Thirty years ago, I used alcohol, romance, and professional accomplishments to soothe my frayed nerves. After I quit drinking, I found I had a serious thinking problem! Over time, I discovered effective tools from therapy, recovery programs, scientific research, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings to find peace, wisdom, and hope–no matter what is going on in my life!
Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” I’ve resigned my post and now live happily with my wonderful husband, Peter, and my cat, Murphy. Although I haven’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, I do occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels.
I hold a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford University. As a professor at Eastern Michigan University, I won several awards for teaching, and (as Georgea M. Langer) co-authored books and articles for educators.
How was this book born? What prompted you to write it? “Worry Less Now” began as a memoir chronicling my three short marriages, career as a professional horseback rider, and adventures hitchhiking across the north of Spain–all before I turned 38. My wise husband suggested I write a self-help book instead, with “all those helpful things you say when you counsel people on the phone.” Throughout the six-year writing journey, the right people showed up at just the right time to make the book interesting, practical, attractive, and clear.
What purpose does the book serve? It helps the reader reject their negative thoughts to find peace, wisdom, and meaningful relationships. The eclectic strategies work well, as they are derived from a combination of scientific research, cognitive psychology, energy work, recovery programs, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings.
What makes your book unique…what sets your book apart? 1) It’s very practical with step-by-step exercises and examples; 2) It draws on a wide variety of sources of wisdom; and 3) I’ve used every one of the techniques myself, so the reader can relate to me as another flawed person who has found ways to conquer fear and worry. I’ve boiled it all down to four life strategies and fifty practical tools to dissolve the “whispered lies” of negative thinking. The book is chock-full of compelling stories and easy-to-use ideas that empower you to manage your troubling times with calm wisdom, fulfill your dreams, and create loving relationships
Tell us more about you. I grew up near Chicago (Oakbrook/Hinsdale), went to University of Colorado, got married, and taught Spanish and French near Denver. I divorced my first husband and had a series of adventures with my second husband in Brazil, Hawaii, and Germany. After dissolving that marriage, I spent four years at Stanford completing a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education. I got through it only by getting high every night. I settled in Michigan with my third husband and began my 25-years teaching in Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education. Soon after arriving in Michigan, I escalated my use of marijuana and alcohol. After one particularly embarrassing episode, I went to a psychologist to find out what was wrong. That began a long road of healing my own alcoholism, dysfunctional family, relationship failures, chronic pain, perfectionism, abuse, and codependence. After 25 years, I retired and began writing “Worry Less Now.” I’m now 33 years clean and sober and just celebrated 30 years of happy marriage with Peter, my fourth husband. PS: I don’t have any children because I couldn’t stay married long enough! Maybe this book counts?
How many books have you published? I’m the co-author of five books aimed at teacher education and improvement. This is my first personal non-fiction book.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books? As a person in recovery, I attend 12-step meetings and support women in sobriety. I love spending time playing with my cat, Murphy, and joking around with Peter, my husband of 30 years. I also play golf very nonchalantly, and occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels.
Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? How has this helped with your published writings? When I’m working through a tough time in my life, I write a lot in my journal to get honest with myself about my feelings and the thoughts that underlie them. In 2008, I took all my journals on a trip and typed up every section I thought might fit into a memoir or article. Much of that material appears (heavily edited) in Worry Less Now.
What are you currently reading? JoJo Moyes is so much fun– light and entertaining. I’m reading her series of three books about caring for a man she fell in love with and her adventures afterward.
If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why? I love Kermit the frog; he captures the essential vulnerability of life. And he makes us laugh about it!
What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it? Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” concert on Netflix. I find her songwriting so inspiring and real, but it’s her sincere, sassy and slightly gawky personality that endears her to me. I often work out to her music and find it totally energizing.
How did you publish your book? I created my own publishing company, Possum Hill Press, and subcontracted to talented folks who came to me through friends and relatives: Editor, typographer, proofreader, cover designer, photographer, and printing company. And, let’s not forget the social media marketing pro!
Langer speaks from hard-won experience in her valuable, heartfelt manual on curbing excessive worrying. Her frank and empathetic tone will comfort readers, as will the practical steps she teaches.
Even though I have been in recovery for more than four decades, and didn’t think another self-help book would make it to my treasured list, I was wrong. This book is a winner.
Discover tactics to dissolve the negative beliefs underlying your worries.
Most people won’t really try something new unless they’re convinced their old way isn’t working. What’s not working in your life? Which whispered lies are seducing you into thinking that, if you could control everything around you, you could finally be happy?
You’ll need a source of power to overcome your self-defeating thinking. Consider various conceptions of positive power and select ones that work for you.
Whether it’s a vision of how you want to act in a specific situation or a dream you’d like to fulfill, you’ll be empowered to create a goal for your new life. Then you’ll commit to do the work necessary to reach that goal–or something even better.
See how growth occurs in layers, and how the right tools show up just in time. If you suffer from low self-worth or grew up in a dysfunctional family, you’ll find several helpful ideas.
You’ll read how I applied honesty, power, choices, and several new growth tools to overcome a terrifying challenge to my marriage.
Cultivate peace of mind; achieve clarity to fulfill your dreams, and give and receive love throughout the rest of your life.
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