Our brains are hardwired for worry. While our ancient ancestors had a legitimate use for the fight-or-flight instinct, today what was once a matter of survival has become the stuff of sleepless nights and anxiety-filled days. At its best, worry is a way for us to turn over and solve a problem in our minds. But for many, worry becomes a negative cycle of unnecessary suffering. Now, based on cutting-edge brain science, Dr. Martin Rossman has developed a program to help you break the worry cycle—and transform worry into a positive force.
In The Worry Solution, Dr. Rossman gives you an easy-to-follow plan for taking control of your reactions to stress and anxiety. Using proven clinical techniques that harness the very power of imagination that creates worry and stress, you will learn the five basic skills that will help you to clarify your worries, sort them into those you can and cannot do something about, and tap the wisdom buried deep within you to help solve problems creatively. At the heart of the program is the use of guided imagery and creative visualization, techniques that invigorate the emotional and intuitive parts of the brain to add to and enhance logical intelligence.
Not only can you start to see a change in your stress levels immediately, but with regular practice, you may literally alter the worry pathways in your brain—and "hardwire" yourself for calmness and clarity. Grounded in cutting-edge science and wonderfully accessible, The Worry Solution is a powerful and practical guide to living your best life—healthier, happier, and free from unnecessary stress.
From the Hardcover edition.
About Andrew Weil
Andrew Weil, M.D. is the author of ten previous books, including Spontaneous Healing, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Eating Well for Optimum Health, and, with Rosie Daley, The Healthy Kitchen. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he is clinical professor of medicine and director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He writes Self Healing, a monthly newsletter, and maintains the Web site DrWeil.com. More of his work on aging can be found at www.healthyaging.com. He lives in Arizona.
Also available from Random House Audio, read by the author; in a Random House Large Print edition; and from Vintage Español, a division of Random House.
The Healthy Kitchen with Rosie Daley is available in Knopf paperback.
A Q&A with Martin Rossman, M.D., author of The Worry Solution
Is worry always bad for you?
No, that’s the point of The Worry Solution. “Good” worry can help you solve problems and avoid danger. It’s just when you let it become a bad habit that it becomes a problem.
Do women worry more than men? If so, why?
All studies show that women worry more than men. Why? Probably because they have more to worry about—including men! Biologically speaking, with women generally being smaller, slower, and physically weaker than men, it makes sense for them to be more vigilant and careful, especially to signs of violence and aggression. Brain studies show that the areas in the brain that process fear and vigilance are considerably larger in women, and I have to assume that was in the survival interest for them and their young. Now, with so much frightening information coming to us through the media, everyone, women especially, need to upgrade their mental software so as to be able to focus on using worry well.
How can we develop a good worry habit if we are living with very real worries—like facing eviction or not having health care, or having family in a war-torn country?
Unfortunately, The Worry Solution cannot remove real tragedy and hardship from life. But it can eliminate a great deal of tragedy and hardship that never actually happens. The essence of The Worry Solution is separating things into those you can do something about from those you can’t, and learning how to deal better with both. It doesn’t mean life is easy, but it can help us avoid making life harder than it needs to be.
Can you explain why guided imagery is so effective in reducing worry and anxiety?
Imagery-based thinking shifts our attention out of the ruts of worry we may have inadvertently created and immediately shows us that we can have choices about what we experience. It is also the most direct and potent way to connect with our ability to relax, access our own wisdom, and solve problems creatively. Imagery can transform worry from a bad habit to a powerful tool for living.
Using the techniques outlined in this book, how soon would someone see a difference in their worrying habits?
If people haven’t ever experienced a way to consciously relax their bodies and minds, they often feel better immediately after doing that! Just knowing that whether you are consumed by worry or have other options is very freeing and changes the way people think. To change a habit, though, takes practice and repetition. Someone with a bad worry habit might need three to six weeks to develop a better way to use their ability to worry.
How do people know when they need medication for their worry and when they can use guided imagery alone?
There are traumatic times when fear goes beyond worry and it can take over our minds—creating panic and high levels of anxiety. When the brain is aroused that way, it may take medications to get the anxiety level down to where people can regain control of their faculties.
But when the worry is chronic and habitual, it is wise to learn the skills taught in The Worry Solution and see what they can do for you. Many people find that gets them back in control of themselves and they don’t need medications.
From the Hardcover edition.
“The Worry Solution is a wonderful contribution to the age old question of what to do about worry or anxiety. Marty Rossman is a pioneering contributor to integrative medicine. He knows the science and, as a practicing physician, he knows what actually works for real people. If worry is a problem in your life, I recommend The Worry Solution highly.”
--Michael Lerner, President, Commonweal
"Profound lessons in a straightforward, pleasure-to-read format. No preaching, just the kind, considerate guidance of a very experienced physician teaching you how to let go of stress and enjoy life more."
--Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine & Professor of Public Health, U of Arizona and UCSF Schools of Medicine
Author of Best Alternative Medicine and New Medicine
"A unique marriage of timeless wisdom, cutting edge brain science, and practical techniques that stop runaway worry and stress. The Worry Solution is first-rate medicine for your heart, your health, and your daily life."
--Dean Ornish, Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute
Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
author, The Spectrum
"From one of America's leading experts in mind-body medicine comes one of the best books on worry and stress to appear in years. Dr. Marty Rossman turns worry upside down and shows how it can actually be beneficial if handled wisely. The Worry Solution may be the last book on stress management you'll ever need to buy."
-- Larry Dossey, MD
Author of The Power of Premonitions
From the Hardcover edition.