What, me worry? Well, except for Mad magazine's cover boy, just about everybody does--sometimes to the point of obsession and behavioral paralysis. This immensely helpful study is written for all the anxious ones. Hallowell, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Medical School and founder/director of a center for ""cognitive and emotional health,"" explores the full gamut of worry, from healthy worry (the root of planning) to hard-core paranoia. He supplies a succinct ""equation"" for how worry comes about, noting that it ""results from a heightened sense of vulnerability in the presence of a diminished sense of power."" What perhaps most distinguishes Hallowell's book is its holistic approach. The author's multidimensional exploration of worry's causes balances the genetic, physiological, psychosocial, and attitudinal. His guide to managing worry calls for drawing upon a broad array of practices, involving not only medication and psychotherapy, when appropriate, but also proper exercise, diet, and sufficient sleep. For Hallowell, an additional key to maintaining a healthy, not-overly-fretting self is what he calls ""connectedness"" to other people, to ideas, and to the spiritual dimension of life, all designed to help one go beyond the emotional ghetto of the brooding self. And the author, whose style is straightforward and engaging, almost conversational at times, is nothing if not pragmatic. A concluding chapter recommends everything from trying Kundalini Yoga to buying insurance. If not everything Hallowell recommends will work for a particular reader, he or she still will find much in this first-rate popular psychology book to better understand and control worry before it becomes toxic.
Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1997
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1997
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