Freedom from verbal abuse

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

A home should be a happy place, or at least a safe place. Killing daily with the outside world, with extensions, pressures, and surprises, can be difficult. Home is a place to come back to you, a place to feel free, relaxed, and comfortable. Home should be the place where we feel loved and accepted just for being ourselves. This is, of course, an ideal description of what a home can be.

In truth, home is also the place where our personal conflicts are worked out, sometimes in destructive ways. Our internal conflicts may involve issues of anger, power, and control, all of which can lead to verbal abuse. The verbally abusive household is usually not a happy place, and in extreme conditions, it may not be a safe place. It is important to recognize verbal abuse when it occurs, and then do something about it. Fortunately, there are effective ways of dealing with such a situation and making the home a safe haven.

Verbal abuse leaves no physical scars, but the emotional wounds can be just as deep, and recovery can be prolonged. On the surface, others may see both the verbal abuser and the victim of the abuse as a happy couple, the nicest people. But behind the scenes there exists a subtle pattern of manipulation and intimidation, unreasonable demands, sarcasm, and angry outbursts. At the onset of these relationships, everything may seem wonderful. The person who later becomes verbally abusive may shower the eventual victim with gifts and complements and make that person feel like the most important person in the world. Gradually, however, the relationship deteriorates. The abusers’ anger and need for control are projected onto the victim. The victim is blamed for not being “good enough,” and the relationship gradually turns into an emotional roller coaster. When things seem to be going well, a fight emerges unexpectedly.

Because the partners in a verbally abusive relationship have usually adapted to their situations, as painful as this may be, it might require the intervention of a trained therapist to interpret the communication patterns, objectively and empathetically. In therapy, the partners in the relationship may learn how dysfunctional families breed codependence, as well as how negative self-esteem, and lack of adaptive Interpersonal boundaries can lead to a verbally abusive relationship. New and healthier ways of communicating can be learned along with the issues of control, the need for a quality in a relationship, and how to trust and respect one’s partner. Learning assertiveness, and refusing to participate in the cycle of abuse, are crucial steps in coming to terms with the destructiveness of the verbally abusive relationship.

Our homes can, and should, be happy, loving and safe. We owe it to ourselves, and to our partners, to confront the issues which prevent us from making trust and love essential ingredients in the recipes of our lives. The rewards of doing so are immeasurable.

Handling stress in everyday life

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

Stress happens when we perceive an event as disturbing or threatening. Our primitive ancestors experienced stress when they had to fight off wild animals, invaders, adverse natural events, and other threats to their survival. These days we are more likely to feel the anxiety that emerges from stress when we face overwhelming responsibilities at work, or home, experience loneliness, rejection, or the fear of losing things, are important to us, such as our jobs or friends. When we are exposed to such events, we experience what has been called the fight or flight response. To prepare for fighting or fleeing, the body increases its heart rate and blood pressure. This is more blood to our heart and muscles, and our respiration rate increases. We become vigilant and tense. Our bodies end up on full alert, and this allows us to take action. When these anxiety inducing conditions continue over a long period of time, however, and have a significant impact on how we live, we may begin to suffer from one of the anxiety disorders.

Research indicates that anxiety disorders are the leading emotional health disorder for women, and are second only to substance abuse among men. Within any given year, it has been estimated that 15% of the population suffers from one of the anxiety disorders, I get only a small portion of those who suffer receive treatment. Fortunately, Treatment is available in generally effective.

Anxiety can be helpful when it promises to take action to solve a problem. We can use our anxiety as a clue, in fact, that there is a problem, and that we need to confront it. Public speakers, athletes, and entertainers have long known that anxiety can motivate them to perform much better. When we don’t recognize our anxious feelings, or don’t have the tools to deal with them, we may continue to expose ourselves to the causes of the anxiety, and this leads to more problems.

Prolonged anxiety is demanding on our bodies, and our lives in general. The constant state of “fight or flight” may cause heart palpitations, dizziness, trembling, or shaking, increased blood pressure, sweating, choking, high stomach acidity, nausea, chest discomfort, or muscle spasms. We may feel detached or out of touch with reality or think we are dying or going crazy. There’s evidence that prolonged anxiety can lead to heart disease and a compromised immune system. It depletes our energy and interferes with concentration. We may become abrupt with other people and engage in emotional outbursts or even physical violence. Our relationships and job security may be jeopardized. People who experience prolonged anxiety are more prone to self-destructive behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse, since they may turn to these substances as a form of self-medication.

The clue to handling anxiety well is to acquire skills. We need to feel empowered. This requires a good, honest exploration into our lives. We need to explore the strengths that we already have for coping with stress, as well as to learn new skills. A professional therapist has a number of specific techniques for the treatment of anxiety, as well as overall life strategy plans for dealing with these problems and other life experiences. We need to be able both to comfort ourselves, and to let others nurture us as well. All of us can learn, with some healthy exploration, to manage anxiety successfully.

An awareness of time

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

Give yourself the time of your life.

When we get right down to it, we have to draw one inescapable conclusion: time is our most important asset. Unlike most assets, there never seems to be enough of it. There are always so many things to do, so many pressures, so many things to keep track of. Our life seems to whiz by, and where has the time gone? If time is your most important asset, why do we know so little about it? Why do we stay so busy yet accomplished a little? Are our accomplishments all that important in the overall scheme of our lives? In a sense, when we simplify our lives, and become aware of the rhythms of life, that occur internally, we can cultivate our sense of time, and we can self-knowledge that generally escapes us within the bustle of our daily lives.

Think about what modern day life encourages us to do. We need to keep up with the news, drive to work, perform meritoriously on the job, work overtime, maintain a spiritual life, have many friends in a few deeper relationships, be a good partner, and perhaps a good parent, keep up with TV and movies and books and music, and all the new ideas, travel, have several hobbies, dress in the right fashions, spend time on the Internet, keep good credit, be a good neighbor, and participate in the community, do volunteer work, take classes, exercise, and so it goes. It is little wonder that many of us feel so pressured. In the end, what really matters is how well we have lived, not necessarily how much we have done.

Until the Middle Ages, there were no clocks. Other cultures even now measure time more in terms of seasons or natural cycles than by hours and minutes. Just two or three generations ago people had much more free time just to be, to enjoy, to develop more meaningful relationships. This is not to suggest that we should go back in time, because we cannot. But we do need to get in touch with our more natural internal rhythms, which are a primary source of stability and health, and to incorporate this awareness into our everyday lives. Rather than trying to squeeze more activities into the time we have available, it may be more helpful to examine what is really meaningful in our lives, and to devote our time to those pursuits. The quality of life can be much more meaningful than the quality of things we try to cram into our lives. In other words, we may need to develop a new relationship both with ourselves and to time.

Some of us have become so accustomed to adapting to the pressure of the external world that we have lost awareness of our internal state. The “high” that accompanies our adaptation to the stress of modern life, becomes something like an addiction. The busier we are, the more we feel alive. Yet our anxieties increase, and we lose track of the experiences which truly matter. Our health deteriorates, our relationships become superficial, and our sense of our own self evaporates. We long for something meaningful, and we lack the tools for finding it. The solution to the dilemma includes a paradox: we gain time by giving up time.

Problematic personalities

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

We all have our own unique ways of feeling and thinking and expressing ourselves. Most of the time, our uniqueness is seen as an individual difference, or something special about each of us. In fact, this is what brings interest and variety to the people in our lives. This is a positive thing. One of the healthiest things we can do is to achieve a fairly objective understanding of just how we are unique or different from other people. Then we can understand how our behavior impacts other people and adjust the way we act accordingly. That is, we can problem solve our way through situations when we have a good understanding of our unique personality characteristics. We are talking here about personality style, and all of us have our own styles.

Some of us though have personalities that vary significantly from the expectations found within the culture. This can involve patterns of feeling, thinking, impulse control, and interpersonal functioning that cause direct distress, sometimes to the person, but especially to those around the person. If the pattern is enduring and pervasive (meaning it persists over time and can be found across a broad range of situations), then it might meet the criteria for a personality disorder. One of the features of a personality disorder is that the person may not realize how their behavior affects others, and that’s why it continues over time and with variety of different people. So, a person with a personality disorder may have difficulty with problem-solving, which impairs their ability to adapt to life‘s challenges. People with personality disorders don’t feel distressed about their personality traits, but may suffer from the way others react to them. Personality disorders seem to begin fairly early in life, and unless changes are made, they may continue on through the person’s adulthood. It is important to realize that the behavior of those with personality disorders may have served a positive function at one point in the person’s life, but now those behaviors are an ingrained part of the personality (although they no longer serve the person well). They actually work against the person’s ability to adapt.

Professional therapists help to address a number of problems in everyday living, such as mood and thinking disorders, anxiety, impulse control, problems, or addictive behavior. Personality disorders fall into their own category, however. That is, personality disorders may, or may not, be related to those more traditional areas of treatment. For example, a person suffering from depression may, or may not, also have a personality disorder. Fortunately, there is help for people suffering from personality disorders, as well as their families, work colleagues, and close friends. In most cases people who suffer from a personality disorder can learn to make changes in the behavior that causes distress. It’s not really feasible to say that therapist can “cure“ a personality disorder, but they can have the person learn to manage life’s details and responsibilities better.

A trained professional therapist is able to provide a setting in which seemingly intractable problems can be addressed. A feeling of safety is built between a therapist and a client, and that’s opened the door to try new behaviors with support which have seemed impossible until now. A whole new world awaits those who give it a try.

The influence of birth order

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

Birth order affects our behavior and relationships.

If brothers and sisters are raised by the same parents, how do they end up so different? How is it that one sibling grows up to be successful, academically and professionally but with few friends, while another becomes the athlete with loads of friends? To the degree that one of the siblings is a responsible person, another will be attention seeking or rebellious. One follows the ways of the parents, and another looks outside the family for support. The strategies we learned in childhood for dealing with her parents and siblings have a long lasting influence on her behavior, afternoon ways, we barely recognize.

The world of the firstborn child differs markedly from that of the second born, and if the third comes along, he, or she will carve out territory within the family system. The difference from the first two. This is not to say that these patterns are carved in stone, there are always exceptions to the rules, and if the third child comes along much later, the last form may have characteristics resembling the first born. The gender of the children and physical differences can also make for deviations from the general patterns, as well as the birth order of the parents and the nature of the relationship between the parents. And, of course, two families who come together through the remarriage of the parents (the blended family) can create all sorts of interesting combinations. Researchers have been interested in birth order for nearly a century now, but learned only within the past few decades about the influence of birth order, and our behavior, and the nature of relationships with our partners. Consider two parents, possibly newly married, who have their first child. Determined to be the best parents in the world, they dote on the child, give the child an abundance of attention, and try to show just how responsible they are. They want to be perfect parents, they want the child to be perfect, and it’s a lesson. The child learns well. Firstborns often grow up with perfectionistic tendencies, and they strive for approval and success in the adult world. The second child usually doesn’t get nearly the attention received by the older sibling, and deviating from the pattern already established by the first born, the second child will often go outside of the family constellation as they grow up. The support of their friends becomes more important than the approval of the parents. By the time the last born child comes along, the parents have loosened up considerably in their child rearing practices and tend to indulge this child, so the baby in the family, having learned of his or her special status, may grow up to be attention seeking, perhaps manipulative, people oriented, and a charmer.

Birth order has a significant influence on our behavior in adulthood. The tactics we developed in childhood to deal with other members of the family remain with us and can cause conflict in our relations with other people later in life. Others may appear ambitious, selfish, withdrawn, irresponsible, or opinionated, and we may wonder why others would even see these attributes as a problem! One of the major goals of therapy is to understand how our development has affected our personalities as adults and see how these influences have slanted our ways of dealing with other people. Despite the heavy impact birth order has on us, we can learn to change some of these behaviors, and if change is not indicated, at least to use our special attributes to their best advantage. The first step in this process is awareness, this leads to understanding, which in turn can lead to intentional change.

How does this all affect our choice of a partner? The best bet when deciding on a partner is to choose someone with a birth order unlike our own, so that we can benefit from the strength of someone who has learned a different set of strategies for dealing with life.

So, which birth order makes the ideal partner? It depends on you. There are no hard and fast rules. Some people say their firstborn with the last one provides for a good mixture of responsibility and playfulness. Others say the first or only born with a few friends can benefit from a relationship with a socially oriented, middle child. Tempered with a good dose of common sense, the answer lives in your heart.

The passive, aggressive partner

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

Some people just can’t admit that they’re angry. Anger is one of the basic emotions which touches all of our lives to one degree or another. Indeed, a person who is incapable of experiencing anger, would certainly be at a disadvantage in trying to survive. Used constructively, anger helps to protect ourselves. It motivates us to solve problems and to resolve conflicts with other people. Anger is an emotion that tells us there’s something wrong out there and we want to make it better.

Anger can serve a positive function in our lives, but so many of us have heard just the opposite message. How many times have we heard don’t be angry or good people don’t get angry or healthy people don’t show their anger or love and anger are opposite emotions. Then there is the classic line: If you loved me, you wouldn’t be angry at me. None of these statements is compatible with emotional health. The clue is to accept your anger and learn how to express it constructively.

Passive aggression is certainly aggressive behavior, and it is laden with anger. It is a form of hostility, disguised as innocent impassivity. This type of hostility is found frequently in relationships, especially troubled relationships, because the passive aggressive individual finds a convenient and available target for his or her anger in a partner. Even though passive aggression is expressed most frequently and virulently in a relationship, this form of aggression is also seen in interactions between friends or on the job. The passive aggressive person usually will claim not to have any anger at all. But when anger is finally brought to the surface, it is usually blamed on the partner, (or a friend or a boss) who is accused of being controlling and demanding. Rather than acknowledging his or her behavior as angry, the passive aggressive individual plays on the excuse of being the misunderstood victim. The other person is always the prosecutor. Communication between partners in a passive aggressive relationship is usually blocked off, distorted, and ultimately very destructive to both people individually in the relationship itself.

Passive aggressive relationships are difficult to deal with, but help is available and change as possible. When you start to make the necessary changes in your relationship, the passive aggressive partner may fight you even more. But if you set firm limits and respect yourself, the situation is likely to change for the better. There may not be a complete transformation, but your relationship can be much better. You’re invited to make an appointment to start this process.

Resisting violence and children

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

Violence in children is a complicated issue with many causes. It is easy to point fingers at some of the more obvious potential culprits. For example, television provides a steady diet of violence. It is estimated that by the time children turn 18, they’ve been exposed to 40,000 deaths on TV, usually with no mention of the grieving that families, or when a loved one has died. Similarly, rock music, and rap music most of all often contains lyrics, explicitly, promulgating killing, and other violence. Video games seem to go a step further, they not only are violent, but the player of the game is also the shooter. Movies glorify violent deaths and revenge. The Internet is filled with websites catering violent themes, and even sites that tell a viewer how to make bombs. Guns are easy to get and have become a symbol of rebellion and power among some youth. Schools have become segregated with cliques who intimidate each other, the jock versus the goths, for example, sometimes in brutal ways. Bullies make some children afraid to go to school.

The solutions to the problem of violence and children are not clear, but we know that there is a problem when children start killing other children in their schools. It seems that there is little that one individual can do to turn the largest social tides that underlie this problem. We can, however, take steps within our own homes to reduce the probability of raising children who turn to to violent behavior.

Research studies have shown that aggressive behavior is learned early in life. Parents, family members, and others can take steps to reduce or minimize violence by raising children in a safe, loving and trusting home. We all make mistakes in our lives, and this may seem especially true when it comes to raising children, but trying to do your best can have a great impact on the lives of children. Behavior problems and delinquency are less likely to develop in children, especially at an early age, when they have a parent or other adult who is involved in their lives. Every child needs a consistent, strong, and loving relationship with an adult to develop a sense of trust and feel safe. Without this bond, a child may grow up to become difficult to manage, hostile, and distrustful. It is often a challenge to show love to a child on a consistent basis. If you feel unable to do this, it is helpful to seek the guidance of a therapist who can help you and discover the reasons for this difficulty as well as encourage you in a safe and supportive environment. Children have minds of their own, as they become more independent, they may behave in ways with anger and frustrate you. You need patience and a commitment to see things through their eyes in order to deal with your own feelings. Try not to respond to your child with hostile words and actions. This approach only serves to teach the child that aggressive behavior is a way to deal with emotions.

Children need to be taught that they can stand up to violence. They can learn that it takes more courage to resist violence then to give in to it. They should learn that name calling, bullying and threats can set the scene for violent outcomes, but they can stand up to this in a firm and calm way if it happens to them.

Although we do not have control over all the causes of violence with children, we can at least take steps to help our kids grow up with a sense of love and safety, as well as teach the skills to know how to resist violence in their lives. The rewards of affective parenting are enormous. If your household is characterized by violence, or if your child seems prone to excessive anger or violent behavior, realize that there is effective help through therapy. Our children are our legacy and the future. They deserve love and wisdom that we can pass on to them.


No secrets… Telling the truth in our relationships

*Truth in our relationships is a newsletter that only offers information and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. – Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037


Telling the Truth is always vital to our relationships. When we commit ourselves to a relationship with another person, we rightly expect to experience a sense of fulfillment that we didn’t have before. Humans, as social beings, seem to have a universal desire to find a partner. Sexual attraction often serves as the motivator for making initial contact with the other person. This is usually replaced over time with a more profound sense of commitment and intimacy.

It is a terrible disappointment to some people when the sexual phase of the relationship fails to lead to something deeper. The task is to understand the forces that block the development of a deeper sense of intimacy and do something about it. Fortunately, with some work, couples can learn to move into deeper sharing and more fulfillment in their relationships.

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Being in Love

The excitement of entering a new relationship touches us at the core of our being. In some sense, it influences our thinking, emotions, and physical bodies. It feels like a dream come true. Finally, the hard years of experiencing the world alone have ended, and the thing we have longed for has been achieved.

We now have a partner who can share, understand, and appreciate our most private experiences. The world suddenly seems like a happier and more secure place. The beginning stages of a relationship can bring a sense of connectedness. Still, when that phone call doesn’t come, when a plan goes awry, when the wrong words are spoken, the emotional high can turn swiftly into a feeling of devastation. Being in love can have its downside.

When Truth becomes vital in a Relationship

Over time the physical stage of the relationship is typically replaced by a period of getting to know more about other aspects of our partner’s personality. Some of these characteristics are endearing to us, and others irritate us. We learn how our partner attends to the demands of everyday life. We know that they might not do things the way we do them. Our partner may take a more aggressive approach than we do. Or we may find that our partner takes on issues by mulling them back-and-forth, before coming to a decision, which may create anxiety in us.

Our partner’s loyalty to the relationship may differ from our own. These differences may seem catastrophic during this phase of the relationship. And at this stage, rather than looking within to adjust to our partner’s quirks, we may try to force our partners to change their behavior. Power and domination may enter the relationship’s dynamics, negatively impacting intimacy. At this stage, genuine communication becomes essential to the continued success of the relationship.

Guidelines for Telling the Truth in Our Relationships

Communication is at the center of relationships, and the quality of a relationship depends on the quality of the contact between the two partners. The most treasured times in a relationship are when we tap into our partner’s authenticity with heartfelt communications and talk truthfully.

Truth is complicated, and many of us engage in a bit of self-deception. There are things about ourselves that we may not have been able to examine or accept; we have difficulty admitting our flaws, even to ourselves, much more so to our partners. Here are some guidelines for telling the Truth:

Understand what you intend to do when communicating: This requires an honest look at your motivations. If you want to create healing, clarity, or a more profound sense of intimacy within the relationship, your intention will probably lead to those results. If, on the other hand, you want to make yourself look good or intend to hurt your partner, then distrust will result from the communication.

The Takeaway is…

Communication on an honest and truthful level makes you vulnerable. You may fear getting hurt or hurting your partner’s feelings. Or you may feel that you will be misunderstood or that your partner will judge you negatively. Our fears are based on past experiences that reside within us and are often unrealistic. The higher goal is to communicate truthfully with your partner to have a more satisfying relationship, which means having the courage to confront your fears. Learn more about building a well-minded relationship at Eunoia.

Dealing with Controlling People

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

“If I win, you lose” is not the only option open to us.

Control, like most facets of human behavior, is probably best experienced in moderation. At one end of the spectrum, control is a positive, adaptive tool. For example, control over prolonged and constant chaos in our lives is usually a good thing. At the other end, control can be seen as negative. People who are over-controlled to the point of being unable to feel or express emotions can find life’s expected turmoils to be difficult or even impossible to handle.

While some control is appropriate, especially when the control is used as a way of adapting to some aspect of our own lives, it can spread out to other people when it’s taken to the extreme… and sometimes we don’t realize that we end up controlling other people. We sometimes walk a thin line in this regard. Controlling others has the potential to be a highly negative experience, not only for the one controlled, but also for the controller

On the surface, we might think of a controlling person as one who is strong, independent, and even a natural born leader. But this is seldom the case. Ask yourself, why would a person need to dominate the actions and feelings of another person? It could be because the controlling person may privately experience a great deal of self-doubt, negativity, and lack of fulfillment. Controllers may be people who lack the tools to achieve personal integrity through their own resources… but they get a feeling of fulfillment when they can control the behavior of another person. With this thought in mind, we can see the controlling person as one who may be the weak and dependent party in an interaction. And it may be the one who is controlled who actually has more strength- that is, it takes strength to give in to the needs of another person (the controller).

Worry Worry

*This newsletter is intended to offer information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037

It’s a good thing that almost all of us worry. Think of worry as a built-in alarm device. When it is used wisely, it alerts us to danger and prompts us to navigate our way through a maze of solutions to life’s various problems. We need to think through our options when we are faced with problems, weighing the benefits and pitfalls of each alternative, and then come up with the best solution. From there we take action which, we hope, solves the problem. Worry is helpful when it is used at the right time and at the right level for resolving our difficulties. Like many things in life, however, too little worry, or too much of it, can be harmful.

Too little worry can result in impulsive decisions which may result in unfortunate consequences. Indeed, some people are high risk takers who may not worry enough about problems- they may win, but just as often, they lose. Others avoid worry through substance abuse or other addictive behaviors and then lack the motivation and insight to deal realistically with life’s expected problems. Similarly, a laid-back, come-what-may approach, while it has some merits, sometimes suggests passivity and a lack of ability to participate in the complexity of life’s experiences.

As we all know, some people worry too much. Rather than solving a problem too much worry becomes the problem. Not only does excessive worry create personal suffering, but it also affects the people around the worrier. Worry is a fairly common, but potentially serious, condition. A recent survey suggests that one-third of all office visits to primary-care physicians are associated with some form of anxiety. Furthermore, it has been estimated that one-fourth of all people, over the course of a lifetime, will at some point suffer from symptoms associated with an anxiety-related diagnosis. The stress which accompanies worry can have serious physical implications, including an increase risk for blood pressure and heart ailments, immune system deficiencies, and cancer.

There are many practical methods for dealing with excessive worry, a few of which are finding connectedness, seeking advice and reassurance, and understanding the difference between good worry and unproductive and unproductive worry.