3 Strategies To Overcome Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety

Many language learners feel a certain level of anxiety when it comes to actually speaking in the foreign language. You may be worried that you’ll look foolish if you make a mistake. Perhaps you’re concerned with not being understood.

Here are three strategies to help you overcome foreign language speaking anxiety.

1. Stick to what you know. When you already know one language, it can be a challenge trying to get your ideas across in another language, especially if you only know a few hundred words in that language. It’s easy for language learners to start talking about a topic and then quickly realize that they’ve run out of vocabulary!

Before they know it, learners have worked themselves into a corner, anxious because now they need to admit that they’ve no idea what’s going on in the conversation.

While this kind of embarrassing situation happens to all language learners, it can make you hesitant to go out and try interacting with native speakers.

One strategy is to stick with the topics you know. If you have 500 words, use those 500 words to do the best you can with your language skills. Talk around the message you’re trying to convey and stick to that message.

2. Find a sympathetic partner. Find a speaking partner or native speaker who is patient and willing to help you practice your language. It can be intimidating to speak with native speakers who are unaccustomed to dealing with non-natives and unwilling to work with you to try to understand your message. A speaking partner who is learning the same language you’re studying is a great way to practice. You are free to make mistakes that are low-risk for your self-esteem.

3. Rehearse. We frequently rehearse speaking situations in our first language, but don’t think of it as rehearsing. Before you go to look at an apartment, you make a list of questions you want to ask the realtor. Before you go to the doctor, you make a list of symptoms you want to discuss. Before you go to a meeting, you jot down notes about what you need to tell everyone. This is rehearsing.

Make rehearsing a habit in your second language! Before you go to catch a cab, practice your lines. Rehearsing is a great way to boost your confidence.

Summing up, if you’re dealing with speaking anxiety, try limiting yourself to the topics you know well and avoid situations that exacerbate your feelings of helplessness. Find a sympathetic speaking partner with whom you’re comfortable enough to make mistakes. Finally, take advantage of opportunities to rehearse whenever you can. With these three strategies, you’ll be well on your way to speaking in your second language with confidence!

Anxiety, Empathy and Extroversion – Their Role in Language Learning

Personality factors are considered essential in the learning of a language. Three of the most important personality factors in human behavior are anxiety, empathy and extroversion. All these three play an important affective role in second language acquisition.

Anxiety is an abnormal apprehension and fear, by doubt about the nature and reality of the threat itself, and by self-doubt. It is associated with feelings of uneasiness, frustration or worry over a task to be accomplished. On the other spectrum, empathy is the process of reaching beyond the self and understanding and feeling what other person understands or feels. It is usually described as the projection of ones’ own personality into the personality of another in order to understand him better. In other words, it is the compassion one can render for another person. While extroversion is the extent to which a person has a deep-seated need to receive ego enhancement, self-esteem, and a sense of wholeness from other people.

Research has shown valuable points concerning these three potentially important personality factors in the acquisition of a second language. In the case of language anxiety, this state of apprehension, as studied, has negative effects on the learners’ acquisition of a language. It may hinder the learners’ progress in class or may motivate him to study harder. But such effects vary on how one views anxiety. Different measurements have been done in the degree of empathy in communication and language learning. It explains that in second language learning, not only must learner-speaker correctly identify cognitive and affective sets in the hearer, but they must do so in a language they are trying to comprehend. In extroversion, research found that it has no significant effect in characterizing a good language learner. But nevertheless, it may be a factor in the development of general oral communication competence, which requires face to face interaction.

Thus, anxiety, empathy and extroversion have essential roles in learning a language. Human anxieties on complex tasks are susceptible in language learning which include communication apprehension, fear of negative evaluation and test anxiety. Having the compassion of putting ones’ self on someone else’ shoes, understanding ones’ feelings, analyzing ones’ feedback and identifying ones’ linguistic, cognitive, and affective sets are the few important roles of empathy in successful language learning. On the other end, language extroversion is culturally bound. It is readily apparent that cross-cultural norms of nonverbal and verbal interaction vary widely. Thus, extroversion is a factor in the development of general oral communicative competence, where participation is highly valued considering the cultural norms of the learners.

Moreover, the three variables have interesting implications in language teaching. Such in the vulnerable case of learners’ anxiety, a constructive approach of teaching is needed. It is right for teachers to distinguish between types of anxieties his or her students are possessing and how his learners are affected by it so he or she can explain how indispensable it is in language learning. In the study of empathy, its implication in language teaching includes the teachers’ wide understanding of the different responses of the learners. One would need to determine if empathy is something one can learn in the adult years, especially cross-culturally. This is same with the implications of extroversion in language teaching. Teachers need to be sensitive to cultural norms, to a students’ willingness to speak out in class, and to optimal points between extreme extroversion and introversion that may vary from student to student.

Therefore, understanding how these personality factors in human behavior work from person to person is an important as understanding its roles in language learning and teaching. As part of the affective domain of human behavior, anxiety, empathy and extroversion, indeed, play important roles in language acquisition and successful language teaching process.

Motivation to Lose Weight: How You Can Lose Weight

The motivation to lose weight can be very hard to find, particularly when you’ve often tried and failed before. Or when you’ve tried, done it… and then put it all back on again.

Comes a point when you just give up, accept that you are the weight and size you are and you’re stuck with it.

But the truth is that this is the best time to understand why it is that you can’t lose weight – or keep it off when you have.

In this article, we’re going to look at several things that affect your weight and are totally out of your control. These include:

  • Hormones
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Medication
  • Metabolism

After we’ve looked at the above, we’ll look at how to prepare your body to find the motivation to lose weight.

Hormones and weight loss

When you say “it’s my hormones”, people smile and give you knowing looks. But your hormones have a huge effect on your motivation, metabolism and mood.

If you’re under long term stress at work or at home, your body releases a type of adrenalin called cortisol, a hormone that affects their body shape.

And the problem is abdominal fat tends to stick around even if the original stress has passed. Why? Because by that time, your stress is about your body shape, but your hormones can’t tell the difference between the original stress and the stress about weight gain, so it just keeps pumping out the cortisol.

A study of 6,700 nurses published in the International Journal of Obesity by Overgaard et al (2004) indicated that stress and its accompanying hormone changes – due to workload in the case of those nurses – is a major contributor to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.

It really is your hormones.

Anxiety and weight loss

Anxiety, a close relative of stress, also affects hormones.

Stress and anxiety tend to go together and as a result your body shape changes over time. The more anxious you are, the more it affects your hormones.

Weirdly anxiety can also result in weight loss. Ever heard the expression “she lives on her nerves” about a very thin woman? That’s the anxiety – and that’s not healthy either.

Medication and weight loss

Sometimes it feels like you just can’t win.

Many people do not understand that when you say “my medication makes me fat”, you are telling the unvarnished truth.

But when you have a life threatening condition like diabetes, auto inflammatory disease or epilepsy, it’s important that you keep taking the medication to keep you alive.

Anti depressants, birth control pills and antibiotics are also necessary for your health in certain circumstances

Unfortunately, that same medication makes you really hungry. All the time.

The reason farmers fill their animals with antibiotics? It makes them gain weight. It also makes you gain weight.

And there’s nothing like having a baby to make you gain weight.

Metabolism and weight loss

Some are born with a slow metabolism.

Some have slow metabolism thrust upon them.

Some people just have slower metabolisms than others. They are born that way. Which means that the “average” calorie intake for an adult tends to put weight on them.

Alternatively, those who originally had average metabolisms and gained weight, lost it, gained it back again (and more) – known as yoyo dieting – tend to develop slower metabolisms through dieting.

A recent study from the National Institutes of Health on contestants from The Biggest Loser indicated that those who lose a lot of weight are more likely to gain most of it back and can even put on more weight than before they lost it.

Their bodies went into famine mode and never came out again.

What’s the answer? How to lose weight

The answer lies in preparing your body through addressing your stress, balancing your gut and letting your body know that this is not a famine.

Stress can be reduced through gentle movement or stretching like yoga, Tai Chi or Chi Gung. Meditation can also help.

You can begin to balance your gut through adding a probiotic to your diet. My favourite is Bio Kult, but there are other brands. Make sure you choose one with many strains, rather than just one.

Living food can also help: bio active yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir are some examples of living food.

Add a fresh juice or smoothie to your diet. Not bought from a store, but made at home in your own juicer or blender. Fresh fruit and vegetables are incredibly nourishing. Nourishment tends to reduce hunger.

Psychology Private Practice Marketing: Choosing a Niche Market

A niche market is a group of people with common characteristics, issues and concerns.

For example, attorneys, couples dealing with infertility, parents of children with ADHD, children whose parents divorced and career women over 40 are all potential niches.

Defining your services and target groups are an important step in effective marketing. It is not enough to say you are a therapist. “Therapy” is too broad and non-specific.

Marketing is simply getting the word out about what you do.

Not choosing a target market or markets is like trying to get your voice heard over the din of your whole community.

You aren’t going to be heard.

If you want to effectively communicate and get the word out, you need to know to whom you want to communicate.

That’s the idea behind the exercise of choosing a niche market. No one can effectively market to everyone.

Great marketing goes in depth with a specific target group. Surface attempts to get the attention of the masses does not work.

Sometimes a niche can be a clinical specialty. Specialties attract clients more than a general practice. It will also attract your ideal client — the type of client and services you most enjoy in your work. Sophisticated consumers today are more likely to seek out a specialist if they can find one.

It may take some time and reflection to identify ideal niches for your practice. It may evolve over time. Or maybe one day, your niche will jump out at you.

Richard Bolles said, “Your mission is where the world’s deepest hunger and your heart’s greatest gladness intersect.” The same can be said for identifying your niche.

Some questions to stimulate your thinking:

  • Think about your previous clients. What profession was your most enjoyable client?
  • What characteristic of clients do you tend to attract?
  • What similar problems do your clients seem to have?
  • What type of situation have you been most effective in?
  • What knowledge and skills have your accumulated? How have you utilized (or underutilized) them in your work to date?

Developing a Service Line

As you define your practice, you will want to select a niche or maybe a few niches and get to know them well. You will research their felt needs and urgent concerns. You will shape your services to meet these needs and develop effective ways of communicating to your niche.

Do some market research. What are the felt needs and issues that appear to be of urgent concern to people in the target group you plan to serve? Talk to and interview a number of people in your target market to find out. Read the newsletters they read. Attend meetings they attend.

Make a list of the kinds of services you have interest in providing and what interests and energizes you.


  • Helping ADHD executives increase productivity
  • Assisting struggling college students to achieve better grades
  • Helping singles to have greater success in dating relationships.

The basic idea is to match the felt needs of your market with solutions that you can offer, based on what services command your interest and is within your capability. You may need to receive some training if a service is not within your current skill set.

By zeroing in on a specific niche and line of services, you will develop a competitive advantage over other providers in your area, due to your specialization. You will eventually develop a reputation for the service that will attract referrals to you.

Speaking of competition, there are advantages to having services in our line that are not covered by managed care. Although many people will opt to pay out of pocket for customized, quality services, others may not. Examples of services that are not covered by managed care include child-custody evaluations and other court-related services, psycho-educational evaluations, business consulting and coaching business owners or executives.

Other examples of specific services include resiliency training, co-parenting counseling for divorcing parents, divorce recovery groups, marriage enrichment retreats, career counseling for professionals in transition, court-ordered psychological evaluations, forensic consulting in personal injury cases, or a 10-week group for business professionals with ADHD.

Again, more traditional services, such as psychotherapy for anxiety or depression, are fine as well. There are effective ways to market these services and gather private-pay referrals. I have a steady stream of referrals based on my reputation for cognitive therapy of anxiety and depression. If this applies to you, keep it as a part of the mix.

Most Common Phobias

A phobia is an irrational and excessive fear of an object or situation, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). More often than not, phobia involves a sense of endangerment or a fear of harm. For example, somebody suffering from agoraphobia will dread being trapped in an inescapable place or situation.

Here, we discuss 10 most common phobias that people suffer from:

  1. Agoraphobia: It is a phobia which is quite common. Almost 2 percent Americans are victims of agoraphobia. It is a fear of open or crowded spaces. It creates a vicious cycle and the sufferer gets panic attacks when nearing any event that necessitates facing such circumstances.
  2. Acrophobia: It is a fear of heights. It is an irrational fear of heights or the fear of falling. Close to 10 percent people in the U.S. suffer from acrophobia. In severe cases, a victim may even suffer panic attacks.
  3. Aerophobia: It is the fear of flying. Almost 6.5 percent of the world’s population has this fear. This phobia is closely linked with agoraphobia and claustrophobia (fear of small and restricted spaces). In extreme cases, this may affect a person’s professional and personal life when air travel becomes inevitable.
  4. Mysophobia: It is a fear of germs. This fear is also akin to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A person may suffer from both these disorders at the same time. Sufferers often become isolated in mysophobia.
  5. Claustrophobia: The fear of small spaces, this phobia is common as 5-7 percent of the world population suffers from claustrophobia. This phobia is related to fear of suffocation or the fear of restriction. Very few sufferers seek treatment in this phobia and majority of them go untreated.
  6. Cynophobia: The fear of dogs is called cynophobia. Many people fear dogs and there is no harm in that. But cynophobia is an extreme and uncommon fear about dogs. It is one of the most common animal phobias in the world. It is estimated that about 36 percent of the sufferers seek treatment for cynophobia.
  7. Trypophobia: It is the fear of holes. It sounds absurd to be afraid of holes, but for a trypophobe the mere sight of a hole is enough to press the panic button as he becomes quite restless and almost reaches on the verge of a collapse.
  8. Astraphobia: The fear of thunder and lightning is called astraphobia. It is true that thunderstorm and lightning can make even the brave run for cover, but for an individual suffering from astraphobia, it is altogether a different case. Starting in childhood, this fear can continue into adulthood.
  9. Ophidiophobia: The fear of snakes is known as ophidiophobia. One may think how fearing snakes can be termed as a phobia as almost everyone is scared of snakes. But for people who suffer from this phobia, it becomes impossible to indulge in hiking, camping and related activities.
  10. Arachnophobia: The fear of spiders afflicts a lot of people in the society with 30.5 percent of them dwelling in the U.S. alone. This is an extreme fear of spiders and other arachnids like scorpions. This causes a lot of embarrassment to the victims.

Managing phobias

A little of fear and phobia is normal. However, when it goes beyond control and begins to affect the daily activities of a person, it becomes a concern. Phobias are mental conditions which qualify for intervention. One should see a psychiatrist if faced with an extreme phobia of any kind. In fact, phobias are mostly related to anxiety disorder in a person.

Yoga for Raising Peaceful Children

Whether they are passing state-mandated tests, making honor rolls, or coping with class bullies, children do not have carefree lives; nor do they always have good role models. Raising peaceful kids in a chaotic world is not easy, but teaching them how to cope with stress gives them a running start.

We have all heard the saying “it takes a village.” Research shows that Yoga studios can be integral parts of that village. Not only does the practice of Yoga help children feel better about their own bodies, but it helps them to respect and get along with others, too. Belonging to a community builds empathy and increases feelings of connectedness, lowering anxiety and depression for all generations.

The earlier we learn the rules to healthy living, the less conflict we have as children or adults. Imagine not having to “unlearn” the bad habits we acquired during our younger years, not to mention the psychological and physical benefits of the early training.

While parenting theories change, some truths are absolute. The way we see the world and treat other people determines the quality of our lives. Negative thoughts create anger, fear, and isolation. At the same time, good deeds and positive thinking lead to happy hearts and minds.

Yoga and Peaceful Children

It is hard enough to remain calm and centered in our busy world, with time for children’s soccer schedules and homework competing against each other. Add to this, it is difficult for busy parents to be completely present for others. As children grow, there comes a time when children are more likely to listen to someone else. What better person for the role than a competent Yoga teacher?

Yoga teaches kindness, patience, and service, while honoring individual traditions and personal beliefs. In a world where competition and acquisition are commonplace, Yogic philosophy encourages cooperation, service, builds self-esteem, self-care, and contemplation. The ability to persevere, to live a balanced life or to look inward is something most of us take decades to learn.

Yoga’s health benefits are obvious, but they also spill over into other areas of children’s lives. Kids who are happy and healthy have fewer behavioral problems, learn more easily, and exhibit stronger social skills.

There is an old Native American belief that the actions of one generation affect the next seven generations. If so, childhood Yoga lessons have the potential to change the future in a positive way for generations to come.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Adult Nail Biting – Reasons Why You Should Stop Biting Your Fingernails Any Further

Adult nail biting is a strong repetitive behavior that can easily be classified as an obsessive habit such as chronic onychophagia. It is crucial for you to understand that just because you bite your nails on a regular basis that doesn’t mean you have Chronic Onychophagia. It is a fact that some adults have a serious nail biting problem, but not everyone who bites their nails is completely out of control.

Onycophagia is the technical term for nail biting habit, the act of biting the nail or around the cuticle when a person is board or a period of inactivity. The behavior can also show up through period of tension and anxiety, but stress seems to be the major problem for most people. Nevertheless, a person who suffers from Chronic Onycophagia might need some extra help to overcome such condition because it is a form of an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

People who suffer from Chronic Onychophagia often chew their nails to the point that they cause bleeding and bruises. In some cases when they no longer able to bite their fingernails, they turn to their toe nails. It is very important to understand the aggressiveness of a chronic nail biter which half of the time also suffers from OCD.

Should you suspect you have OCD, your next step is to consult your doctor. Although medications alone will not cure OCD, but together, behavioral therapy can play a significant factor. Also, natural stress relieving like B-vitamin inositol works well to relieve the stimulation of nail biting. This vitamin works to enhance serotonin level in the brain, a hormone that helps regulate mood, and makes handling tension easier. When it comes to your regular adult nail biting, method of substitutions and discussions regarding on how to deal with stress and anxiety can help relieve pressure on your subconscious mind, and lessen the stimulating effect on your nervous system.

A sure effective method is keeping and maintaining nice and neat looking nails. Having your nails trimmed and neatly filed will discourage fingernail biting, and keep you away from trying to fix nails imperfection. Also, for an adult having a manicure is helpful too, since among other reason this toughens the nail, and makes gnawing more difficult.

Whatever the problem maybe, OCD, stress or anxiety, should never be an excuse for you to continue with the nail biting behavior. Adult nail biting maybe tough to control, but you can learn to overcome the habit.

Lack of Opportunites for Young Disabled Learners

As a younger learner I was unable to continue my secondary education at a mainstream school due to health problems that started to become an issue at the age of 10. At that time I was diagnosed with M.E (myalgic encephalomyelitis) although I have since been diagnosed with joint hypermobility syndrome and fibromyalgia too. I had to leave school at 12 years old and was out of school for two years whilst another suitable place was located for me.

I became involved with a health needs education service based in Kent (UK) and was found a place at a small unit with flexible hours, supportive staff and a class size of about 8. This was great and enabled me to complete some high school education but the subjects available for GCSE study were very limited. Despite this I did get some GCSEs, albeit not in the subjects I particularly wanted. Due to the nature of the education unit there was no option to study for any A levels. College study was my only option.

I applied for a college course, met the tutors and spent time looking around the campus on several occasions. All the while, I was dealing with a lot of health issues and a lot of joint pain. Walking around the college itself was exhausting. I had no choice but to forget about doing the course due to lack of understanding and provision for my physical health needs. Being unable to cope with college sent me into a deep spiral of anxiety and depression.

After a long time I did realise that there were other things I could do to keep my brain active and occupied. I started doing free online courses as well as some cheaper ones that I have paid for. It gives me a sense of pride that I can do the coursework, although it can still be very isolating.

When my daughter started school in 2016, a group was brought to my attention. It was a local mums group and although I was very anxious I decided I would go along. I am glad I did as being part of the group has helped me to learn about lots of different things. I have learnt about cooking and healthy eating, about stress and I have also learnt some crafting skills too. Although not a strict teaching environment with qualifications, the learning process is both informative and enjoyable. The friendliness and informal setting helps me to feel relaxed about learning and takes my mind off my severe anxiety and other physical health problems.

I do not believe there was enough education provision for those with a mental or physical health problem and I believe this is still the case. I think a lot more could be done to be more inclusive and give everybody equal opportunities. As a result of the issues I have had throughout my teen and adult years so far I feel I have no job prospects due to the lack of education provision for those of us with disabilities, despite being extremely eager to learn. I believe there could be more done to include those of us with disabilities and help them to achieve their dreams.

Emergency Dental Services Provide Good Care As Per Need

Dental services and customer satisfaction remain essential priorities for the service providers that manipulate happy smiles. It is rather recently that dental health has received due recognition and technology has brought up wonders like veneers, implants and cosmetic dentistry that could not be imagined decades ago. People today stand a much better chance of maintaining a full set of active teeth into the golden years, provided they observed dental hygiene since the younger days. Something to worry about is the possibility of a sudden accident or long-standing tooth problem that may need emergency dental services.

Though emergencies are hardly related to teeth, but rather focused on essential organs like the heart and lungs, such serious problems do sometimes arise as a result of

• Mysterious loss of teeth

• Fractured or broken teeth

• Ruthless tooth pain

• Long standing gum disease or injury

• Objects lodged in the teeth

Just like emergency facilities in health care centers, these providers work around the clock and would be available for emergency dental care day and night. When such a contingency arises, it is certain that appropriate dental health care would be rendered immediately. Besides, dental emergencies are hardly life threatening, though they could mean serious problems for the future. In many cases, timely intervention prevents issues blowing out of proportion. Anxiety can be truly debilitating and many make the mistake of delaying treatments. The annual dental check up is often neglected and problems may be quietly building up in the mouth. The price to pay for the delay may be the loss of teeth. Tissues and gums could undergo serious damage over time.

Catering to emergency dental services is an occasional event, though serious enough. Most of the time the dedicated company staff are busy administering a range of treatments targeted at achieving optimum smiles and preserving them for long. A pretty smile with glowing teeth means a lot in terms of levels of confidence and professional and social success.

Some fabulous smile generating treatments are:


Crowns and Bridges

Laser Dentistry

Periodontal Dentistry


The service provider is organized to deliver personalized dental health care to everybody. Refreshments like steaming tea or coffee beside the soothing background music would put the patients much relax. If a short wait is necessary, watch the flat screen television or read the latest magazines and informative brochures about the dental health of course. Be prepared to submit a dental history if such a situation arises, because even tooth pain, especially long-standing pain, could have dire consequences. Among colleagues, friends, and relatives, such stories would be circulating of extractions and root canal treatments arising after pain being considered insignificant and treated with painkillers over months and years.

Be prepared to tell the dentist

  • The exact location of the pain
  • Whether instant searing pain or long drawn out pain
  • The duration of the pain or gum bleeding problem
  • Medications like painkiller brand names taken
  • Whether fever comes and goes
  • Anxiety problems

Infected teeth and gums are often the problem and antibiotics are good enough treatments at the starting stage. If neglected, the infection gets deeper into the root and the final solution would be extraction. If that happens to several teeth, the happy smile is in danger and costly replacement teeth would be necessary. People hardly wish to maintain dentures, particularly in old age.

Whatever is the nature of the dental problem, irrespective of age and other health conditions, an affordable course of treatment need to avail whenever requires. Working without a fuss and getting straight at the root of the cause. A variety of scientific and technological testing and treatment procedures would make certain that problems are not likely to arise again, though that periodic check up and teeth cleaning are recommended for everybody.

Only a few organizations have a reputation for excellent patient-centered dental healthcare and works towards their ultimate satisfaction. Sincerity and integrity ensure that all the procedures recommended tally with the exact requirements. A sense of social responsibility drives the team towards the achievement of professional goals. Core values inspire the team each day and the mission is well on the way to success. Compassion for the suffering results in longer duration trust relationships. Confidence grows to know that emergency dental services would be available whenever the need arises.

A Jungian Psychology Approach To Anxiety

Anxiety is a very common disorder in today’s world, largely due to the fact that we feel hurried, pressured and pushed to perform, pay the mortgage, deal with kids, and on top of all that, live a full life. No wonder we have anxiety. But what is anxiety trying to tell us? From a Jungian Psychology perspective, anxiety is the psyche’s way of telling us that the way we are living is out of balance. Rather than view anxiety as something to be eliminated, with medication, we need to see that the psyche is giving us a clear message about our one-sided life and is gently asking us to change this. Viewed in this light, anxiety symptoms are there to guide us out of a lifestyle that is no longer working.

Carl Jung argued that anxiety symptoms are purposive, functional and have a goal – the alteration of our lifestyle. When we eliminate the symptoms through medication, we deny the wisdom of the psyche in making normal, natural change. Anxiety often appears in mid-life, when many of us experience a mid-life crisis. The first half of life is aimed at establishing our identity, our relationships, our occupation, and building up the necessary resources to accomplish all of these tasks. But, there comes a time when we need to turn inwards, to encounter the contents of the unconscious (often provided to us in the form of dreams) and search out the essential meaning of life. What is my purpose in life? Why am I here? How could I be living a more balanced, natural life? It is anxiety that often propels us towards answering these questions. When next you feel intense anxiety, ask yourself what the psyche is trying to tell you? What is it that I am doing that creates the anxiety, then begin to address the causes of the symptoms, rather than the cure.

If we answer the question – what is the anxiety trying to tell me – we begin to address the cause. This may mean some change in the way you life your life, but this change does not necessarily mean that you become less competent, or less valued, rather, it means that you begin to value the wisdom of your psyche more than before. By addressing the causes of the anxiety and making lifestyle changes, the anxiety should diminish, having achieved its goal – leading you towards a more full, balanced lifestyle.