Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress. It is intrinsically very useful and necessary as its primary goal is to protect us from perceived dangers or harms. Anxiety can also help motivate us to work harder or get tasks or jobs done.

Unfortunately there are times when the anxiety we feel can become harmful or debilitating. It can prevent us from living the lives we would like to live. It can become all consuming and often the tools we might choose to stop the anxiety can be more harmful. Using alcohol, as an example, to curb one’s fears of something can lead to much more serious issues. The fears can become irrational and when this is ongoing it can become very onerous for anyone dealing with this issue.

I think the experience over the past year with COVID19 certainly raised anxiety levels for many different reasons and in many areas of life. It’s impact was mild for some and extremely challenging for others and many are still grappling with it.

Fortunately there is help out there. There are professionals who can assist. We need to feel confident and comfortable to ask for help. We also need to support those who need the help.

I was very impressed this week to see this topic being raised today at my daughters school, Beth Rivkah college. Students today live in a very fast paced and stressful world and anxiety levels can often be high and many might face anxiety disorders. Talking about it, raising the issue and allowing the space for students to learn more about it is excellent.

I was honoured to join an excellent panel this past Wednesday to discuss this topic.

Let’s talk about it, let’s get help and let’s support each other!

Shabbat Shalom

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