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A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published in mid 2024. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site and on social media in the coming months.

The 52:52:52 project, launching on this site and on social media in mid 2024, will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

This site addresses what's changing, at the personal, organisational and societal levels. You'll learn about key changes across more than 150 elements of life, from ageing and time, through nature and animals, to kindness and love...and much more besides, which will help you better prepare for related change in your own life.

What's Changing? - Anxiety



Please see below selected recent anxiety-related change.


See also:


May 2024

  • The effects of climate change mean that people are bringing distress about the climate crisis into their therapists’ offices. Climate anxiety is projected to be a growing mental health burden as the climate emergency continues to unfold. Climate anxiety - which refers to the experience of anxiety and related feelings (such as despair, sadness and anger) about the impacts of climate change - can manifest in various, often very challenging ways. The focus of concern can span from one’s personal wellbeing to the state of the planet and the very future of human existence.
  • According to the 2024 Muse Brain Health Report, 40% of Americans suspected they may have an undiagnosed brain health condition, with anxiety (20%) and depression (19%) being the most commonly suspected.


April 2024

  • Anxiety involves a remorseless debilitating sense that being alive is exhaustingly risky and unpredictable, that something appalling - which we can sometimes name clearly and sometimes can’t at all - is out to get us, that we’re required to be permanently on our guard, from the moment we wake up (and even while we’re asleep), and that nothing good and calm can ever be real or lasting.
  • The real reasons many people feel deep anxiety and dread are self-hatred and pervasive shame. If we feel, deep down, like a piece of excrement whose very existence is unwanted, it then follows and seems entirely plausible that enemies should right now be plotting to destroy us, that the government might scrutinise us and put us in jail, that our partner might leave us and that we should be imminently disgraced and mocked by strangers.
  • High-functioning anxiety (HFA) is one of the most invisible anxiety disorders,” psychotherapist Lesley Shearer explained. “It can go on for months or years without being diagnosed or treated, and to an individual’s friends, family, and colleagues, even themselves, the symptoms can go unnoticed.” Cognitive behavioural psychotherapist Peter Klein explained that outward signs of HFA can include being very quiet or talkative, fast movements and actions such as scanning surroundings with fast eye movements, or overly submissive or aggressive behaviour when conflict arises. Easier-to-miss signs can include constantly thinking about what could go wrong and what to do about it, struggling to be present, daydreaming, fear of failure or being a fraud, constant planning, or cringing over one's own behaviour.


March 2024


February 2024

  • Diets with a higher presence of ultra-processed food (UPF) have been linked to a greater risk of 32 physical and mental health issues, a review of research found. The term UPF covers a plethora of items including baked goods and snacks, ready meals and cereals, and other foods that have gone through multiple industrial processes. They are often high in sugar, fat and salt and low in vitamins and fibre. Researchers found that a higher intake of UPF was linked to a 50% higher risk of death from heart disease, a 12% greater risk of type 2 diabetes, and higher chances of developing anxiety (48%) and depression (22%).


January 2024


December 2023


November 2023

  • For The School of Life, one of the basic courtesies we almost never remember to pay our worries is to go back and check how they fared against reality. For many, no period of life is free of dread-filled apprehensions. One week, we might be worried about running out of money; the next about having offended a friend, the thirs of being brought down by a rumour on social media and the fourth about leaving out something from our tax return. Worries go on and on, shifting relentlessly from one target to another.


October 2023

  • Google Trends revealed that the search for ‘I am tired’ reached an all-time peak in August 2023, while evidence suggests that worldwide burnout levels are leaving stressed-out adults too tired to eatworkout or sleep.
  • According to perceptual control therapy (PCT), life requires control, and coping with stress is about being in control of what matters. Ultimately, what matters to a person can only be determined by the person themselves, not by others and their assumptions of what ‘should’ work. From the perspective of PCT, stress comes about when trying to control one aspect of your life conflicts with trying to control another aspect. For example, it is not stressful to work extra hours if you have the time and energy to do so, but it is stressful if you need to get home in time to care for your family. Put simply, all problems are conflicts.
  • Byung-Chul Han's philosophy is an exploration of the "society of fatigue", where the excess of positivity, self-exploitation, and relentless connectivity leads to a paradoxical state of individual isolation. Han argues that the contemporary era, marked by neoliberalism and digital connectivity, has given rise to a culture of self-optimisation that paradoxically results in burnout and exhaustion. One of his key concepts is the "achievement society," where individuals are incessantly driven by the pursuit of success and achievement, creating a society that paradoxically generates more tiredness than happiness.


July 2023

  • Psyche noted that stress has traditionally been regarded as emerging from someone’s personal, psychological response to situations in which the demands are high, while coping resources are low. This individual-level perspective has now been complemented by evidence that interpersonal processes play a critical role, and studies examining the crossover of psychological strain in relationships and small groups found that, in married couples, a spouse under a lot of pressure at work may bring such feelings back home, leading to an increase in stress experienced by their partner. The studies also observed that burnout levels within a team often converge or co-evolve over time. The development of ‘temporal interpersonal emotion systems’ (TIES) framework explained how various elements of negative emotions, such as distress experience, expression and autonomic physiology, are transmitted between people.


June 2023

  • The School of Life noted that one of the basic courtesies we almost never remember to pay our worries is to go back and check how they fared against reality. We are too taken up with the next worry ever to return for a composed audit. Nevertheless, if we force ourselves to perform one, a strange realisation is likely to dawn on us: our worries are nearly always completely – and deeply – out of line with reality.


May 2023

  • The discovery of an “anxiety gene” - and a natural way to turn it off - in the brains of mice could lead to new treatments for anxiety disorders, the most common type of mental illness in the world. If further research validates the finding in human brains, the discovery of this gene could serve as a blueprint for treatments to help people with anxiety disorders.
  • "Meta-anxiety - anxiety about anxiety - is the thing that’s destroying us,” according to Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, a clinical psychologist and author of Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good For You (Even Though it Feels Bad), tells me. “That’s why we’re having this mental health crisis now. We’re talking about it incorrectly.” Dennis-Tiwary claimed that rather than trying to avoid anxiety, we should be facing it to build skills and emotional resilience that help us manage it. Further, by framing it negatively, we miss out on the the more positive features anxiety can bring: vigilance, focus, motivation and a burst of energy that can help us perform at our best.
  • Anxiety is our brain’s way of alerting us to a looming threat. Think: snake slithering up your arm. Social anxiety is designed to do the same thing: alert us to social threats. Social threats are anything that involves being rejected, such as being made fun of or ousted from a group. Social anxiety tricks us into believing that certain situations cause anxiety, but in reality, our thoughts about the situations drive the anxiety.
  • In her book, The Anxious Achiever: Turn Your Biggest Fears into Your Leadership Superpower, Aarons-Mele invites us to "make friends" with our anxiety and embrace the strengths that being anxious can bring. “When you understand your anxiety and learn to leverage it, you develop a leadership superpower,” she writes. “It may not feel like it now, but anxiety can enhance your leadership, ambition, creativity, empathy, communication, and vision. When you’re attuned to your emotions and what they’re trying to tell you, you become a conscious and thoughtful leader.” 
  • For Samir Chopra, professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, anxiety and philosophy are intimately related because enquiry - the asking of questions, the seeking to dispel uncertainty - is how humans respond to this philosophical anxiety. Indeed, Aristotle suggested in his Metaphysics that ‘All men by nature desire to know,’ but the questioning, philosophical being is, in a crucial dimension, the anxious being. Anxiety is not therefore a pathology, but an essential human disposition that leads us to enquire into the great, unsolvable mysteries that confront us.


March 2023


February 2023


January 2023

  • For The School of Life, it’s a curious phenomenon that humans today are more prone to anxiety than at any other point in history. The threats we face are no greater than the ever-present spectres of war, pestilence and famine that bedevilled our species in days gone by. What are we all so worried about? This analysis neglects a crucial fact: that, more so than any previous era, the modern world is tailor-made to breed anxiety. Our society and culture are designed to induce a near-constant state of vigilance and unease. Anxiety is not a ‘bug’ of modern life: it’s a feature. We are doomed to remain prisoners of anxiety unless we learn to recognise the social and cultural forces which inspire it - and figure out a way of escaping their influence.


December 2022


November 2022


October 2022

  • People who worry a lot (whether or not they have an anxiety disorder) tend to believe that worrying is useful - despite the distress, exhaustion, and frustration it can cause. They hold what psychologists call ‘positive worry beliefs’. These include believing that worry helps you effectively prepare for and prevent future challenges, increases motivation for upcoming tasks, and helps you solve problems. Those who have higher levels of worry tend to hold these beliefs more strongly, but many people think that worry is useful on some level, noted Psyche.
  • Financial anxiety - that is, worry, rumination, or guilt regarding money - is extremely common. If anxiety is severe enough to harm work, relationships, or financial responsibilities, it may be appropriate to talk with a doctor or a therapist, but even mild levels of financial worry can negatively impact your mental and physical well-being; anxiety can affect concentration, decision making, sleep, hormones, and immune system. 


September 2022


August 2022

  • An estimated 979m people worldwide experience ‘illness anxiety disorder’ - either focused on their own health and/or the health of someone they love. Unless properly treated, illness anxiety disorder can be chronic and disabling. The constant worries about illness, even after getting reassurance, can interfere with school, work, sleep, relationships, and lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. It can also lead to unnecessary medical tests and procedures when doctors accidentally get caught up trying to reassure patients nothing is wrong. Whether health anxieties are currently mild or more serious, the key is to break out of this trap and regain perspective and peace of mind.


July 2022


June 2022


May 2022


April 2022


March 2022


January 2022


December 2021

  • Triangling, or focusing on a third person, is a common way to manage anxiety in a two-person relationship. Marriages can stabilise when both parents are worried about a child. Two colleagues can bond when they’re mad at the boss. Siblings might feel more at ease when a parent is present as a buffer. Triangles are an inevitable part of relationship systems, but our one-to-one relationships can become watered down when we always need to focus on another person to relate to each other.


November 2021

  • On top of their normal job responsibilities, many people in today’s workforce are grappling with an ongoing global pandemic, political polarisation, the effects of climate change, and the day-to-day stressors of balancing work and home life, leading Big Think to conclude that it’s little wonder that nearly 20% of the adult population suffers from an anxiety disorder.


October 2021

  • study published in the Lancet estimated that cases of depression rose by 53m globally as a consequence of the pandemic, 28% above pre-pandemic levels; cases of anxiety increased by 76m, a 26% rise.
  • A study suggested that those who engage in regular exercise may lower their risk of developing anxiety by almost 60%. Using data on almost 400,000 people spanning more than two decades, the authors from Lund University in Sweden were also able to identify a noticeable difference in exercise performance level and the risk of developing anxiety between males and females. Anxiety disorders - which typically develop early in a person’s life – are estimated to affect approximately 10% of the world’s population and has been found to be twice as common in women compared to men.
  • According to The School of Life, we live in an age of freedom. Modernity has made us free in almost every area of life, from the people we choose to love to the careers we choose to pursue. Yet with this freedom comes a burden: anxiety. Any choice we make might be the wrong one, and ultimately, there is no one who can tell us which is right.
  • Psyche noted that while anxiety isn’t normally considered a good thing - it’s often an unpleasant feeling associated with inner turmoil, sleepless nights and chewed fingernails - some philosophers have looked on anxiety as potentially valuable. Clinical anxiety is simply disabling, but existential anxiety, adopted in the right spirit, is potentially liberating. Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger both gave a central place to anxiety in their analyses of human existence, influenced by the 19th-century Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard.


September 2021

  • A global study by Qualtrics found 42% of people have experienced a decline in mental health. Specifically, 67% of people are experiencing increases in stress while 57% have increased anxiety, and 54% are emotionally exhausted. 53% of people are sad, 50% are irritable, 28% are having trouble concentrating, 20% are taking longer to finish tasks, 15% are having trouble thinking and 12% are challenged to juggle their responsibilities.


August 2021

  • A Psyche article argued that in small doses, worry, rumination and stress can be positive forces in our lives, and serve an evolutionary purpose to protect us from harm. It’s only when they become persistent and overwhelming that it’s problematic. The good news is that we can stop this from happening by learning to control worry and rumination, which can then have long-term benefits for your lifestyle and health. Despite recent statistics showing that we are an increasingly stressed population, there are simple and evidence-based steps to help manage worry and intrusive thoughts


July 2021

  • Many people reported social anxiety about returning to the office, still feeling unsettled. After over a year of remote work, and seeing co-workers only on screen, the idea of seeing everyone again in person can feel overwhelming. And since the Covid landscape was still in flux in mid-2021, it was hard to feel sure about how long the “return to normal” will last. Many people have become used to only seeing colleagues on screens and are unsure what future office-lives hold in store. Transitions naturally spike our anxiety, whenever we’ve avoided something, we may feel anxious about returning to it and social relationships and boundaries have changed.


June 2021


March 2021


January 2021


December 2020

  • The pandemic and subsequent work-from-home boom have increased people's reliance on digital communication - and it’s elevating anxiety and paranoia at work. In the absence of impromptu office interactions - which help to “reassure us we’re in good standing” - small virtual moments can be being picked apart as uncertainty about status proliferates. Employees are increasingly stressing out about how they appear onr Zoom, or wondering whether unanswered messages mean they’re going to get fired, exacerbating stress among those working from home.


November 2020

  • Ipsos’ What Worries the World survey tracks public opinion on the most important social and political issues across 27 countries today, drawing on 10 years of data to place the latest scores in context. October 2020’s results showed that people worldwide continue to say coronavirus is one of the main problems facing their country today. A total of 44% select this issue, placing it in first spot once again. Meanwhile, unemployment is second with 38%.
  • In stressful times, anxious thoughts can prove harder to ward off. Yet, there are ways to worry more mindfully, claimed The New York Times. Experts suggest we accept our worries by observing them neutrally before deciding whether they’re worth acting on or not. They also propose listing our worries and scheduling in time to dedicate to them - literally popping 30 minutes into the calendar - to reduce the hours spent worrying and then planning times outside of worry where we can be fully present.
  • Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide is a World Health Organisation stress management guide for coping with adversity. The guide aims to equip people with practical skills to help cope with stress. A few minutes each day are enough to practice the self-help techniques. The guide can be used alone or with the accompanying audio exercises. Informed by evidence and extensive field testing, the guide claims to be for anyone who experiences stress, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.
  • The School of Life noted that, when faced with adversity, many of us opt for a peculiar coping strategy: we try to be as productive as possible. It’s not a disaster: it’s an opportunity to set ourselves new goals. At one level, this impulse is understandable. Since the world has become unpredictable and frightening, we’re trying to reassert what little control we have over our own workload and schedule. But it may also be deeply unhelpful: compounding our stress by imposing unrealistic expectations on ourselves. The times are trying enough as it is: we should be aiming to put less pressure on ourselves, not more. In the depths of a crisis, a less punishing and more beneficial use of one’s time would be a combination of self-care and self-reflection. We should seek out undemanding pleasures and pastimes and, if we must be productive, we should apply ourselves to the task of understanding our own minds, so that we’re able to get to grips with the root cause of our anxieties and hopes. 
  • People tend to think that being neurotic - persistent worrying, rumination and overall anxiety - is bad news: bad for our health, bad for our relationships with others, bad for our careers, but research suggests neuroticism has a silver lining, according to the BBC. People who are both neurotic and highly conscientious are more likely to put their worrying to good use. These "healthy neurotics" convert their worries into motivation to take healthy, productive actions, like exercising more, eating better and taking overall better care of themselves
  • Many COVID-19 survivors are likely to be at greater risk of developing mental illness, psychiatrists claimed, after a large study found 20% of those infected with the coronavirus are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within 90 days. Anxiety, depression and insomnia were most common among recovered COVID-19 patients in the study who developed mental health problems. The researchers from Oxford University also found significantly higher risks of dementia.
  • A variety of studies show that too much time spent on social media can stress us out, leave us anxious and depressed, and ironically increase feelings of loneliness. These findings have been confirmed for both adults and children. Big Thing pointed to a variety of ways to make avoiding checking your feeds every six seconds a little easier, including the following: delete your apps; set time limits on your usage; consider what you're following; set a day of rest and turn off notifications,


October 2020

  • Remote workers are constantly navigating between different forms of technology throughout the day, whether answering emails, joining video calls or turning to a streaming service to relax after work. Constant technological stimulation and feeling the pressure to be accessible 24/7 is leading to rising levels of "technostress", particularly among those who feel they need to be seen at work, or those doing creative work who find technology disruptive.
  • Research conducted on mice suggests repeated heavy drinking causes synaptic dysfunctions that lead to anxiety. For the study, researchers simulated a 10-day alcohol binge on one of two groups of mice. One group was given 1.5 grams per kilogram of ethyl alcohol each day, which translates to about five daily drinks for an adult human. The other was given water. After 10 days, the researchers analysed images of the mice brains, and conducted behavioural tests to measure anxiety. They found that the mice that had binged alcohol exhibited significantly more anxiety-like behaviors, reported Big Think.


September 2020

  • According to BupaSeptember can be an unsettling month and often bring new worries. Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, Medical Director at Bupa Health Clinics, says: "It’s not uncommon for us to suspend our usual routine and habits during the summer months, which can make it harder to adjust back to normality." "Much like how we used to feel as children when September saw us going back to school, this period brings a sense of trepidation and naturally we may feel a bit unsettled," he adds. "While September isn't officially the start of Autumn, it does feel like a change of season, which can also play a part in our mood and mental health. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern."
  • From eating to dating, we are presented with endless choices. But is this leading to lives full of anxiety and guilt? Sociologist Renata Salecl used examples from popular culture to show that the freedom to choose might not be making us as happy as we think.


August 2020


July 2020

  • With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to play out around the world, business leaders are trying to anticipate what will come next. The most significant development EY tracked globally was the emergence of what it called the “Anxious Consumer”. In lockdown, people around the world have been worrying about how the pandemic will change the way they live. Even as consumers are returning to “normal life,” many remain deeply concerned about picking up where they left off. If this trend repeats in a significant way across other markets, organisations around the world will have to adapt to serve a far more worried and cautious consumer.
  • Financial stress is an underrecognised cause of mental health challenges. For many marginalised communities, financial instability is a mental health crisis. Data from the American Psychological Association shows that people often cite money as a top contributor to their overall stress and that anxiety about money is most likely to occur among people with lower incomes. Yet talking about money remains taboo, and discussions of mental health and self-care rarely include tangible ways to deal with the unique agony of financial struggles or the structural injustices that financial stressors stem from. 


June 2020

  • According to Mind, the mental health charity, many workers experience mild paranoid thoughts from time to time. These might include fears that your work is not up to scratch, that you are being excluded, or colleagues are gossiping about you. Roderick Kramer, professor of organisational behaviour at Stanford Business School, describes the trigger for paranoia as unexpected events - such as a merger or redundancies. To fill the void of uncertainty, his research finds, people tend to become “hypervigilant”, scrutinising the behaviour of peers and bosses for meaning  - making people think even more about whether they are being noticed, reports the FT.
  • The equivalent of 19 million adults in Great Britain say they had high levels of anxiety in the first weeks of lockdown, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested, reproted the BBC. The data covering the period 3 April to 10 May showed: the number of people reporting high levels of anxiety more than doubled compared to pre-lockdown levels; older people were more anxious than younger people, with those aged 75 and older twice as likely at those aged 16-24 to report high anxiety during lockdown and feeling lonely was the factor most strongly linked with high anxiety. Juggling work and homeschooling commitments was a source of stress for parents.
  • Big Think noted that. according to a 2016 Stanford University School of Medicine study, there are three areas of our brains that change during a state of hypnosis - and this could actually be used to benefit us. Scientists scanned the brains of 57 people during a guided hypnosis session, similar to one that may be used to help treat anxiety, pain, or trauma. First, there is a decrease in dorsal anterior cingulate activity. Next, there is an increase in the connection between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula. Finally, there are reduced connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex. 


May 2020

  • Globally, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an estimated 284 million people had an anxiety disorder as of 2017, making it the most prevalent mental disorder worldwide. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.” Anxiety is fear of what might happen in the future. Sometimes that fear is rational and sometimes not. And sometimes it’s about something that will happen in three minutes (stepping onto a stage to make a presentation, for example) or in 30 years (having enough money to retire). In the United States, anxiety is the most common mental illness, affecting more than 40 million adults each year. Data from the National Institute of Mental Health has indicated that about 30% of Americans experience clinical anxiety at some point in their lives.  
  • Indeed, anxiety appears to be a galloping epidemic. Since its introduction as a medical condition in the 1980s, anxiety has risen from 2% of cases to the most commonly diagnosed mental illness. 
  • Nearly half of the UK's over-16s said they experienced "high anxiety" as the country went into lockdown, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics. Anxiety levels were highest among an estimated 8.6 million people whose income fell, according to the weekly survey on the impact of coronavirus, with an estimated 2.6 million people saying they were struggling to pay bills. Renters and the self-employed were also particularly affected. Measures of well-being were at their lowest levels since records began in 2011, the ONS said. The survey suggested that more than 25 million people - 49.6% of over-16s in Britain - rated their anxiety as "high", more than double the amount who did so at the end of 2019.


April 2020

  • Far more than people tend to realise, many of us are - in private - deeply anxious. There is so much that worries us across our days and nights: whether our hopes will come true, whether others will like us, whether the people we care about will be OK, whether we can escape humiliation and grief. Too often, we bottle up our anxieties or try to avoid looking at them directly. We are ashamed of how worried we are and end up feeling isolated and yet more worried. None of this is necessary. Anxiety is deeply normal and, like so much else that troubles our minds, it can be understood and brought under our control. We all deserve to wake up every day without a sense of foreboding.
  • Stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably, but they are two very distinct functions and feelings. Stress is caused by a known source and can trigger feelings of anger, sadness, or irritability, while anxiety is defined as a feeling of fear, panic, or dread that could very well not have a known trigger. Where the confusion happens is that stress oftentimes can trigger anxiety - someone whose body experiences consistent surges of stress hormones is at higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Recent research suggested possible connections between chronic stress and anxiety and structural degeneration of the hippocampus, which leads to impaired functioning of the prefrontal cortex.


July 2019

  • Coping with Anxiety warned that more and more people - about 50 million of them in the U.S. alone in 2015 – suffer from acute anxiety. Of course, people confronted difficulties in the past, but the book argues that modern life promotes anxiety through the rapidity of change in modern societies, a lack of agreement on moral and social norms to live by and an increasing disaffection with postindustrial societies' functioning.
  • Research by Triodos Bank suggests increasing numbers are feeling overwhelmed by the climate crisis, with up to a third of the public suffering from 'eco anxiety'. For example, just over a third (34%) of the British public report feeling anxious because of the environmental crisis and 29% of feel overwhelmed by the crisis, rising to 40% amongst younger people aged 16-24.


May 2019

  • The School of Life notes that all of us worry to some degree but, for many, the worry is constant and all-consuming. We don’t just worry about the gas bill, or the bin schedule. We worry that our friends secretly hate us; that we’ll be abruptly fired from our jobs; that our partners are planning on leaving us for good. Catastrophe is not a remote possibility but an inevitability - a matter of when, not if.  Though our dread manifests itself in endless different ways, it has a root cause. It is not that we have been marked out for disaster (much as it might feel that way). We’re anxious because, in some vague yet profound way, we dislike ourselves. Our fears are not rational appraisals of the threats we face, but embodiments of the punishment we feel, at heart, we deserve. 
  • Quartz noted that climate anxiety is growing. And it’s not just the increasingly well-understood effects of living through related catastrophes like fire and drought - the American Psychological Association has recognised that being inundated by the bad news of a slow-moving disaster, delivered 24/7 by news and social media, could be wearing us down.


April 2019

  • The School of Life believes that we are often terrified of so many things: disgrace, illness, unemployment, our mortality, the suffering and death of loved ones. When these fears arise, we are often encouraged, out of kindness, to think of the best-case scenarios. This is a well-meaning move, but it also unintentionally leaves our fears to fester and they can fill us with unnamed dread and sometimes loom far larger than they should. Therefore, the opposite move  involves looking our anxieties directly in the eye, refusing to be cowed by them and examining them exhaustively so as to drain them of their debilitating power. Doing this can bring us to an important realisation: we could cope, even  if the worst did come to the worst.
  • There are feelings that exist in an ‘unprocessed’ form within us. A great many worries may, for example, remain disavowed and uninterpreted and manifest themselves as powerful directionless anxiety. Under their sway, we may feel a compulsive need to remain busy, fear spending any time on our own or cling to activities that ensure we don’t meet what scares us head on.
  • A key cause of high anxiety can be self-hatred. People who have grown up not to like themselves very much at all have an above average risk of suffering from extremes of anxiety, for if one doesn’t think one is worthy, it must – by a dastardly logic – follow that the world is permanently and imminently at high risk of punishing one in the way one suspects one deserves. It seems to fit that people may be laughing behind one’s back, that one may soon be sacked or disgraced, that one is an appropriate target for bullying and rejection and that persecution and worse may be heading towards us.


March 2019

  • For The School of Life, one of the most difficult features of anxiety is that it tends to be all-consuming. It sits in the middle of our minds and refuses to let anything else in or through. Though the anxiety causes us great pain, it denies any attempts to be questioned, analysed, probed or reconfigured. We are both terrified and unable to think beyond our terror.  Our thoughts become low, relentless, repetitive and anxiety dominates over and excludes any other form of mental activity.
  • The Guardian noted that, alongside products designed purely as medical aids, such as meditation apps, there is now a thriving offshoot of lifestyle goods marketed through their anxiety-relieving qualities. Product innovation oriented around anxiety (encompassing stress, mood and sleep) already spans nearly 30 different categories, including chocolate, yogurt, air fresheners, fabric conditioners and skincare. 
  • For Big Think, modern Western approaches to mental well-being largely focus on the symptoms and not the root causes, meaning that the mechanisation of mental health treatment often muddies the water even further, One of the solutions for anxiety, and other assorted mental ailments, set forth by Eastern belief systems such as Taoism is the idea of mindfulness or being within the present moment. It is from within this philosophy which emerges the art of meditation.  The concept of presence flows throughout the Eastern idea of being within the now.


February 2019

  • A Pew survey found that anxiety and depression were now the biggest concerns for US teens, with 70% of respondents considering both to be a “major problem.”


January 2019


December 2018


November 2018

  • Researchers created an artificial society to investigate religious conflict. The model found that two xenophobic groups that are in regular contact create “periods of mutually escalating anxiety”. In practice, such a policy would create moral concerns about separating and confining groups based on identity, as well as whether dividing groups based on religion should be a goal in any society, noted Quartz.


October 2018


September 2018


August 2018


June 2018



  • Henry David Thoreau tells us not to succumb to status anxiety:"Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts."