It Turns Out Anxiety is Good for You: An Interview with Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary | Elaine Griffin | 9 Min Read

May 30, 2023

Educators have had growing and understandable concerns about anxiety, an emotion that gained significant attention during the Covid-19 pandemic. But in delivering a keynote address at this year’s National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary shared surprising news: anxiety can be good for us.

No, really. Read on . . .  

Dr. Dennis-Tiwary’s inspiring remarks were grounded in the research that she’s done for her brilliant new book, Future Tense: Why Anxiety Is Good For You (Even Though It Feels Bad). During her speech, Dr. Dennis-Tiwary offered reassurance that anxiety is not a dysfunction or a character flaw to eradicate, but rather a potentially vital source of wisdom, insofar as we learn how to harness its power in shaping a better future.

After the conference, I interviewed Dr. Dennis-Tiwary to discuss her new book. How, I wondered, might her book teach educators and parents to reframe their beliefs about anxiety? How might its insights help us better support the children in our lives? And how might such insights help us radically…

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Elaine Griffin

Elaine Griffin is the Middle School Head at University School of Milwaukee, where she had previously served as an Upper School literature teacher and administrator for more than 20 years. Her essays have previously appeared in Education Next, The Once and Future Classroom, Chinese Language Matters, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Her professional interests include parent education, curricular reform, and social-emotional learning.