Anxiety can feel like a heavy weight that we didn’t ask to carry. Who wouldn’t love to get rid of it?

But neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki wants to challenge the way we look at our anxiety. In fact, her new book is called Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion.

If you’re skeptical, so was I. But Suzuki’s point is that anxiety is a natural human emotion, one that evolved to serve a purpose. We feel anxious when there is some kind of danger; it primes our body to fight or flee from that danger, in hopes that we’ll end up better off (i.e., alive). In the same way, our modern anxieties can be a warning signal for things that are wrong: not enough rest, too much multitasking, isolation from others. Our anxious energy alerts us to change our lives for the better, she argues.

“If we simply approach it as something to avoid, get rid of, or dampen, we not only don’t solve the problem but actually miss an opportunity to leverage the generative power of anxiety,” she writes.

To do that, we first need to turn down the volume of our anxiety, so that we can listen to what it has to say. Meant for people with everyday anxiety (not anxiety disorders), Good Anxiety explains how to do that in order to make your life more productive, creative, and connected. In our Q&A, Suzuki highlights some of the ideas from her book.
How to Turn Bad Anxiety Into Good Anxiety — by Kira M. Newman

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/art...o_good_anxiety