Ever wonder where were the most stressful cities in the United States to live, check out
Socially anxious people are often uncomfortable with small talk, sometimes due to the
anxiety they feel and sometimes due to a lack of interest with this type of communication
style. Yet recent research has confirmed that short periods of socializing helped boost
memory and intellectual performance. Researchers at the University of Michigan divided
college students into three groups: One group spend 10 minutes socializing, another group
was given a mental exercise (a crossword puzzle) and the third group watched television.
Socializing was found to be just as effective as doing a mental exercise in boosting mental
performance. Perhaps another way to look at these results is that television watching
lowers mental performance.
So what can you do to make small talk easier? Stay aware of what is going on in the culture
or environment around you. Read a newspaper; see movies, go to cultural events. These will
give you things to talk about that are part of the general discourse. Also practice chit chatting
with people you are already comfortable with; pretend you don’t know them at all. With some
practice small talk can become much easier, even enjoyable, and you will be boosting your
brain power as well.
National Stress-Out Day
April 21-25. This is a joint effort of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and Active Minds
to help students find relief from the stress of finals while at the same time educating them about
anxiety disorders. Participating campuses across the country will be providing anti-stress activities.
Forty million people in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 75% of them have
dealt with it by the age of 22. Locally, California State University at Long Beach is a participating
As some of you are aware, Oprah Winfrey has chosen Eckhardt Tolle’s latest book “A New Earth”
for not only her book club, but also has made it into a 10-week online teleseminar along with Eckhardt
Tolle, who is a respected writer in the spiritual genre. I found the book interesting and enlightening
in some ways that other books discussing similar issues haven’t been. This is a book about who we
are not; we are not our egos, and finding out who we truly are requires staying present to our experience
in the moment. This can be particularly helpful for anxious people who live in a fearful future in their minds.
It is a thought-provoking book on many levels.
A Chinese proverb: “He who asks is a fool for 5 minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”