Daniel Smith, one of Kerri’s guests at 10:20 a.m. today, wrote a blog post for the New York Times last weekend in which he described his methods of coping with anxiety. Here’s an excerpt:
The promising thing about a habit is that it is not the same thing as a fate. An alcoholic, we are told, is always an alcoholic — but not every alcoholic drinks. Similarly, an anxious person will always be at risk of anxiety, but he needn’t be troubled by it on a daily basis. He can avoid his own tendencies. He can elude his own habit.
To accomplish this, however, he has to work, and work hard. He has to fight — every day of his life, if he’s got it bad — to build new patterns of thought, so that his mind doesn’t fall into the old set of grooves. He has to dig new tracks and keep digging.
As for what that digging entails, I have my preferences. Over the course of my anxious life, I have found two reliable methods to keep my anxiety at bay: Zen meditation and cognitive-behavior therapy.
What’s your experience? If you struggle with anxiety, how do you handle it?