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Literary Las Vegas: Alice Boyes

In the book “The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points,” Las Vegas author Alice Boyes shares tools to manage and overcome anxiety. Boyes, who writes that she, too, is anxiety-prone by nature and feels physically sick with anxiety when facing major decisions, says, “Anxiety itself isn’t the problem. The problem occurs when anxiety gets to the point that it’s paralyzing, and you become stuck.” She explains that reducing anxiety to zero isn’t possible or useful and helps readers identify five anxiety traps: excessively hesitating before taking action, ruminating and worrying, paralyzing perfectionism, fear of feedback and avoidance or procrastination. For more information about the book, visit theanxietytoolkit.com.


Although anxiety can sometimes seem like a flaw, it’s actually an evolutionary advantage, a hypervigilance system that causes us to pause and scan the environment. Feeling anxious triggers us to start looking out for potential threats. If you detect a potential danger, it’s not supposed to be easy for you to stop thinking about that threat. While that’s great when you’re a caveman worried about protecting your family, it’s not as great when you’re an employee convinced you’re getting fired.

For many of us who suffer from anxiety, our anxiety alarms fire too often when there isn’t a good reason to be excessively cautious. Why does this happen? We may have more sensitive anxiety systems. Or we may have been doing things to decrease our anxiety in the short term, such as avoiding things that make us feel anxious, that have actually increased it in the long term.

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