Where Am I Now? An Interview with Actor Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson

You can’t compare the practice of self-care to cats. At least, not according to Mara Wilson.

“Cats are weird, alien creatures, and I’m surrounded by them as we speak,” she said.

Instead, the actor/storyteller/playwright/author/voice-over actor/performer would equate self-care to taking care of dogs — or even small children.

“Self-care isn’t about spoiling yourself,” she said, “It’s about disciplining yourself. It’s like how you need to train dogs. You do it out of love. If they make mistakes, you don’t hate them forever — you love them.” Continue reading Where Am I Now? An Interview with Actor Mara Wilson

Rumination: How Obsessive Thinking Impacts Depression and Anxiety

Stressed woman in cafe

Some people know rumination — the repetition of the same thought in your head over and over — as obsessive thinking, and for those who experience it, ruminating can be a frustrating state.

Thinking over and over about a missed opportunity, an ex, or when you misspoke — it’s bad enough to live through a negative experience once without beating yourself up in an unvirtuous mental loop. While it can often be beneficial to allow yourself the time and space to think about things that are important, too much of a good thing might actually be a bad thing. And when it comes to dealing with issues like depression or anxiety, allowing too much time to ruminate could keep you stuck in a mental rut. Continue reading Rumination: How Obsessive Thinking Impacts Depression and Anxiety

What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

Anxious woman

Approximately 18% of people in the United States live with an anxiety condition each year. This means that each and every day, roughly 40 million people go through their daily routine coping with a high degree of stress and anxiety. Many of these people might have what we consider “high-functioning anxiety.”

Psychology is often most concerned with function or dysfunction. Medicine overall looks at illness or diagnosis as a problem (pathology) to be solved. In the past, the mental health community has also viewed mental illnesses as pathology, but as more research has been done and the knowledge of mental health professionals has increased, we’ve come to understand that many mental health conditions exist on a continuum of functioning. Updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM V) captures this ongoing shift in thinking Continue reading What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

‘Am I Anxious?’ 6 Common Signs of Anxiety

Man in plane

Some people just know they have anxiety the same way they know they have blonde hair, or blue eyes, or a fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. But for others, the signs might be more subtle — or, if you grew up in a family or culture that places less emphasis on mental health, you may not even know what signs to search for.

If you’re debating whether you have anxiety, let’s start with the simple truth: You probably are. Most non-anxious people don’t worry about if they do or do not have anxiety!

But if you’re still wondering whether you’re anxious, below are some symptoms to clue you in. Continue reading ‘Am I Anxious?’ 6 Common Signs of Anxiety

5 Reminders to Keep You Grounded During Dating Anxiety

Woman Jumping with Umbrella

Dating anxiety affects most single people to some degree. Here are some common anxious questions that run through people’s minds during the dating process. See how many apply to you:

  • Will others find me attractive enough?
  • Will I be interesting/funny on this date?
  • Will I ever find someone I really love?
  • Is the person I’m dating the right one for me?
  • If I end this relationship, will I find someone else?

This anxiety can sabotage your ability to connect confidently and authentically with other people. Here’s how to stay grounded and actually enjoy the dating process. Continue reading 5 Reminders to Keep You Grounded During Dating Anxiety

7 Effective Thought-Stopping Techniques for Anxiety

Woman covering her right eye

Anxiety is one of the most common issues I hear about from my clients, one that many people have on a regular, sometimes daily, basis. Of course, anxiety is a normal part of the human experience, and it can be a healthy, biological reaction to environmental stressors.

The problem is when that reaction switches from one of manageable, temporary worry or stress to heightened, intolerable panic. The latter can interfere with work, social activities, and personal relationships. Sometimes anxiety can make it incredibly difficult to function as we normally do, and this is a very scary and uncomfortable feeling.

One of the most effective ways to curb anxiety in the moment is thought-stopping — a strategy that interrupts catastrophic thinking to allow our minds a few moments of clarity to think through the anxiety. Here are seven ways to do it: Continue reading 7 Effective Thought-Stopping Techniques for Anxiety

What ‘I Don’t Feel Good’ Means For A Person With Mental Illness

Silhouette of person with head down

I have dealt with generalized anxiety and panic disorder since I was about 10 years old. Like many people who battle mental illness, I have my good days, and I’m grateful for them. But I have other days, weeks, and months where my mental illness incapacitates me to the point where it becomes very difficult to function.

But I’m good at hiding it. Sometimes the only words that come out of my mouth during those dark times are “I don’t feel good.” I say it to my kids, my friends, my co-workers, even my husband. It’s not that I don’t want to be candid about my struggles, but sometimes it feels too heavy and painful to share what is actually going on. Continue reading What ‘I Don’t Feel Good’ Means For A Person With Mental Illness

How to Go on Dates When You’re Anxious

Couple sitting inside restaurant with foggy windows

Dating is anxiety-provoking regardless of whether you have an anxiety disorder or not. You’re starting a new relationship, spending time with a stranger, opening yourself up to someone new — it can be frightening for even the most secure of people.

But, if you have an anxiety disorder, the anxiety that comes with dating and going on dates can be overwhelming. On a day-to-day basis you’re plagued with fears you’ll make a fool of yourself in front of someone, and now you’re at risk of being in an uncomfortable position in front of someone you want to like you. It’s something out of a nightmare. Continue reading How to Go on Dates When You’re Anxious

How to Manage When We Feel Overwhelmed

A woman swims in the sea at dusk

When you experience emotional overwhelm, it can feel all-consuming. For the many people who will face this feeling at some point in their lives, it entails being completely overcome by an intense and unruly emotion that something is too challenging to manage and overcome.

When confronted with this feeling, it can be difficult to think and act rationally, and even function in a normal way. Needless to say, the experience of being overwhelmed is uncomfortable and the causes can span across your personal and professional life.

Continue reading How to Manage When We Feel Overwhelmed

Should You Schedule Your Anxiety?

I am a worrier. I fret over little things, like my never-ending to-do list, and over big things, like whether global warming will render the earth uninhabitable for my grandchildren.

I worry at night before bed. I worry while washing the breakfast dishes. I worry when things in my life are stressful — and when they aren’t stressful, I brace myself, expecting the worst to transpire at any minute.

I’ve always been this way, and I’ve grown to accept that this is just who I am, for better or worse. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy being someone who worries like this.

Too much anxiety is not healthy for anyone, especially when it takes over your life, or makes you unable to function. Anxiety can also take a huge toll on your physical health, resulting in symptoms such as gastrointestinal issues, respiratory disorders, and even heart disease.

Continue reading Should You Schedule Your Anxiety?