Welcome to “How to Live,” a newsletter that highlights ideas from psychology and mental health, and offers readers ideas for how to apply these concepts to their own lives.
You want to better understand your feelings and emotions.
You want to name and identify your suffering.
You want to learn the life skills and tools to help you move forward.
It offers a warm community of engaged people who openly talk about their struggles, and help one another without judgment.
It offers valuable tools for making better decisions.
It increases your Emotional Intelligence by providing you with insights you may have overlooked.
When you become a founding member, your valuable contribution keeps this mental health resource free for people of all income levels. Please join us.
I’m Amanda Stern, author of 13 books and a mental health advocate, working with Bring Change to Mind.
My most recent book is a memoir called Little Panic: Dispatches From an Anxious Life. I spent the first 25 years of my life suffering from an all-encompassing dread; an unnamed mental anguish. I existed inside a medium of extreme apprehension; the only place that felt safe was home.
I did my best to avoid going outside. Out there, I couldn't control what might set off the dread.
I discovered, when I was finally diagnosed at age 25, that it isn't actually the fear of a circumstance that fills us with dread, what's tormenting us is the fear of having to feel that dread again.
We are suffering in advance.
With help, I walked toward feeling the terrifying feelings of panic and dread, and learned the most valuable lesson yet: When we face our worst fears, they lose power over us.
When we avoid them, they grow stronger.
The “How to Live” newsletter is a reflection of the deep work (and decades of therapy) I’ve done over the course of my life to free myself from mental anguish and feel better.
Everyone deserves access to practical and tangible mental health resources.
1. The strategies we employ in our adult relationships are the very ones we concocted as children, in our best effort to protect ourselves from deep emotional pain.
2. We often confuse feelings for facts, and this misguided notion makes many of us suffer terribly.
3. “If you are afraid of feeling something, that experience must already be there; it must already be a part of your life. First comes a feeling you can’t handle, then comes your strategies for not feeling it.” —Bruce Tift, Already Free.
The pandemic gave rise to a global mental health crisis, and access to free services and resources are needed now more than ever.
A recent report by the World Health Organization recorded a 25% uptick in pandemic-related anxiety and depression worldwide. Yet 25% of adults with mental illness were unable to get treatment due to financial constraints, lack of available treatment, or an undersized mental health workforce.
This newsletter aims to help name and identify your suffering, have big and little breakthroughs, and learn practical skills, so that you can live your life with more emotional ease and less pain.
This newsletter is free for everyone because of the monthly or yearly financial support of its Founding Members.
In order to grow “How to Live” and keep it free for everyone who needs it, it’s becoming a reader-funded newsletter. No ads or paywalls will keep it alive, only your contributions as a Founding Member.
When you become a founding member of "How to Live" you provide continued access to the tools everyone needs to face their fears and grow stronger. To become a member, click here to upgrade your subscription.
People of all income levels deserve the chance to experience life free from chronic suffering.
By becoming a Founding Member, you’re helping to keep valuable resources free for the entire “How to Live” community.
You're cementing your status as a mental health advocate. While Founding Membership won’t give you access to exclusive content, it will give you more access to me.
Founding Member benefits include:
Monthly Zoom calls with me
A private Facebook group to create community, and ask me and each other questions.
Occasional bonus posts with sneak peeks at what I’m writing and thinking about.
First in line for any merchandise!