20 Ways You’re Going to Have an Incredibly Anxious 2020

Happy New Year’s Eve! My book, Everything Isn’t Terrible, is finally out in the world today. So scoot over to your favorite independent bookstore and grab your copy. You can also get it at AmazonBarnes and NobleIndiebound, Target, or wherever you buy books.

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I have another essay for you today, over at Thrive Global. They call it “Try These 7 Mindshifts to Have a Less Anxious 2020,” but my working title was, “20 Ways You’re Going to Have an Incredibly Anxious 2020.”

2019 is on the way out, and self-help season approaches. As a therapist, I’ve always thought it cruel that we try to force radical change on ourselves the week after most of us have mega-consumed carbohydrates and material goods. Self-help books flood the bookstores, demanding that we live simpler and calmer lives, when most of us are still trying to find closet space for gifts and recover from encounters with family.  

I don’t like to ask my therapy clients how they’re going to live a calmer 2020. That is a softball question. It’s easy to answer, but daunting to operationalize. Instead, I ask them, “If you weren’t paying attention, how are you going to have an incredibly anxious 2020?” 

Anyone can buy the latest mindfulness book or sign up for a gym membership they won’t use. We shove our hands into the massive marketplace of wellness and hope that we grab the right cure for our distress, without first becoming curious about our default functioning.

If a person can know how they automatically function in times of stress, they can usually define what the opposite of this anxious autopilot might look like. They have a slightly better chance of switching off their factory presets and navigating the challenges of a new year–especially an election year. 

Read the rest at Thrive Global.

And if you missed it last week, check out my essay at Medium’s Forge MagBreaking the Cycle of New Year’s Resolution Disappointment.

Book News

INTERNATIONAL DATES – Australian readers, you can expect your copies on February 4th. Dates for the Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish translations will begin to roll out over the coming year.

BOOK EVENTS!

Come join me for a book event in January. I’ll be having conversations with some great folks and answering questions from attendees.

Washington, DC – January 7th BOOK LAUNCH PARTY at East City Bookshop, 6:30pm

Asheville, NC – January 9th at Malaprop’s Bookstore in conversation with Joanne O’Sullivan, 6pm

Columbia, TN – January 21st at Maury County Public Library (hosted by Duck River Books) in conversation with Ross Jaynes, 6pm

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Check out my newsletter archive to catch up on old letters. You also can reply to this email if you have a request for a newsletter topic, questions about the book, want to connect with me about my therapy practice, or would like me to speak to your group. You can also follow my thoughts on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, or read more of my writing.