One in 14 people around the world have an anxiety disorder — this is the way Olivia Remes, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge, begins her talk on anxiety. The condition is not only common but also quite expensive to treat. It can be truly detrimental to one's mental health as it can not only lead to loss of focus, and difficulties in professional and personal lives but can also cause depression and even suicide.
In her talk on anxiety, Olivia Remes shares three coping mechanisms that allow people to be more mindful and skilled in protecting themselves. First, however, the speaker makes the distinction between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder. While the former is a survival mechanism that is said in place to protect you — a good example would be the anxious feeling you have when you are in the way of immediate danger or amid a stressful situation, the latter is an extreme version of it and is identified when people "worry excessively and constantly about everything going on in their lives."
To address this, Olivia Remes suggests three coping mechanisms during her talk on anxiety. The first one is engaging in tasks that make you feel you have control over your life since generally, people that feel like they do have better mental health. Doing things badly for the sake of productivity is a great way of beginning the journey. The second strategy is forgiving one's self and being kinder, while the final one is "having a purpose and meaning in life" which is tied to knowing "that someone needs us, that someone else depends on our accomplishments or on the love that we have to share." The talk on anxiety reveals that studies have consistently pointed out that individuals who possess these coping mechanism have a better relationship with anxiety than people who don't.