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Harvard Psychologist Reveals A Unique Strategy For Dealing With Anxiety


Source: | Original Post Date: December 21, 2015 –


It seems these days that a vast majority of us suffer from anxiety, especially those of us who are conscious and sensitive of our surroundings.

This makes perfect sense considering the type of world we live in, and the type of “training” that most of us received from school, media and even family. The world can seem overwhelming at times because there are so many expectations placed on us, yet there is rarely any type of strategy for dealing with these issues aside from “sucking it up” and “getting over it.”

However, as many people with anxiety know, conquering this type of inner struggle is hardly that easy, and it is actually very difficult for people to change their perspectives at will. In many cases, our emotions and our perspectives are rooted in our subconscious, and cannot be easily shaken, especially in the midst of a stressful situation.

There are numerous different strategies that people use to help themselves through these moments, and some work better than others for different people, since after all, everyone is unique.

Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy revealed one tip in her most recent book, that could help to ease anxiety in stressful situations. In her new book “Presence,” Cuddy introduced various strategies for anxiety which are said to increase confidence by acting on the subconscious.


One of the most interesting strategies requires a quick exercise in which the person experiencing anxiety takes a few minutes to write down a core value that is meaningful to them, and a time in their life or an experience that made them feel this way. This task seems strange and unrelated to anxiety, however, according to Cuddy, this will empower the individual and bring them motivation which can conquer their fears.

Technically, an exercise like this is known as “self-affirmation” and recent studies have actually shown it to have a profound impact on confidence and motivation

In one recent study at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of California at Santa Barbara, students were put under stressful situations to test how they could cope with them. The study shows that the students who practiced self-affirmation prior to the tests all performed better and were under less stress than the students who did not.

In other words, simply reflecting on who you are and what you care about may be enough to buffer the effects of a highly stressful experience.

According to Cuddy, self-affirmation is “a way of grounding ourselves in the truth of our own stories. It makes us feel less dependent on the approval of others and even comfortable with their disapproval if that’s what we get.”

Realizing and reflecting upon our own values can actually put us at ease in stressful situations, and help us overcome anxiety so we can achieve our goals.

The following is an interesting TED Talk that Cuddy gave in 2012 about the importance of body language and its relation to confidence.

Please share this information with your family and friends. Anxiety is something everyone suffers from at one stage or another so it’s essential we help eachother as much as we can.

Written by John Vibes of