Turning the Page on Anxiety With Jill Stoddard, PhD

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Anxiety can feel like quicksand. The more you try to resist, the further you sink into it—and often, you feel increasingly more defeated. How do we get unstuck from anxiety and work our way toward freedom?

“Be Mighty: A Woman‘s Guide to Liberation From Anxiety, Worry, and Stress Using Mindfulness and Acceptance” is a hybrid of an educational guide and a personal development map for those feeling stuck in the cycle of anxiety and paralyzed by the circumstances they’ve found themselves in.

Author Jill Stoddard, PhD, uses acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) tactics and strategies to allow the reader to be more comfortable with discomfort, break the cycle of self-criticism, and thrive in their own personal journeys.

Audience Questions

Dr. Stoddard discusses simple exercises for addressing anxiety, identifies the self-reflection questions we all need to ask ourselves, and answers audience questions about how we can all be better at accepting anxiety and being mighty in our own ways.

  • What is the value in applying ACT to our daily lives? Do you have to have anxiety in order for the components of ACT to be effective?
  • What does consistent avoidance do to our anxiety and stress levels?
  • How do we know the difference between what is healthy anxiety and avoidance anxiety?
  • How can we keep from giving up completely—or falling into one of our “mind traps”—if we slip up when trying to address our avoidance tactics?
  • How could these concepts be applied when there is an urge to avoid social situations if you’re afraid of what others are thinking or saying about you?
  • For many of us trying to discover our values, it can be difficult to not fall into a comparison trap and not let others around us muddy our personal waters by projecting what they value onto us. How can we discover and communicate our values while keeping feelings of shame, embarrassment, or self-consciousness out of the picture?
  • What do we do if we’re anxious about getting together with folks that tend to make us anxious?
  • Do these same principles apply to anxiety around public speaking?
  • Can you talk a bit about the anxiety triumvirate and how, if we have found ourselves stricken with it, to lighten the weight of it on our minds and feelings?
  • Can you elaborate on the definition of having an overinflated sense of responsibility?
  • Fundamentally, is there a difference between mindfulness and willingness? If yes, what are the differences?
  • How do ACT exercises change our mental pathways and patterns over time?
  • Do you have advice for what we should do if we find ourselves moving backwards in our progress? Are there key exercises you would recommend us practicing over others?
  • I am a crisis counselor for a crisis text line. A lot of people write in with anxiety. When people write about their high level of anxiety, what would you advise them to do in the present moment?
  • When working through the exercises throughout the book, do you advise that they are done alone, or can you enlist your partner in them? Or is this self-discovery for your mental health best done solo with the possibility of enrolling a partner later on?

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.


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About Dr. Stoddard

Jill Stoddard, PhD, is an award-winning teacher, peer-reviewed acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) trainer, author of two books, and co-host of the popular Psychologists Off the Clock podcast.

Dr. Stoddard is director of the Center for Stress & Anxiety Management in San Diego, as well as a co-founder and vice president of the nonprofit San Diego Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Consortium.

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