Anxiety, in contrast, is a much more prolonged, complex emotional state that is often triggered by an initial fear. For example, you could feel anxious about going to visit friends because they live in an older home that might have spiders or about going to the movies because the film might contain a scene with spiders. The basic fear is of encountering a spider, but you live in a state of persistent anxiety about the future possibility of being exposed to a spider. So anxiety is a more enduring experience than fear. It’s a state of apprehension and physical arousal in which you believe you can’t control or predict potentially aversive future events. Thus you might feel anxious thinking about an important interview, going to a dinner party where you don’t know people, traveling to an unfamiliar place, your performance at work, or a deadline. Notice that anxiety is always future oriented; it is driven by “what if?” thinking. We don’t become anxious over the past, what has already happened; rather, we become anxious over imagined future adverse events or catastrophes: “What if my mind goes blank during the exam?” “What if I don’t get all my work done?” “What if I have a panic attack in the supermarket?” “What if I get the H1N1 influenza virus by being around people?” “What if I encounter someone who reminds me of the assailant who attacked me?” “What if I lose my job?” This enduring emotional state that we call anxiety is the focus of this workbook.