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Conquering Trauma and Anxiety to Find Happiness

Ellen P. McShane

Conquering Trauma and Anxiety to Find Happiness offers trauma victims suffering from anxiety and other disorders freedom from continued emotional suffering. National mental health statistics state 60% of adults, approximately 150,000,000 people, report experiencing trauma. The National Institute of Mental health states 42,000,000 American adults live with an anxiety disorder often resulting from trauma. Through this book’s focus on affect theory and affect labeling, these millions of traumatized and anxious individuals learn to stop living with chronic stress and their reactive, inflexible, and rigid responses to life.

This book offers affect theory as a biological explanation to the consequences of living as a trauma victim by understanding what happened to them and repairing the harm. Affect theory presents nine biologically-coded affects to explain emotion, motivation, behavior, and personality with two positive, one neutral, and six negative affects. Stimulus from our environment activates an affect and its preprogrammed responses within our brain and body. Through facial expressions, along with other physical manifestations, we understand when an affect activates to help us understand our feelings.

Another intervention featured in this book, affect labeling or putting feelings into words, encourages us to focus attention in the present moment to read our body’s sensory information and integrate our brain and mind. Trauma victims understand how therapy provides an important intervention for recovery. An affect management system offers various interventions, such as diet and exercise, to overcome the consequences of trauma and anxiety. We no longer need to suffer if we experience trauma and anxiety.

Acknowledgments – Introduction – Understanding Trauma and Anxiety – Linking Trauma with Anxiety – Understanding the Brain on Trauma – Making the Mind, Brain, and Body Connection – How to Recover from Trauma and Anxiety – Genes Are Not Our Destiny – Therapy Moves Us Past Trauma and Anxiety – A Letter to My Therapist on Trauma – Understanding Affect Theory and Affect Labeling – Discovering Affect Theory – The Affect System Interfaces with Our Biology – The Role of Scripts in Affect Theory – Finding Affect Labeling – The Importance of Language and the Voice – A Letter to My Therapist on Affect Theory – Exploring the Nine Affects – Understanding the Nine Affects – Interest-Excitement – Enjoyment-Joy – Surprise-Startle – Distress-Anguish – Anger-Rage – Fear-Terror – Shame-Humiliation – Disgust and Dissmell – A Letter to My Therapist on Healing – Creating an Affect Management System – Foundations of an Affect Management System – The Power of Empathy and Compassion – Becoming a Flourishing Person – The Elements of an Affect Management System – Naming Your Affect through Affect Labeling – Building an Empathic Wall – Diet and Health – The Power of Exercise – Sleep and Health – Meditation and Mindfulness – Artistic Therapy – A Letter about Scholarly Personal Narrative – Living without Anxiety – Epilogue – Index.