Expert Answers to Your Burning Questions About Anxiety

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Anxiety can be our friend—or foe. All of us experience anxiety, but it can be worse during stressful events, like public speaking, social events, relationship problems, stress on the job, and financial worries. A little bit of anxiety is healthy—but why is it so hard to feel at ease? Is it possible to keep anxiety from controlling our every move?

Audience Question

Dr. Lisa W. Coyne answers audience questions on anxiety and provides insight on keeping anxiety from having a stronghold on our lives.

  • How can I tell if I’m too anxious? What is considered a healthy amount of anxiety?
  • Can you talk a little about your anxiety as it relates to public speaking? How did you overcome it?
  • How are anxiety and impostor syndrome related to one another?
  • How can I help my kids if they are experiencing social anxiety?
  • How do we help students who are anxious about being on camera while remote?
  • Is there any way to address anxiety in teens about being on camera? We’re in a day and age with so much self-distortion with filters, etc. being used online. What do we do when teens may be uncomfortable with how they look already and are expected to be on camera?
  • How can I talk to my teenagers about anxiety they may be feeling but don’t know how to describe?
  • I have anxious co-workers and anxious family members. How do you suggest staying calm when you’re often around people who struggle with anxiety as well? Their anxiety fuels mine.
  • Is there a link between burnout and anxiety? If I’m anxious about approaching burnout, is that going to make me feel burnt out faster?
  • When I have to go out now, it’s very taxing, and I feel totally drained when I get home. Any tips on staying calm while in public so I don’t feel exhausted?
  • How do we manage health anxiety, for example, catastrophizing things that feel physically wrong?
  • Is it advisable to disclose to a future employer you have issues with anxiety? Are there accommodations that are available?
  • What if you try to talk to your teen and they say they don’t want to talk about it? What do you recommend? Is there a suggested approach to take with teens that you think works more times than others?
  • Having anxiety or OCD makes mindfulness very challenging. I know it is beneficial, but do you have any advice on how not to get discouraged with mindfulness?
  • How can we address our anxiety as it relates to routines and having to break them due to unprecedented times?
  • Do you have recommendations for books you’d suggest clinicians read in order to better help their patients?
  • I find physical exercise very helpful for dealing with anxiety, but I have an injury. What is the next best substitute when you can’t exercise?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.

Helpful Resources

During the session, Dr. Coyne references these resources:

About Dr. Coyne

Lisa W. Coyne, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, and is a senior clinical consultant at the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.) at McLean Hospital.

Dr. Coyne has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on anxiety, OCD, and parenting. She is the author of “The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years,” a book for parents of young children.

Recent books by Dr. Coyne:

Learn more about Dr. Coyne.

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