy, subtle, and super-uncomfortable. However,
there is good news—you can make anxiety less uncomfortable if you learn
to befriend and manage it! This book will help you do exactly that.
Where does anxiety come from? Anxiety is neurobiological—it originates
in our brains and bodies. This mind-body connection is why we
experience physical symptoms (such as a racing heart, stomach butterflies,
and muscle tension) when we feel nervous or scared. Anxiety is
also highly genetic—studies show that some people inherit a tendency
to experience anxiety more intensely than others. This tendency runs in
families and is not anyone’s fault—you are born this way!
Everyone on earth feels anxious sometimes because anxiety is actually
protective and adaptive. This means that during the evolutionary
process, nature decided that feeling anxious might actually keep us safe.
Back when people lived in caves, feeling worried about being attacked
by a wild animal, for example, led you to appropriately freak out and run
away when you saw one. Nowadays, if you are about to cross the street
and a bus is hurtling at you, it is probably a good idea to let fear inspire
you to swiftly step out of the way. From a safety perspective, having a
fearful response to things that are actually really dangerous developed as
a healthy adaptation.
If anxiety is so adaptive, why would anyone write a book about saying
goodbye to it, or to be more accurate, learning to manage it? The reason is
that today, many of us feel overly anxious way too much of the time—and
often in situations where the anxiety isn’t truly warranted. You don’t need
or want to be in the grip of fear all the time, or most of the time, or even
in response to a particular situation, unless it is truly dangerous. To be
honest, giving a presentation in front of your class or colleagues is not
technically a life-or-death situation—and it doesn’t have to feel like one!
Anxiety becomes a problem when we experience it on a daily or very
regular basis and it starts messing up our lives. If anxiety keeps you from
falling asleep, distracts you from school or work, or causes you to cancel
or miss out on events, it is interfering with your life. If your feelings of
anxiety are distressing and deeply uncomfortable, that is when it is time
to look for some help in managing it.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER
Due to the very subtle and ongoing nature of worry thoughts, many of us
just sit with our anxiety and suffer through it. It can sometimes feel like it
would take too much time or energy to explain what you are thinking and
worrying about to a friend or family member. Some of us feel concerned
that if we actually shared our worry, people wouldn’t get it, or might even
judge us. Young people in particular often feel embarrassed and reluctant
to share their negative emotions. This is a shame because it is entirely normal
to have anxiety. Moreover, keeping feelings inside and unacknowledged
is not healthy and makes things worse. If we suffer in silence, the
anxiety builds and builds. There is a ridiculous stigma associated with
anxiety and worry, which is very unfortunate and, I believe, truly unnecessary.
We live in a crazy world (at the time this book is being written, we
are still in the midst of a pandemic). Worry is exhausting, overwhelming,
misery-inducing, and can reduce your quality of life. It can distract you,
rob you of your sleep, make your body feel tense, and reduce your enjoyment
of activities. No one should have to just sit with it—and the good
news is, you don’t have to! This book is going to help you break free of
those uncomfortable feelings by learning to cope with them.