Saturday, November 29, 2014

Harry Morgan: Inlaid Knifewing Bracelet

This "old-style" bracelet with a 1930s era-inspired design complete with Harry Morgan's "old pawn" finish features the colorful legendary Zuni inlaid figure of Knifewing. Harry Morgan inlays are extremely rare. "Old pawn" finishes mimic the patina and appearance of naturally-aged sterling silver.

The Knifewing, or the "Achiya La-da-ba" in the Zuni language, is a Zuni war god who also protects the Zuni pueblo from harm. Zunis believe that their war gods live in lakes in New Mexico and Arizona and appear as needed. To the Zunis, the Knifewing's role is similar to that of a patron saint.

In more modern times, Zuni legends tell of Knifewings swooping down from the heavens and kidnapping attractive Zuni women.

The Zunis, believed to be the direct descendants of the mysterious Anasazis of the Four Corners area (think the Mesa Verde ruins), have lived next to their revered Zuni Mountain (about 20 miles south of Gallup, New Mexico) for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They successfully evaded the United States Army's 19th century internment and relocation campaigns (which were, more often than not, poorly disguised genocide programs) by hiding on Zuni Mountain for several years.

The bracelet shown here boasts 40 hand-cut black jet, white shell, red Mediterranean coral, and Sleeping Beauty turquoise inlays, in eight separate inlay channels. Harry Morgan added two short lengths of delicate triangle and twisted rope wire overlays and a hand stamped sacred shell on both shanks.

This revivalist bracelet has a maximum width of nearly two inches, and its sturdy three triangle wire open bracelet frame tapers to one-half inch in width at both reinforced terminals. 

Each inlaid bracelet is a unique work of art, and a comparable Harry Morgan bracelet, if available, would now carry at least a price tag of more than $2000 (if not more) in many New Mexico and Arizona galleries. This extraordinarily well-crafted, "old pawn" finish work of art is typical of the truly consummate attention to every detail that Harry Morgan was known and celebrated for. It's as "perfect" as any piece hand-made jewelry can be.

There are an extremely limited number of new, never previously-owned, Harry Morgan pieces of any kind offered in the marketplace. Before his premature death, he suffered a long illness that caused an substantial decline in his production. Even before his illness, Harry Morgan never made the choice that younger artists often make -- of compromising quality in order to achieve quantity.

If Harry Morgan's bracelets fit, and you can afford only one museum-quality piece, many collectors agree his work is the work to buy, both because of its inherent beauty and it's "investment potential."

Harry Morgan's hallmark and sterling stamp are found on the gap side surfaces of the terminal reinforcements.

Tribalism At Its Worst

Reminder: Please Do Not Feed the Fears

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Wrong" Perceptions Often Held About Highly Sensitive People

"You're just too sensitive. Don't take things so personally."

In a culture that favors the powerful, sensitivity can be seen as a deficiency. Sensitive people can be perceived as delicate, quiet and aloof, but that doesn't mean sensitivity is a negative trait. Being a highly sensitive individual may be more useful than the common wisdom would have us believe, according to researcher and psychologist Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. In fact, as Aron explains, there are numerous misconceptions about people who, as she describes, "just feel more deeply."

Below are some "wrong" perceptions often held about highly sensitive people.

They're weak.

As a society, we tend to rank people based on certain characteristics -- and HSPs tend to evade those traits that are perceived as "strong." "There are different kinds of weakness," Aron told The Huffington Post. "They're more sensitive to pain, so they're going to avoid a fight; that might make them look weak because they're not aggressive. They have more emotional reactivity, so they cry more easily."

But their ability to pick up on others' emotions and intuitive nature offers a different type of advantage, Aron explains. "Highly sensitive people see things in a way that other people don't see," she said. "It's a different kind of strength."

They're introverts.

High sensitivity is often used synonymously with introversion, but while they share similar characteristics (like wanting downtime and having relatively quiet personalities), Aron says the two are not the same. In fact, approximately 30 percent of HSPs are extroverts, according to her research.

They're easily offended.

Sensitive people cringe over criticism, and when they receive it, it's something they reflect on internally rather than take as a personal offense. Because they try to avoid scrutiny at all costs, HSPs tend to criticize themselves first or avoid the source of criticism altogether, Aron previously told HuffPost.

They're shy.

One of the largest misconceptions about the personality trait is that people perceive HSPs as shy or neurotic individuals, Aron says. This could partially be due to their aversion to criticism or their reserved nature -- but Aron stresses it's important to distinguish the differences. "Shy is a fear of social evaluation, and we are not born with that fear," she said. "A lot of people study shyness today and they don't realize what's under the hood, they just look at the behavior."

All highly sensitive people are women.

Sensitivity doesn't discriminate based on height, weight, gender or job description. According to Aron, there are just as many men who possess the trait as there are women. "Being a sensitive man is difficult in our culture, but they are out there," she said. "There's no difference in how big and strong and masculine looking you are, if you're a man or a woman. It's not a matter of size."

They're prone to mental or physical illness.

Just like many other traits, it all comes down to variability in your genetics and environment. On average, a highly sensitive person is not at any more risk for mental or physical health issues, Aron says. In fact, if you're in a stabilized environment, the trait may even benefit you. "You're healthier than other people mentally and physically," she explained.

Aron also notes that the trait is not associated with the autism spectrum, like many people believe. Becoming easily overstimulated is a common thread -- especially in young children -- but she stresses that there are many other distinctions that parents should pay attention to and discuss with their doctor. "That's a difficult diagnosis to make in a very young child ... it's been misdiagnosed both ways, but they're different," she said.

Being highly sensitive negatively affects workplace success.

Because they're so intuitive, Aron says that sensitive individuals can actually use their trait to perform better. "It's not a handicap in relationships or at work," she said. "Sensitive people can use their observations to their advantage ... They're going to rise to the top. They know how to bring ideas up without being ridiculed or scorned."

They don't like big crowds.

While highly sensitive people do prefer to participate in activities (like exercise) solo, that doesn't mean they don't enjoy a large party or interacting in a big gathering. In fact, HSPs can thrive when there's social stimulation and some even find calm in large groups, Aron says.

They don't take risks.

It's a myth that highly sensitive individuals just want to stay at home or want everything calm and quiet all the time. Many HSPs seek high-sensation thrills like surfing and extensive traveling. Aron says they also choose careers where they can apply their traits while still finding stimulation and meaning, such as journalism or other service-based jobs.

You can easily identify a highly sensitive person.

In most cases, you probably won't be able to spot an HSP in a crowd, Aron explains. Save for a few eccentricities, like preferring alone time or a quiet restaurant over a noisy one, the personality trait doesn't often stand out. "They blend," she said. "They're creative, insightful and have a lot of empathy. People tend to like them."

The trait is abnormal.

Aron, who has been researching HSPs since the early '90s, says that nearly one in five people possess it. If you're interested in finding out if you're a highly sensitive person, you can take the self-assessment here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

From the Michael Lebert Family Collection: Three Marvin Mangus Paintings

Marvin Mangus and Elder Lebert at the far left. Photo: Alaska, c. 1952

Art photos courtesy of Michael Lebert, who inherited these painting from his father, Elder.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Marvin Mangus: Alaskan Landscape circa 1950s

Periodically, I do a Google Images search for fresh scans of my dad's paintings.'s a new one for the blog...

Marvin Mangus, an early oil painting, c. 1950s

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ken Romero Jewelry: Pueblo Village Design Inlay

Ken Romero, an award-winning artist, was born in 1956, and is a member of the Taos and Laguna Pueblos in New Mexico. His rich heritage serves as an inspiration to his work and is reflected in the unique, one-of-a-kind pendants, rings, bracelets, and bolo ties he creates.

Ken is known for his elaborate lapidary work. He cuts directly from the finest stones, coral, and shells, and then shapes each piece to fit the most intricate design. "I design my pieces with inlay to look and feel like a village or pueblo building. I call this my pueblo village design inlay." All of the jewelry is completed with Ken's hallmark.

Ken is a full-time artist, working in the arts for over two decades. He has an Associate of Fine Arts Degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts and a BA from the California College of Art and Design. He has been awarded Best of Show, Best of Division and two Merit Awards just in 1998. He was also one of the selected Magnifico Artists in 1998.

"Throughout my life, I've always felt a deep need to fulfill a dream. My dream is to create beauty in art, and art as jewelry to be worn for all to see by expressing the colors of Native culture.
Contemporary Native American jewelry is my life's work. Intricate detailed semi-precious stone inlay, rich in colors and lasting weight, hallmark each piece fashioned into one-of-a-kind elegant work of fine jewelry. My work has been described as being 'Contemporary in Traditional Native Design.' My work has been shown in numerous prestigious Native American art shows with award-winning acceptance. 
With this acceptance, from present to future, I want to stay on the cutting edge of contemporary Native American jewelry design without sacrificing cultural identity, quality, or workmanship."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Darrell Cadman: Silver Ring

Darrell Cadman: The Cadman and Reeves brothers are celebrated for their outstanding silverwork, bringing traditional Navajo styles into the contemporary forefront by way of their excellent craftsmanship and fine detail.  

Darrell creates some of the scarcely-seen forms, such as boxes, a type of Navajo silver artistry which, in recent times, has become more difficult to find, especially executed in such a masterful way.

Darrell was born in 1969.  Silversmithing not only runs in his family, but the highest quality and classic work is found not only in the work Darrell creates, but that of his brothers, Donovan and Andy, as well as his half brothers -- Gary and Daniel "Sunshine" Reeves.  

Each of them learned from Gary and Sunshine’s brother, David Reeves, an artist now deceased, who passed on a tremendous legacy of outstanding Navajo silver and turquoise jewelry artistry.

Monday, November 10, 2014

In the Blogs: The Benefits Of Being A Curious Person

By Leigh Weingus 

Curiosity killed the cat? Not exactly. Evidence continues to emerge about the benefits of being an inquisitive, interested person. Not only does staying wide-eyed about the world make life more fun, it also has a number of surprising benefits.

Here are some reasons why curiosity is great.

It can strengthen your relationships. 

Your curiosity about people and the world around you can make your social life richer. If you demonstrate an interest in what someone has to say and maintain many of your own interests that you can discuss, people probably enjoy spending time with you.

"Curious people are often considered good listeners and conversationalists," Ben Dean, Ph.D. wrote in a newsletter for the University of Pennsylvania. "In the early stages of a relationship, we tend to talk about our interests or hobbies. One reason for this is that people tend to equate 'having many interests' with 'interesting,' and for good reason. Curious people tend to bring fun and novelty into relationships."

It can help protect your brain. 

Ever heard that crossword puzzles may help prevent Alzheimer's disease? Craving new experiences doesn't hurt either.

“Keeping your brain mentally stimulated is a lifelong enterprise,” David Knopman, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said, according to Bloomberg.If one can remain intellectually active and stimulated throughout one’s lifespan, that’s protective against late-life dementia. Staying mentally active is definitely good for your brain.

It can help you overcome anxiety. 

It's perfectly normal to be nervous before a big date. But your curiosity and excitement about getting to know an attractive new person might push your anxieties into the background.

"Socially anxious people who experience high levels of curiosity, or appraise certain events as having a high possibility to satisfy curiosity, may be more likely to engage in approach behavior amidst conflicting avoidance motivations," according to a study published in 2009 by psychologist Todd Kashdan in the Journal Of Anxiety Disorders.

It correlates with happiness. 

One theory on happiness is that we develop a "happiness set point" at an early age. We're at this baseline happiness level most of the time, and the level goes up or down depending on positive and negative life events. Kashdan, who authored the book Curious?: Discover The Missing Ingredient To A Fulfilling Life, argues that staying curious can kick our set point up a few notches.

"When we experience curiosity, we are willing to leave the familiar and routine and take risks, even if it makes us feel anxious and uncomfortable," Kashdan writes in his book. "Curious explorers are comfortable with the risks of taking on new challenges. Instead of trying desperately to explain and control our world, as a curious explorer we embrace uncertainty, and see our lives as an enjoyable quest to discover, learn and grow."

It can help you learn pretty much anything. 

A new study published in the journal Neuron found that it's much easier to learn not-so-interesting things when our curiosity is piqued. For instance, if what you're trying to learn just isn't sticking, try watching 10 minutes of your favorite TV show between study sessions. It'll give you a nice break, and it will pique your curiosity, stimulating your brain's pleasure center. When you return to studying, your brain might be more willing to let in some of that information you thought was boring.

"Look for ways to connect the uninteresting things you have to learn with something you're curious and excited about," Lifehacker suggests. "Whatever makes you tick can be used, even if it's not actually related. Study in between 10-minute sessions of that show you're addicted to, go over presentation talking points while playing a new video game, or place study index cards throughout that new page-turner."

Just don't let the innocent 10-minute break turn into an all-night binge.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Charles Loloma: Gold and Opal Ring

In the Blogs: The Science Behind Our Urge To Procrastinate

By Alena Hall

Cranking out a final paper hours before the deadline. Putting off that trip to the supermarket until the refrigerator shelves are completely barren. Watching one, two, even three more episodes of "Orange Is The New Black" before finally shutting down Netflix and calling it a night.

We all procrastinate in one way or another, choosing easy pleasures over more necessary or fulfilling tasks, telling ourselves “there’s always tomorrow” -- and the day after that, and the day after that

But there’s far more science behind procrastination than you might expect. In recent years, psychologists and researchers around the world have been asking: what is it about the human mind that drives us to put off the things that can actually matter a great deal to us? 

Here are five things science tells us about procrastination that may help you see your priorities more clearly.

Procrastination afflicts some more than others.

Some people are genetically predisposed to put things off until later.

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder have found that some people are more predisposed than others to take the bait when a new temptation or distraction enters the picture. Likewise, some people are more likely to display impulsive tendencies. 

Those who act impulsively are easily distracted by things they believe they will enjoy more in the short term, ultimately leading them to put off their long-term goals for later. 

While it is not guaranteed that a procrastinator will also be an impulsive person, the researchers found a correlation between the two traits.

Procrastination feels good -- until it doesn't.

While we all know that the end result of procrastination -- that feeling of panic, anxiety and utter exhaustion -- is anything but desirable, the short-term boost it supplies keeps us coming back for more time and time again.

That boost is a small dose of dopamine coursing through the brain, a feel-good chemical reward inspired by that hilarious cat video or irrelevant-to-your-life-but-oh-so-entertaining personality quiz.

Every time something enjoyable happens, you get a dose of dopamine, which modifies the neurons in your brain, making you more likely to repeat this behavior,” according to AsapSCIENCE’s video on procrastination. “Often times procrastination is a symptom, not a cause.” We know the end result will likely have detrimental effects, but that addictive, short-term fix wins us over more times than not.

The brain's decision-making process is a constant tug-of-war.

The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for taking in information and making decisions. “This is the part of the brain that really separates humans from animals, who are just controlled by stimulus,Timothy A. Pychyl, a psychology professor at Carleton University, told Real Simple.

But this decision-making process is voluntary. If we are not conscious of the moment or focused on the task at hand, our limbic system -- one of the dominant parts of the brain in charge of what Pychyl calls “immediate mood repair-- begins to take over. The result: We give in to what feels better, which is usually that kick of dopamine that comes along with procrastination.

Procrastination is the breakdown of self-control.

A lack of self-control causes procrastinators to have problems when it comes to finishing tasks -- even some of the most simple and basic ones. “A perfect storm of procrastination occurs when an unpleasant task meets a person who’s high in impulsivity and low in self-discipline,Eric Jaffe reported in Psychological Science. "All told, these qualities have led researchers to call procrastination the 'quintessential' breakdown of self-control."

A lack of self-control links with specific types of procrastination as well. Research from scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands recently coined the term “bedtime procrastination,” finding that “people who generally have trouble resisting temptations and adhering to their intentions are also more likely to delay going to bed.

It's entirely within your power to beat back the forces of procrastination.

Procrastination often stems from our mixed or negative feelings about a certain task -- we may be experiencing intimidation, fear of failure, or a lack of passion. As a result, we may view tasks as things to be overcome rather than experienced or achieved.

Increasingly, psychologists and time-management consultants are focusing on a new strategy: helping procrastinators see how attempts at mood repair are sabotaging their efforts and learn to regulate their emotions in more productive ways,” wrote Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year. 

"(Dr. Pychyl) advises procrastinators to practice 'time travel'-- projecting themselves into the future to imagine the good feelings they will have after finishing a task, or the bad ones they will have if they don't,” relieving the anxiety and worry they subconsciously feel about the future.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Katsuyo Aoki: Ornate Ceramic Skull Sculptures

Artist Katsuyo Aoki primarily uses ceramics to create her sculptural work.  

However, the ceramic is more than simply a material she uses to build the work.  The clean white color resembles old sun bleached bones, perfect for the pieces’ skull like shapes. 

Aoki also relies on the the historical language and connotations of the material.  The extremely ornate ceramic is reminiscent of keepsakes, knick-knacks, and home furnishings of a well decorated home.  

These light weight associations are juxtaposed against the existential heaviness of the object’s shape: a human skull

 In her artist's statement Aoki relates the contrasting feelings she intends her work to inspire: 

Their existence in the present age makes us feel many things; adoration, some sort of romantic emotions, a sense of unfruitfulness and languor from their excessiveness and vulgarity.  And on the other hand, they make us feel tranquility and awe that can almost be described as religious, as well as an image as an object of worship.” 

In her own words:

Currently, I use ceramics as my material in my method of expression, incorporating various decorative styles, patterns, and symbolic forms as my principal axis in creating my works.  

The decorative styles and forms I allude to and incorporate in my works each contain a story based on historical backgrounds and ideas, myths, and allegories. Their existence in the present age makes us feel many things --  adoration, some sort of romantic emotions, a sense of unfruitfulness and languor from their excessiveness and vulgarity. And on the other hand, they make us feel tranquility and awe that can almost be described as religious, as well as an image as an object of worship. By citing such images, I feel I am able to express an atmosphere that is a part of the complex world in this age. 

In fact, the several decorative styles and forms I cite simultaneously hold divine and vulgar meaning in the present age, having an irrational quality that contradict each other, which I feel express an important aspect in the contemporary age in which we live.  

Also, the technique of ceramics has a tradition that has been a part of the history of decoration over a long time, and I feel the delicateness and fragile tension of the substantial material well express my concept.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Infographic: Turquoise of the Southwest

In the Blogs: Five Quick and Easy Meditations That Anyone Can Do

By Dougall Fraser 

Don't have time to sit in the lotus position for 45 minutes? Don't throw your spiritual journey out the window just because you can't keep up with the Dalai Lama's dedication to mental stillness.

Our brains multitask all day. During meditation, we switch our intention by focusing on one particular act or ritual, in order to achieve a state of mental stillness. Here are five easy meditations to keep you connected in the midst of any chaotic schedule.

1. Walk away your worries:

If you struggle with the idea of sitting still, you may enjoy a walking meditation. Zen Buddhists' version of this is known as Kinhin, which involves taking a full breath in between every step. While that might seem like an incredibly long walk, the overall idea here is to use your body to become fully present in the moment.

To perform your walking meditation, go at a comfortable pace (preferably outside), and focus on the feeling of each foot as you take steps. Notice your heel touching the ground first, followed by the sole and finally your toes. As you walk, you might notice yourself getting distracted by outside thoughts. Simply bring your mind's attention back to your steps, and this will help center your meditation.

The beauty of this meditation is that it can be done anywhere, and is especially effective for a relaxing 15 minute work break.

2. Chant Yourself Calm:

Various religions and spiritual practices include chanting, which is the repetitive singing or humming of a melody. Gregorian monks use chanting to achieve a state of divine piousness, while Hindus reach enlightenment by chanting the word "Om" repeatedly.
You may not have access to a Gregorian church or Ashram, but this meditation can easily be performed wherever you are. The traditional way is to pick a calming word or sound, and repeat it over and over slowly ("peace" is a popular word to use).

A less traditional method is to pick any song that makes you feel really good, and then hum the melody or sing the words to yourself for a few minutes. Ideally this should be a slower, more relaxing song. While this may seem unusual, I have seen it work just as well as traditional chanting. You are simply focusing on the melody as a way to quiet your mind.

3. Drive yourself to Nirvana

You can meditate with your eyes open. If you are the kind of person who enjoys the feeling of being on the road, driving meditation can be a perfect environment to find stillness. Turn off your phone and radio, and allow your center to be the actual art of driving. Make it your intention to be completely focused on this relaxing joyride. As your mind is assigned the task of getting you from one place to another, the rest of your consciousness is granted a few moments of stillness.

4. Let coffee be your mantra:

You can easily incorporate your morning ritual with a sense of meditative spirituality. Our minds require something to focus on in order to become still. As you make yourself a cup of tea, coffee or even your morning smoothie, infuse this ritual with spirituality. Focus on the steps that you are taking to prepare your beverage, and keep mindful of the intention that this is "me" time you are enjoying. After it is prepared, select a comfortable space to sit and enjoy it. The length and duration of your meditation is reflected in finishing your cup.

5. Wash your aura

Bathing allows you to cleanse your physical body, and is a great time to bring your attention to your spiritual body. As the water splashes down on you, imagine that it is washing away all heaviness and dross from your spiritual body. Watch the soap and water disappear down the drain along with your cares and worries.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Albert Nells: The Four Sacred Colors

Navajo jeweler Albert Nells began making jewelry in 1972. Albert is a meticulous craftsman. He selects only the finest, natural turquoise, coral and other gemstones from around the world. He then cuts, sets, and polishes the stones in his own silver designs. Albert makes every piece of his jewelry in its entirety. He is famous for developing a unique sleek elegant Art Deco style of jewelry incorporating raised inlay and finely cut cabochons. The color scheme is contemporary yet uses the four sacred colors of white, blue, red, and black. In this way he blends the traditional with the sleek elegance of modern times. 

Teresita Naranjo: Santa Clara Style Pottery

Teresita Naranjo is celebrated as one of the finest 20th century potters from Santa Clara Pueblo. Her unexpected death in 1999 was a loss to all pottery collectors. She was active artistically from 1935 to 1999, and was famous for her black and redware carved works in the Santa Clara style.

She was the daughter of Victor and Christina Naranjo and wife of Joe Naranjo. After her husband's passing in 1950, she supported her family solely through sales of her superb pottery.

Jeanette Dale: Onyx Ring

Artist's Biography: Jeanette Dale

Jeanette Dale is a contemporary Navajo silversmith working with a traditional style all her own. Jeanette's pieces are recognizable for their distinctive combination of silverwork and beautiful natural stones. She learned the art form from her mother and has been making jewelry since 1973.

In 1973, Jeanette Dale was working at Fairchild Electronics in their Shiprock, New Mexico plant, cutting out computer chips with a diamond saw. She was the fastest cutter at the plant with the best quality record, producing nearly four times the number of chips of her fellow workers. When the plant shut down that year, she lost her job and didn't know what to do. 

Her mother, Juanita Begay, had been a well-known silversmith for years, and she offered to teach Jeanette the craft. Jeanette found that the precision she had shown cutting computer chips helped to make her work stand out. 

"It just came naturally to me," says Dale. "Soldering was just like I was born to to it. I showed my first ring to a dealer and he hired me to make jewelry for him." She also fell in love with beautiful stones. 

"I like to work around the shape of the stone to bring out it's natural beauty. With unique one of a kind stones you can make unique one of a kind jewelry." Dale prefers the traditional Navajo style with heavy, deep stamping and high polishes. 

She also follows her first employer's advise on one other matter. "He used to tell me to leave some mark, a saw mark or something to show that the jewelry was handmade. So I always leave something."

About Onyx:

Onyx is said to drive away unwanted thoughts and bad temper. In folklore, Onyx is considered a stabilizing stone, especially during times of extreme stress because it prevents loss of energy from the body. It is used for initiating the modes of centering and alignment of the total person with the higher power. Onyx can be used to banish grief, to enhance self-control, to stimulate the power of wise decision-making, and to encourage happiness and good fortune. It is said to be grounding and can be used to deflect or absorb the negativity of others.

In the Blogs: Ten Things People Get Wrong About Anxiety

By Lindsay Holmes 

Perhaps one of the most persistent struggles when dealing with anxiety is what people get wrong about the disorder.

According to Joseph Bienvenu, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, there are many fallacies when it comes to anxiety disorders, and that can make dealing with it more difficult. 

These misconceptions are a common reality for those who either have the condition, know someone who is battling it or think they may be on the brink of a diagnosis. We've debunked ten of the most common myths about anxiety and panic disorders.

1. Wrong: People with anxiety are feeble.

"Many people think that having this disorder means that they're fearful or weak -- and that's certainly not the case," Bienvenu says. He explains that while many anxiety and panic disorders can stem from fear, that characteristic of the condition isn't the only component -- and it definitely shouldn't be used to define the person.

In an effort to explain what it's like to deal with fear-based anxiety, clinical psychologist Bill Knaus detailed the everyday trials of the condition in a Psychology Today blog post. He describes how anxiety can also manifest from something we're all familiar with: remorse. "Recurring anxieties and fears can feel like walls on each side of a trail painted with murals of regrets," he wrote.

2. Wrong: Having anxiety isn't a big deal.

According to Allison Baker, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and the director of the adolescent program for Columbia University Medical Center, the disorder isn't something to be swept under the rug. Anxiety disorders can accompany or have the potential to lead to other illnesses such as depression and substance abuse problems.

When it comes to children and teens, Baker also says that many kids don't speak up about their anxiety because they don't notice that it's a big deal. "Anxious kids, at the end of the day, they're not the squeaky wheels," Baker explains. "They most often just internalize an anxious experience. They don't raise flags or cause anyone grief, so they kind of get neglected in the process."

3. Wrong: The condition is not that common.

Anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million American adults per year, which is about 18 percent of the country's population. According to Baker, anxiety disorders are also one of the most prevalent pediatric psych conditions.

4. Wrong: Issues with anxiety stem from a poor childhood.

Another common misunderstanding about anxiety is that it comes from issues deeply rooted in the past. While past experiences certainly can have an influence on anxiety, Bienvenu says this idea is a misunderstanding. "It's not that having a difficult childhood is completely unrelated, but having a difficult childhood can be related to all kinds of things, not just anxiety," he says. "Some people have had a great childhood and still have anxiety."

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, most professionals have the patient focus on the here and now during therapy-based treatment as opposed to reflecting on what has occurred in the past. Studies have also found that practicing being present through mindfulness meditation can help reduce levels of anxiety and mental stress.

5. Wrong: People suffering from anxiety should just avoid whatever is causing their fear.

Instead of running from fear, experts suggest just the opposite. "Avoidance is not a good strategy," explains David Spiegel, Stanford University’s associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. "Avoiding (what you're fearful of) makes it like it isn't happening -- and the more you avoid it the worse it gets. For people with phobias, the only experience they have (with that particular stressor) is a horrible one but it is possible to normalize it. The more you deal with things that stress you out, the more master you have over them."

In an essay for the New York Times, New York University neural science professor Joseph LeDoux explained that while some avoidance might be helpful in certain cases, general avoidance behavior may only exacerbate the condition. "People with social anxiety problems, for example, can easily circumvent anxiety by avoiding social situations," he wrote. "This solves one problem but creates others, since social interactions are an important part of daily life, including both professional and personal life. But if one is avoiding situations where these cues are likely to be encountered, the opportunity to extinguish fears by exposure never occurs and the anxiety continues indefinitely."

6. Wrong: The disorder will resolve on its own.

"Many people believe that anxiety isn't something worth assessing," Baker says. "But it's important treat anxiety, especially in children and teens. If untreated, it can be associated with an increased risk with depression." There are several methods of treatment for anxiety, including psychotherapy and medication.

7. Wrong: Unwinding with a drink can soothe an anxious person.

Despite its reputation for "taking the edge off," don't expect a beer to relax someone who is struggling with an anxiety or panic disorder. In fact, according to Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, it may end up only making the condition worse. "In the short term, yes perhaps it will, but in the long term it can be a gateway for addiction," he previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. "It's dangerous in the long term because those substances can be reinforcing the anxiety."

Despite the risks, a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that most people suffering from some form of anxiety try to relieve it by self-medicating with substances. The study revealed that 13 percent of the people who had consumed alcohol or drugs in the previous year did so in an effort to reduce their anxiety, fear or panic about a particular situation.

8. Wrong: Anxiety is only born from a certain fear or trauma.

According to Bienvenu, it's incorrect to think that anxiety mostly comes from a specific experience or fear. While a certain phobia -- like flying or great heights -- can often be at the core of the condition, there's also a genetic basis to anxiety disorders, he says.

According to Spiegel, chronic anxiety encompasses more than just one particular instance of fear and begins to make you less aware of what you're feeling in the moment. "You start to feel anxious about being anxious," he said.

9. Wrong: There's nothing you can say to help an anxious person relax.

There are many ways you can offer to help someone dealing with the condition, Baker says. If you're looking to put someone you know with anxiety at ease, the best thing to do is to ask questions. "Inquire from the person, 'How can I be helpful?' 'What can I do or say that's going to help you in this moment?'" she says. "Take your direction from the person themselves instead of going on the assumption of what they may need from you."

You should avoid certain phrases when speaking with a loved one who may be suffering from anxiety disorder. According to Humphreys, being sensitive to the situation can also help. "The paradox is, (an empathetic phrase) helps them calm down because they don’t feel like they have to fight for their anxiety," Humphreys said. "It shows some understanding."

10. Wrong: It's hard to relate to someone who has the condition.

We've all been caught up in a moment that brings up those pangs of nerves, Baker explains. "We all experience anxiety in some capacity," she says. "It helps us prepare for speaking in public and it motivates us to practice or rehearse; everyone can relate to what that experience is like. An anxiety disorder is when those run-of-the-mill butterflies become a chronic daily experience."

In order to assist a loved one who is suffering from the condition, Baker says it may be helpful to recall some of your own experiences. "Imagine what those would be like in progressive state," she says. "It may make you more empathetic to the situation."