• Future Tense

  • Why Anxiety Is Good for You (Even Though It Feels Bad)
  • By: Tracy Dennis-Tiwary
  • Narrated by: Eleanor Caudill
  • Length: 5 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A psychologist confronts our pervasive misunderstanding of anxiety and presents a powerful new framework for reimagining and reclaiming the confounding emotion as the advantage it evolved to be.

We taught people that anxiety is dangerous and damaging, and that the solution to its pain is to eradicate it like we do any disease—prevent it, avoid it, and stamp it out at all costs. Yet cutting-edge therapies, hundreds of self-help books, and a panoply of medications have failed to keep debilitating anxiety at bay. A third of us will struggle with anxiety disorders in our lifetime and rates in children and adults continue to skyrocket.

That’s because the anxiety-as-disease story is false—and it’s harming us.

In this radical reinterpretation, Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary argues that anxiety is an evolved advantage that protects us and strengthens our creative and productive powers. Although it’s related to stress and fear, it’s uniquely valuable—allowing us to imagine the uncertain future and impelling us to make that future better. That’s why anxiety is inextricably linked to hope.

By distilling the latest research in psychology and neuroscience, including her own, combined with real-world stories and personal narrative, Dennis-Tiwary shows how we can acknowledge the discomfort of anxiety and see it as a tool, rather than something to be feared and reviled. Detailing the terrible cost of our misunderstanding of anxiety, while celebrating the lives of people who harness it to their advantage, she argues that we can—and must—learn to be anxious in the right way.

Future Tense blazes the way for a paradigm shift in how we relate to and understand anxiety in our day-to-day lives—a fresh set of beliefs and insights that allow us to explore and leverage even very distressing anxiety rather than be overwhelmed by it. Through this new prism of thinking, even anxiety disorders can be alleviated. Achieving a new mindset will not fix anxiety itself—because the emotion of anxiety is not broken; the way we cope with it is. By challenging our long-held assumptions about anxiety, this book will provide a concrete framework for how to reclaim it for what it has always been—a gift rather than a curse, and a source of inner strength, joy, and ingenuity. 

©2022 Tracy Dennis-Tiwary (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Future Tense

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Useful approach, but terrible reader

Book provides a surprisingly novel and helpful way of framing anxiety for those of us who struggle to cope with it.

But, wow, the reader is a horrible match. She’s a ridiculously fast and manic reader, and initially I felt bombarded by her anxiety-inducing speed. My heart was racing. I felt sweaty and uneasy. But, while I would never ordinarily do so, slowing the playback speed was absolutely necessary to get through the rest of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Very helpful

As someone with anxiety and ocd this was so helpful. I’m a person of faith, so it was missing that aspect, but yet still extremely relevant, interesting, and necessary. If you struggle or know someone who does, this will really help.

I will say: I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks, and the narrator they chose for this one was SUPERB. she had personality, great inflection, and was a pleasure to listen to.

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  • 05-24-22

good reframing

I appreciated this as a reframing of a negative feeling into a powerful tool. it covers all angles - personal and professional and has good examples to highlight and dissect behavioral patterns

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Must read

This should be added to every education curriculum in the world. Everyone, but especially young people, should be learning the lessons in this book. It will give them meaningful identification and coping skills for their lives. Stressors and challenges are guaranteed like pleasures and triumphs. Know that and harness yourself to the best of your abilities.

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The author writes like a poet.

I agree with other reviewer‘s. This is not a self-help book. It’s more of a book to shine a light on worry and make it wonderful. I love the theme that hope and anxiety are two sides of the same coin. Both are about the future. Both give you the choice of deciding if you want to be on the hope side or the anxiety side. There’s not a wrong answer. Shine a light on your choice. Thanks

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