How to Stop Worrying

I like that Frank Tallis has written a relatively small book on How to Stop Worrying. Although I'm much better than I used to be, I still worry too much sometimes myself, and it's nice to think that there could be a simple solution to a seemingly complex problem. And it turns out there is.

Worry fills the gap between when we realise that we have a problem, and when we have a solution in place to address it. It's our brain's way of making sure we pay attention to our problems; the psychological analogy to physical pain. If we don't do anything about the problem, the worry gets worse until we're forced to take action. Worry, like pain, is our friend. But it's also a kind of mental suffering we'd rather escape given the chance.

The solution to worry is quite simple: take effective action to solve the problem. So the bulk of this book is actually about problem-solving techniques. Taking action to address the problem immediately starts to put our mind at ease, and if the action is effective in solving the problem, the worry ceases altogether.

Problem-solving is a skill that develops and improves each time we use it.… Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Many of you may have heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Whilst there is no standard definition of PTSD, it is generally agreed that PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs when a person sees their life flash before their eyes. For example they are involved in, or witness, a near death incident, or a series of events resulting in them having the perception that life as they know it, is about to end.

Emotional overload in these circumstances causes the primitive region of the brain called the limbic region, responsible for brains involvement in emotions, to recalibrate in order to cope. PTSD occurs when the brain doesn’t go back to normal operation of its own accord.

So why talk about PTSD here?

Well it gives a great extreme example of emotions at play within us. You may not suffer from it, but you may demonstrate some of the same characteristics. This is very normal, and has occurred for the same reasons as someone with ‘the bug’ (I use the term bug, because it highlights that you can get over the disorder to live a normal life) – self defence.

There are many elements involved with a person suffering from PTSD, but one of the major ones is their emotions.… Continue reading…

By James Greenshields, ago