Being Well Podcast: Why We Worry
January 28, 2019

This week we’re continuing our series on the central question “Who Am I” by exploring some subjects related to people who have an anxious or fearful temperament and discuss why we worry.

Forrest has a bit of an anxious temperament himself, so he’s very familiar with how feelings of fear can cloud our ability to express ourselves and live fully realized lives. This episode will be the first of two exploring questions related to fear, and in it we’re going to cover some of the framing ideas that’ll help us get to know anxiety and related feelings a little better. This includes questions like:

  • Where does anxiety come from?
  • Do anxious temperaments come from our genes, our experiences, or both?
  • What’s the difference between anxiety as a passing state, and anxiety as a lasting trait?
  • Can our temperament, that resting state level that helps define our sense of who we are, really change over time?
  • What is anxiety a “shadow” of?

I’d also like to take a moment to tell you about next week’s episode. Forrest and I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Dr. Angela Duckworth. Dr. Duckworth is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, founder of the non-profit Character Lab, and author of the bestseller Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. She’s also also given an incredibly popular TED talk on the subject of Grit that’s been watched over 20 million times.

I think you’re really going to enjoy the content of that interview, so I hope you’re looking forward to it!


  • 2:00: Threat, aversion, inhibition, wariness, and anxiety.
  • 6:50: The relationship between wariness and anxiety.
  • 8:20: Anxious states vs. anxiety as a trait.
  • 11:30: Is anxiety genetic?
  • 12:20: Why is there variation in levels of anxiety?
  • 17:40: Can we develop an anxious temperament over time?
  • 21:30: Anxious in some situations but not in others.
  • 24:40: Moving without fear.
  • 27:30: Being afraid of not feeling afraid.
  • 29:20: What is anxiety the shadow of?
  • 35:30: Recap

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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