Redefining Anxiety: What It Is, What It’s
Not, and How to Get Your Life Back
by Dr. John Delony
Anxiety. It is the feeling of being overwhelmed. It is that flood of emotions. It is our heart racing and the catch in our throat when we are surrounded by uncertain situations. We like to think only those in high stress situations get anxiety, but the truth is, everybody experiences it. We talk about COVID-19 as a pandemic, but we don’t think of anxiety as such. Anxiety is widespread, and the amount of medication to combat anxiety is astounding.
Dr. John Delony gives his unique perspective to anxiety after his own battle with it. Delony likens anxiety to a fire alarm going off. We look around and see multiple fires burning our house down, and we just want the pesky fire alarm to go off. We are focusing on the wrong thing, but that sound is irritating us and we just want it to go away.
While Delony is not a fan of many mental health professionals, he does understand that anxiety medication can be helpful when dealing with anxiety. The main point of his book is that anxiety is not the disease, but rather a symptom that points to the fires in our life that mean we are not living in a healthy ecosystem. Maybe it is that we are trying to “Keep Up With the Joneses,” and we are swimming in debt. Maybe it is that our work lives take so much out of us that we have no time for our family. Something in our life is not right. Our houses are on fire. And what is that annoying beeping. Someone please make it stop.
Delony reminds us to shift our focus from the beeping to the actual fires in our lives that can cause irreparable damage.
My thoughts: I have dealt with anxiety and know many people in my life that have dealt with anxiety. Dr. Delony’s book gave a fresh perspective on what anxiety is, how to help us deal with it, and how to help us use it when our lives get out of balance. While he isn’t the biggest fan of medication and psychology, he does realize that those things can be very helpful when dealing with anxiety. I think we can all admit that our lives are out of balance, and maybe that anxiety is just the alarm letting us know that our priorities aren’t what they should be.
Ricky is director of the Oneonta Public Library. Visit the library for curbside pickup from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 205-274-7641 to reserve this or another great book.