Welcome to the United States of Anxiety: Observations from


Welcome to the United States of Anxiety: Observations from a Reforming Neurotic New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster is here to help you chill the hell out When did USA become shorthand for the United States of Anxiety? From the moment Americans wake up, we’re bombarded with allnew terrifying news about crime, the environment, politics, and strokeinducing foods we’ve been enjoying for years We’re judged by social media’s faceless masses, pressured into maintaining a Pinterestperfect home, and expected to base our selfworth on retweets, faves, likes, and followers Our collective FOMO, and the disparity between the ideal and reality, is leading us to spend and feel worse No wonder we’re getting twitchy Save for an Independence Day–style alien invasion, how do we begin to escape from the stressors that make up our days?Jen Lancaster is here to take a hard look at our elevating anxieties, and with selfdeprecating wit and levelheaded wisdom, she charts a path out of the quagmire that keeps us frightened of the future and ashamed of our imperfectly perfect human lives Take a deep breath, and her advice, and you just might get through a holiday dinner without wanting to disown your uncle


14 thoughts on “Welcome to the United States of Anxiety: Observations from a Reforming Neurotic

  1. Jamie Jack Jamie Jack says:

    Intensely Personal Humorous Nonfiction

    When I first opened this book, I loved the cartoon of Maslow's hierarchy at the beginning. Most of us who've been to college in the last 30 or 40 years are familiar with this pyramid of need. The book is broadly structured around this hierarchy. The author is a Gen-Xer like me, so much of what she related about her pre-tech childhood was very much like my life as well—before computers were in every home, when the internet was for academics only... and when social media and texting had not yet come into existence. The author writes in a witty, humorous tone—and it is labeled as Humorous Nonfiction in the First Reads newsletter—with many of her comments self-deprecating. I found her head an interesting one to be with, and for the most part, I enjoyed being along for the ride. By the way, there is some mild profanity in this book, but not overly much. I am one who usually has a problem with swearing in books, but it wasn't enough to bother me. Despite the all-encompassing sounding title, this is a very personal piece of nonfiction. We see the world through the lens of one woman's life and observations. So whether you like this book or not will depend on whether you appreciate that kind of intensely personal look at broader topics. Whether you like it may also depend on your generation. Millennials may not get some of what she is talking about.

    This book was clearly written before our current crisis, and the author actually mentions right at the start of the book that she was in final edits when all of it started back in March 2020. I wonder if it would be a different book had she written it instead of edited it during this time. I don't know about you, but what I feel anxiety about has certainly shifted during what already feels like a long haul at nearly six months in. The things I might have had anxiety about last year are completely different now. This might sound paradoxical, but I presently feel anxiety about far fewer things because what is happening worldwide now has sharpened the focus and burned away what is unimportant. And, much of what she addresses as anxiety producing in the modern world is ultimately unimportant (which is part of the point she is trying to get across), so I give it far less thought now. In some ways, this book looks at a time when most saw the world quite differently as well. At points, it seems almost quaint. That made it fun, along with the humor, in its own way.


  2. Nancy Nancy says:

    Not sure its a generational thing...

    But everything in this work was so relatable, funny, and what I wouldve said if I could. After reading it I remembered to give myself permission to return to the calmer state of mind I had before I felt I had to always keep up, with the news, the neighbors and just about everything. The point really is to enjoy your life. And whatever contributions you make may not necessarily be anyone else's business. Thanks Ms Lancaster. A recommended read for the anxious and hypervigilant.


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