Campus Author: Kathryn (Tristan) Liszewski

Why Worry: Stop Coping and Start LivingAtria Paperback/Beyond Words (2012)

We not only live in an age of global anxiety, the United States tops the list as most anxious nation in the world with 40 million people afflicted by anxiety, says author Kathryn Liszewski, citing World Health Organization findings.

That prevalence and a need for better tools to help deal with the stresses and challenges of life led Liszewski, a research scientist on the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, to write her second book on the topic.

Why Worry? Stop Coping and Start Living, released Dec. 4, offers Liszewski’s approach to tackling the problem head on.

“This book is written from the trenches, because I suffered silently with anxiety and panic for many years,” says Liszewski, who describes herself as an anxiety survivor. “As a scientist with scores of articles in prestigious journals and lay publications, I knew it was not logical to feel this way, yet my fears felt overpowering. However, I learned a very powerful truth: I was not the victim of my fears. Rather, worry is a choice.”

Liszewski, who writes under the pen name Kathryn Tristan, penned her book after a publisher came across her earlier, self-published book, Anxiety Rescue, and asked her to revise it with a focus on worry.

The new release offers a holistic approach to overcoming worry and fear and includes stories of others who have faced and overcome such challenges.

“You don’t have to get over being a worry wart or an anxiety sufferer,” Liszewski says. “It’s a personal choice of changing your life. But I can tell you from firsthand experience, this is a journey that leads to a greater sense of happiness and peace. Ultimately, isn’t that what we all want?”

Liszewski, who has been invited to present at a national wellness festival in the spring, says she sees the book as a way to give back “the gift of knowledge and healing I have experienced.”

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Elizabethe Holland Durando