Well the last post was a while ago, so I thought I was due to say a few words.
I also have a few bits and bobs to cover before we go on to today’s post. The first being that the anxietynomore app is now available as an option on the Android as well as the iPhone. As usual I don’t push things on anyone, but it is there if anyone wishes to buy it and a few people did ask me to let them know when it was available. As it is new, if anyone has any problems then just let me know.
The other thing is Doreen who posts here will now help moderate the blog. This will help keep it spam free and make sure it runs as it always has and stays a friendly and helpful resource. I do need help as every year things take off more and more. In the last year alone the book was made available on Amazon and in many high street online and offline stores and is mainly sold outside of the site these days. The book also went onto the kindle and is hopefully due on Amazon.com very soon, making it easier for people in the U.S to purchase it. The app was also created in different versions and has been very well received. The trouble with all this is it takes a lot of time up and I am forever on with a project and I will be the first to say certain things have suffered as a result as it takes time away from other things. Things are calming down a bit now and I promise to be around here a bit more to contribute, the blog and site is where it all started and it means as much to me now, as it did when I first set it up.
Anyway on to today’s post:
Many people ask me what they should do to eliminate their anxiety or how do I get rid of this particular symptom? I was one of those people who went over and over things, trying to find a solution to the way I felt, constantly trying to stop myself feeling this way. Well that was my mistake, I was ‘Trying not to feel a certain way’. One thing that I learnt very quickly is that “Trying to rid ourselves of anxiety only increases it”. Yet this is what most people attempt to do and just end up more entrenched in the habit. I say the opposite and tell people to feel it, to go towards it, do nothing to try to get rid of it. People develop safety behaviours and avoidance techniques that can severely restrict their lives because they don’t want to feel it. How can this be the way forward? The truth is that it is not, I only turned my life around when I finally accepted that I had anxiety and it was not going to go over night, I shook it by the hand and said “If you are going to be around for a while then we may as well get along”.
To recover from anxiety we have to be willing to feel it and that’s means taking it with us wherever we go. Yes for a while we will still feel anxious, we may still feel detached or have anxious thoughts hanging around, that’s fine and only to be expected. We also have to be willing to feel it for a while, not a day or a week, but as long as it takes. I have people email me and say some lovely things about the book after reading it, but I had one a few weeks ago saying ” Paul I have just finished your book, but I am not cured”. I am struggling to understand which book she read as it says nothing about getting to the end and a magic wand comes down and cures you. This is the sort of person that will be off next week to try another miracle cure hoping that it will instantly go away, she has no intention of feeling anxiety for a minute longer.
The more desperate you look for recovery, the further away it can seem, as you are putting so much pressure on yourself to feel better and making it your whole life. Why not just step back and do nothing, whilst getting on with your life as you normally would, this will do you far more good long term. I am not trying to make it sound easy, it is not at times and I used to want to hide away at home and shut out the world, but I refused to, as I wanted to be part of that world again. Just so there is no confusion, when I talk about doing nothing, I mean, no longer trying to fix or figure it all out, not doing nothing by sitting at home looking at the ceiling. Go out and live your life, uncomfortable or not, take all your insecurities with you and feel it all at will. You don’t have to wait until anxiety leaves you to have a life, you can have one now. If you want to be part of the outside world again then go and join it, don’t let how you feel stop you.
The constant stress and battle to feel better is what kept me in the cycle, it consumed me and my day. So just try not to become one of those people. I know we feel like we must keep on top of things, to get the better of this thing, but it has the opposite effect. One of calmest and most together people on the planet are Buddist monks and their whole belief is to let themselves and life just be as it is, to not over think or worry about things. Since my own recovery I have a new outlook on life and don’t worry about trivial things or things I can’t control. I am also a far more forgiving and laid back person and it is what I learnt through my own recovery.
To finish I will never forget a story I read where 3 men were burgling a store in the middle of the night and were caught and arrested. They interviewed one and he said that when he heard the sirens he was full of fear and dread, then when the police were outside shining lights in, that his fear increased and they tried to hide. But he said once they had them surrounded and made it clear that they knew they were in there, then they all lit a cigarette up and felt a sense of calm. It was like ‘O.K the game is up, come and do what you have to do’. I felt that story reflected me and my anxiety, I feared the feelings for years and tried to keep them out, once I gave in and allowed myself to feel this way then there was a sense of relief and I felt calmer.
To finish today’s post I am also going to add a list of tweets I recently put up on my twitter account to encourage people, I hope they help in some way.
Anxiety is like quicksand, the harder we struggle to escape, the deeper we sink.
A tired and overworked mind tries to drag you into worrying about anything and everything, just resist the need to get involved.
If anxiety tried to stop me doing something, I would do it even more to show it who was in charge.
Stress on a healthy body registers a small reaction and is dealt with as a problem to solve; stress on an anxious body gives an exaggerated reaction and makes things seem far worse than they really are. The problem is the same; it is the reaction that is different.
Avoidance is something you create; don’t blame it on your anxiety
Don’t keep endlessly looking for a cure to your anxiety, create one by no longer letting it rule what you do and don’t do.
Making the decision to allow anxiety into your day releases so much pressure, stress and worry and gives your mind and body the space to recover.
I created a lot of my own problems through avoidance, I uncreated them through non avoidance, it gave me my life back.
How you feel today has no bearing on how you will feel in the future, things do change.
Don’t get lost in a world of self-criticism, wishing you felt differently, the first step to recovery is accepting how you feel for now.
To overcome anxiety we have to be willing to feel it.
Fears are never as bad as we think when faced, their growl often turns into a whimper, it’s our imagination that makes us think differently.
People who suffer with anxiety tend to avoid feelings and then blame it on the place or situation, suggesting it’s that which causes anxiety. Lose your fear of the feeling and then every place and situation is the same.