Patt Morrison for November 29, 2011

Anxiety: Friend or Foe?

German parliament votes on crucial reforms

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (R) and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer display signs of anxiety during votes at the German parliament (Bundestag) October 17, 2003 in Berlin, Germany.

We often hear about the anxiety-riddled type-A personality, but is there a good side of anxiety?

Can it make us more creative, more accomplished? New research looking at people who routinely experience anxiety—like firefighters, performers, surgeons, and elite athletes—shows anxiety may serve as a productive motivator. Maybe Bobby McFerrin was wrong when he sang those famous words: “don’t worry, be happy.” It seems that the secret to beating anxiety is by learning how to stay calm—a feat that’s easier said than done. How has anxiety affected your life? Do you have stories about how anxiety has had a positive impact on you or helped you in a situation?

WEIGH IN:

How has anxiety affected your life? Do you have any stories about how anxiety had a positive impact on you or helped you in a situation?

Guest:

Alice Park, staff writer, TIME, author, “The Two Faces of Anxiety”


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