Posts From Category: Anxiety

How to be free of over thinking

Hi Everyone I am sorry for not posting much recently, I have just been super busy with the audiobook and updating the main site and this blog, mainly giving both a makeover and also making them both mobile and tablet ready. Everything changes at a fast rate and so you have to constantly keep up. …

Allowing anxiety is what will free you of it

How to allow anxiety

Allowing your anxious energy, is not a technique to get rid of or suppress your anxiety. You can’t destroy energy and suppressing it just keeps it within. The way to be free of this energy is to allow it fully. You think you want liberation from this anxious energy, when the truth is, it want’s liberation from you. This is why it keeps coming up, it wants to be free of you, just as much as you want to be free of it.

Allowing yourself to feel the built-up anxious energy

Most people never allow themselves to feel this energy, they avoid places/situations, drink too much, over exercise, take drugs/medication, distract themselves in activities, they search the net for ways to get rid of it, look for gurus, try to perfect techniques, fight, suppress, spend all day in their heads trying to feel different. In doing this most people get worse, as there is nothing more mentally draining and exhausting than constantly being at war with yourself, it is like lashing out at an invisible enemy that you have no chance of ever defeating. Also, all this resisting, the constant struggle is the main cause of your suffering. The absolute best you can do is force some temporary peace, but then the energy goes nowhere, so the problems persist and the constant search for temporary peace continues. Whatever you constantly try to suppress will always keep on knocking until you finally give up your pointless pursuit for temporary peace and allow its presence within you.

Many people spend their lives in this loop, I did for 10 years until I finally realised the only thing I had not done was allow myself to feel the way I did. When I looked into this approach deeply, then it made utter sense to me why this would free me of this energy that I had done everything to try and avoid feeling. It made sense how much struggle and resistance would fall away, how much more of a break my poor and overworked mind would get, how much wasted brain energy it would free up. How, if I wasn’t so concentrated on fixing me, then my awareness could go back on life and I would start to feel more real. It made sense to me that this was the only way forward.

It wasn’t the day I recovered, as I still had so much anxious and fearful energy to release and for a while things heightened, as now I was fully open to feeling how I did. It was like opening a tap and everything that I had suppressed came rushing up and it wasn’t always pleasant to face. But I truly understood the process that was happening, I didn’t see it as a bad thing anymore, I didn’t think I was regressing on any given bad day. In fact, quite the opposite, I saw it as my body finally releasing what needed to be released, I saw it as a step nearer to being free of anxiety and finally realised a major key on how to recover from anxiety.

Why we fight and suppress feelings of anxiety

The main 2 reasons people go back to fighting/suppressing is because the brains automatic reaction is to try and fight off uncomfortable feelings. This is why you/your brain needs to understand that feeling this anxious energy is a good thing, that when you are free of this anxious energy, then all that is left is peace. The other reason is many people don’t have the patience to go through this process, they think once they understand something then they should feel great, if something doesn’t work instantly, then they go back to searching for temporary peace. I personally figured I could either allow myself to go through a few months of discomfort and be free or spend a lifetime trying to find temporary peace and get nowhere.

A lot of people will say to me ‘Yes, but it is not the anxious energy that is the problem, it is going to a supermarket, driving etc, that is the problem’ my reply is ‘No, these places are not the cause of your anxiety, they are just triggering the anxious energy that is within, if you were free of this anxious energy then you would not feel such a reaction to normal situations’. If the problem was in these places, then everyone would feel this way, the truth is, they don’t. So don’t put the problem on the place or situation, the problem is not there, that is just a trigger for what is within, the problem is never on the outside, the problem is within. So there is no reason to avoid these places. See them as a place that triggers in you what needs to be released and allow the reaction.

Being free of anxious energy is what recovery is all about

When you are free of this stored up anxious/fear energy, then you will only get anxious/fearful when you are in a real danger. We need this reaction to keep us safe and protect us. The problem only occurs when we accumulate too much of this energy (usually through a prolonged period of worry and stress) and we feel it in normal everyday situations or as a constant feeling. This is a clear wake-up call to allow this energy to be felt, as uncomfortable as it is to do so, as you can never be free of what you refuse to feel.

I hope that helps people….Paul

If you would like more information on overcoming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

How to overcome anxiety and fear beyond just knowledge

Avoidance of life is never due to the fact that life is this big scary thing to no longer engage in; it is due to the fact that we don’t want to feel anxiety/fear and so we avoid life in the hope of not feeling it. Life itself is never at fault here, it spins exactly the same for all of us, it is only our mind’s fears and perceptions that make it appear different.

I had many aha moments in my own recovery and realised that life was not to blame for my fear and anxiety. If it was, we would all be scared of the same things and avoiding life when that simply is not the case. Most people happily engage in it and find joy in doing so. I realised that if life was not to blame, then I had to stop avoiding it. By doing so, I was teaching my mind that it was a scary place to be avoided and with this approach, my life became narrower and narrower and my mind’s fears just grew.

I then realised that by building up my knowledge, I was trying to get to the point where I had such an aha moment that I would be able to get rid of fear and anxiety and just go out and live again. I realised this approach would never bring any real results and would be an endless waiting period and that if I wanted my life back, then I had to take the plunge and go out and live it once again. I had to understand that through my past avoidance behaviours, my mind would still have a lot of worries and fears when engaging fully with life again, even if they were false.

Recovering from anxiety beyond just knowledge

There really was no getting past the fact that if I wanted to my life back, then knowledge would not do this for me. The only way to get my life back was to go and live it fearlessly. This does not mean that fear would not arise; it means I understood that it would do and that the feeling of fear was part of growth. Its presence was a sign of me stepping out of my comfort zones and building new habits, beliefs and perceptions. My mind would come up with every reason I should stay within my comfort zones, as it would falsely believe that it was keeping me safe. I don’t blame it as I had taught it that the outside was to be avoided. It was just doing its job and trying to protect me, but I needed to teach it that life was not something to be avoided; I had to teach it that I was fine and I did not need its protection anymore, and within time it would listen.

I also realised that it was never about trying to get rid of fear which is a hard-wired part of each person’s mind; it was about being OK with the feeling of fear. I am not saying you have to enjoy it; it’s not a nice feeling, but ultimately it is a harmless surge of energy that has its limits. I didn’t like the feeling of fear, but in time I lost my fear of it and in doing so I was then no longer moved by its presence. I could make my own decisions on what I wanted to do and that is when my life started to expand once again. My mind’s perspective also changed hugely when engaging in life once again, as my mind’s fears started to fall away and it no longer fired off its protection when it was not needed. I had taught it through non-avoidance that actually engaging fully in life was fine. I was its teacher and it was my pupil and the best way to teach it was through my actions.

Recovery from anxiety is more than just understanding what the problem is

I always tell people that I never came to some huge understanding and then I was fine. Once I understood things, I still had to go through a period of reversing everything, which entailed feeling anxiety and fear. I just came to the conclusion that if avoidance had created so many problems, then the answer to reverse this was obvious and, yes, this would entail a lot of discomfort at times, but getting my life back was far more important than that.

Some people believe they can rid themselves of fear and anxiety through knowledge alone and so jump from one person to the next hoping to be free of anxiety and fear in one go and then they can go out and live again. In doing so they stay stuck in seeking mode as they don’t want to go through the period of discomfort that is needed to reverse the process of avoidance.

Knowledge is important, but we have to implement it through living again

Yes, knowledge does help unmask a lot of myths about anxiety/fear, it helps you to be able to accept its presence better through understanding it. It helps to understand why you are doing what you are doing and the process you have to go through. But at the end of the day, knowledge is pointless if you never take the actual leap to go out and live your life once again. Doing so beats any amount of knowledge hands down.

I am not saying it is easy and a lot of people may get defensive and go on about how tough it is. I understand this – it was for me also – but it is through the toughest moments that real freedom comes. Even if you make small steps at first and stay committed to expanding your life little by little on a daily basis, then this is enough to start the process of reversal. Building my understanding was massive for me, but the only reason I live my life fully now is that I engaged in living again no matter how I felt.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.

How do I become free of fear?

Free of fear

Firstly sorry for the lack of posts recently I have been busy with other things. Also, I have just moderated over 100 posts so sorry if you posted and did not see it. You can now post freely without moderation.

Anyway, on to today’s post entitled

How do I become free of fear

I put 3 tweets out last week and they received a fair bit of interest and some discussion, so I thought it would be a good idea to do a post on them in more detail. By the way, if you want to follow me on twitter its @anxietynomoreuk

Today I am going to talk about feelings of panic and fear or you could call it an energy surge, as that really is, all it is, a surge of energy. Does this energy surge feel uncomfortable and scary? Yes….Is it harmful in any way? No

How I overcame fear really was by truly understanding it. Firstly if you believe we were created and I think no one can deny that we were. We have a heart that pumps blood around, a stomach that digest’s food, teeth for chewing, a voice box for talking, feet so we can stand up correctly, arms to hold things, ears to hear, well I could go on and on here. It’s pretty obvious we are a damn perfect creation with all our needs met.

One of those needs is the fight or flight response, it is vital for our survival and was put in there for a reason. Otherwise, if someone jumped out at us with the intention of attacking us, we would just stand there and be in far more trouble than if we fought or fled. The reason the feeling is scary is because it has to be, it’s giving you the option to fight or escape, it also needs to surge energy through you so that it speeds up your heart rate and pumps adrenalin into your system and all the rest of the amazing changes it creates, so you are presented extra strength or extra speed when you need it.

So where am I going with all this? You kind of know most of the above anyway. Well, the big realisation I had when I felt fear was that it was a normal bodily reaction, it was never meant to be harmful in any way, our creator would never be that cruel. Yes, it was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t harmful to me in any way. I realised the energy had to run out, it had to have its limits. I started to really get to know fear around this time and its limits and realised that it wasn’t fear that was the problem, it was my fear of fear. That was what created a cycle, I did not have to lose this feeling of fear, I had to lose my fear of it and allow the feeling to manifest itself and release itself.

Fearing fear is what caused me to avoid life, yet life was never to blame

It was actually the fear of fear that kept me from avoiding life, it was what the fear of feeling it that kept all the feelings trapped inside me. I always thought I had to somehow no longer feel it, find a method for it to go away and then I could be free, but I could never be free unless I released this energy and that could only ever come by allowing myself to feel it. I also realised the reason my fear came when it was not appropriate was the amount I was carrying around inside me. My body kept trying to release it, but I would not let it. I either avoided or ran away from any triggers or tried to suppress the feeling, be it by fighting, running away or distraction of some kind. I would do anything but allow myself to feel it and with that came no freedom from it.

I then realised that I could never overcome fear by avoiding life, it wasn’t going to come through reading books or planning my life around it. By doing so my life was getting narrower and narrower, I wasn’t living, but trying to arrange the world so I didn’t feel this fear and that was the big problem, the thing I always missed, if I wasn’t allowing myself to feel it then where would all this fearful energy go? Nowhere, it would stay trapped inside of me.

So I then realised that life was not the cause of my fear at all, if so everyone would be scared of the same thing. I realised deeply that the outside only triggered what was inside of me !! Life was actually my teacher here, it was triggering what needed to be felt and released, yet I blamed it for the cause of my fear. I blamed the outside for my fear so hence I avoided the outside. I could not believe I had not seen this before. Avoiding life was about the dumbest thing I could do, blaming life was the stupidest conclusion I could have come to. Life was actually trying to free what was inside of me. I saw that my feelings weren’t against me, they just wanted to be free of me as much as I wanted to be free of them. The only way was to actually feel them, not avoid them, how could I ever be free of something I refused to feel?

Learning to understand fear and knowing its limits

I also really started to understand fear as my minds protection system, because I had avoided certain places my mind had truly thought there was real danger there. Well it wasn’t its fault it came to this conclusion, as I had taught it this, it was only doing its job, what a wonderful creation, always trying to keep me safe. So the next step was realising that I needed to teach it that I was fine and again that meant no longer avoiding whilst understanding that the reaction would kick in for a while yet until it learnt that I was fine. Also as I allowed myself to feel this reaction, this fear energy would be released, I would become more free of it. So then any reaction in the future would be minimal and normal, it would go back to its normal setting and not flood me like it was currently doing.

Was this easy? I would say it was challenging at times, but a challenge I kind of liked deep down. The feeling of fear is uncomfortable, there is no getting away from that and we don’t like feeling uncomfortable and hence we take the easy way out and then tend to arrange our life around not feeling it. I just decided I truly wanted my life back and some uncomfortable feelings were no longer going to stop me. It was also exciting knowing I could do anything no matter how I felt inside, that I could act independently from my minds fears and the energy surge and that it was no longer controlling me and what I did. I truly knew what process I had to go through to be free and that life was giving me all these wonderful opportunities to release all this stored up fear energy that I had refused to feel for so many years. The bottom line is there is no easy instant way out, each process I had to go through to be free, took action and courage and some understanding of the process I was going through.

Going through the feeling of fear is uncomfortable, but utterly harmless

This is why so many people get stuck, as they want to be free without having to go through feeling uncomfortable, but you can never be free of anything you refuse to feel. I look back and every counsellor I went to see, every book I read, every pill I took, every technique I tried and it was all built around trying to make a feeling go away and that is why I got nowhere for so many years until I realised that is not how it works. It’s why people go from one thing to another getting nowhere, maybe the next thing or the next thing, the next book, the next counsellor, the next retreat, maybe the next one will tell me how to get rid of these feelings. In my case, I had tried everything and realised that the answer was not going to come by trying to get rid of something. That to be free of something I had to go through the process of feeling it. I believe the blind alley I went down for so many years was a good thing, as it taught me to stop searching, that the answer lay within me and not the outside, that no one or no technique could fix me or get rid of anything.

Anyway so back to fear and where am I now?

I’m fine thank you and I live my life fully and have no fear reaction unless it’s truly needed and don’t mind the feeling at all anyway, I have grown to know and understand it and would not care if it’s there or not.

To finish, I am not saying this is easy, I am not saying you don’t need courage and that things will change overnight. My understanding really helped me, but it still took courage at times and I did not try and conquer too much too soon. I just always tried to stay relaxed inside no matter what inner chaos was going on. I knew deep down I was perfectly safe and fine and that it was all part of the healing process. At times that took some trust as old reactions to leave or avoid would kick in, but not once did anything bad happen. There was always a peak and then nothing, peace would always return no matter how I initially felt.

The more I went through this process, the more trust I had in it and what I was doing and in time things calmed to normal intensity. The reactions I used to get in certain situations just weren’t there anymore. I was free to go anywhere and do anything, the truth is I always was, but now I could do it without any inner disturbance. This is because all that fear energy I had suppressed and built up for many years was allowed to be felt and released, so there is no longer anything in there to trigger and the reaction will only come when I truly need it.

Just remember, life is not the problem here, life just triggers what’s already inside you, you can’t feel what isn’t inside. You only avoid life when you think that the outside is the cause of your fears, only when you blame the outside do you avoid life.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

How to be free of anxiety

Free of anxiety

I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday so thought I would share it here to…..Sorry if it does not appear correctly when I copy and paste it, it’s just easier then writing it all over again.

I was talking to a friend who suffers from anxiety and depression the other day and he said to me ‘When you first said to do nothing I wondered what the hell you were talking about, I wanted instructions how to get better, a technique, some A-Z plan on how to do it, but I totally get it now’.

It took me back to my years of suffering when I spent a fortune on so-called cures and the latest method that would free me. It was only when I had hit a total brick wall with it all and realised that at best searching this way just carried on giving me hope and sometimes some temporary relief, but it certainly never went anywhere to solving the problem. It was at this time I asked myself what all this searching was about. Then it hit me that it was all about trying not to feel something. I then thought, ‘What if the answer is to feel this stuff that I have spent years avoiding, suppressing and fighting, what would happen if I stopped trying to constantly feel different than I do?’

No longer trying to get rid of my anxious feelings

This day was the day I started to see things from another point of view, that this was never about trying to feel any different than I did. That my suffering was my mind and body trying to take me back to balance by releasing all this stored up anxious/negative energy within me, it wanted to be free of me as much as I wanted to be free of it. But I would not allow this release to happen, I always had some method to try and stop this release, put the brakes on feeling the way I did, stay away from places that triggered this stuff within me. Everything I did was always about trying not to feel it. Even visiting counsellors was never about educating myself, it was all about wanting them to tell me how to get rid of it, no wonder I got nowhere for so many years.

Anxiety really is just excess energy trapped within the body, the next time you feel it, rather than be lost in it, just step back and observe it and you will see this for yourself. When this energy comes up to be released it does feel very uncomfortable and the reason people try to avoid or suppress, but this just keeps it trapped within and all that happens then is it will constantly keep coming up until you finally, like me, realise that there is no way to stop this release by willpower or some technique.

Dropping all techniques to control or suppress anxiety

I came to the conclusion that this was never about finding or executing some technique, it was about throwing every technique out and being fully open to what arose. As painful and uncomfortable as it was to feel this stuff, it was the only way to be free of it. It is like a tap full of dirty water and the clean water is underneath, the only way to get to the clean water is to turn the tap on and allow the dirty water to flow through for a while, there is no shortcut to recovery.

Most people have the attitude of ‘I want this stuff gone, but I don’t want to feel it’ sorry, but this is what will keep you searching for the rest of your life, most likely spending a fortune on false promises. The truth is there is no shortcut to being free of anxiety, trust me if there was someone would be very rich and we would all know about it, it would not be some hidden secret on the internet. You can either spend a few months allowing this stuff to come up or a lifetime searching for temporary relief.

This is not a way of feeling better, this is a way of releasing stuff and when you do so you may feel more anxious than before, you may feel more tired and confused as this energy being released can cause a lot of inner chaos initially. You just have to have faith that this is a good thing and no harm will come of this. Many people who initially feel worse can think they are doing something wrong and then go back to suppression techniques, but it just follows physics, the more open you are, the more you will feel.

Allowing anxiety is an up and down process that takes time

Through this process of allowing you may also have moments of real bliss and freedom as a chunk of energy is released. This does not mean the release is over, it means that you have released a good chunk of energy or your body is giving you a break so you can recuperate, it does not mean this is the end of the release. The release will happen in stages with many ups and downs until you are free of this energy. When you are free of this energy then it is impossible to feel anxious for no reason again, you will just feel anxious when you should do, as there is no more excess energy to be triggered.

So the next time you feel anxious, see it for what it is, just old trapped energy wanting to be released. Don’t try and sort anything out, don’t try and put the brakes on anything, don’t identify with this energy, it is of no importance, just be fully allowing of it and allow it to be released. Feeling uncomfortable is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a good thing, as it’s the only way to release old stuff and recover. You can’t feel peace without initially going through some suffering, that is how balance works. Trying to skip this stage is exactly what keeps you in the cycle of suffering.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

Anxiety questions answered

Anxiety questions answered

I asked people on my Facebook page to ask some questions on anxiety the other day and I would pick the best 3 out, here is the 3 I picked and my answers.

Q.1 I feel like I had a good hold of my anxiety and I can see the things I worry over are irrational most of the time, however, I feel that the physical symptoms of my anxiety take over and I become locked into the fear and panic. It almost feels like the physical symptoms come first then my mind makes up a scenario to go along with it. Is there any way of overcoming this?

The first step and one that you have seen is that most of the things you worry over are irrational, the anxious mind is a master at creating worries that don’t actually exist, which is just its way of dealing with the energy being released. Creating a space between you and your fears/worries and seeing them as a manifestation of your anxiety through anxious thinking, is crucial, so you don’t then start worrying over a made up worry, creating more anxious thinking, more emotions and then getting stuck in a loop. As you say, thoughts feed the emotions and emotions feed the thoughts if we allow ourselves to get sucked in and believe what our anxious mind is telling us.

Ultimately every thought is the minds attempt to release an emotion that has been suppressed. You think it is you that needs to be liberated from your thoughts, but the opposite is true, what you are really feeling is the emotion and thoughts attempts to be liberated from you, they are trying to leave. So, the deal is to allow your mind to have all its worries and fears, let it spout any nonsense, allow it to have any movement it wishes, but in a detached way, where you are not seeing the thoughts and worries as true, you’re no longer energising and putting belief in them by getting involved.

When you pull your energy, focus and belief from a thought, then it no longer creates the emotion. Belief in thought is what creates an emotion, not the thought itself. Someone can have the thought that no one likes them, if aware, they just see it as just an old anxious thought popping through and they are not affected, yet if they believe that thought, then they will get an emotional hit and then may act through it by trying to people please or becoming defensive to other. So, the deal is to just let all the anxious thoughts pass through in your awareness with no concern, let them play out as they wish. In doing so they begin to die down, they don’t have the fuel of your attention and belief to keep them alive.

When your mind is racing, if you observe it, you can sense it is excess energy, this is what causes it to race. What is the best way to stop it racing? Would it be to think more? Try and control the thoughts? Try to suppress them? No, the best way would be to allow the energy to run itself out, so allow the mind to race if it wishes, see all the negative rubbish and the worrisome scenarios it creates as just part of this energy releasing itself. If you believe the stuff it creates, if you get involved with it and start seeing it all as true, if you add worry to worry, then you create more energy and then you create more thoughts, more emotions, it’s like throwing petrol on a fire and wondering why it won’t go out.

So, to finish you break the loop by letting the whole dance of energy play itself out, yes, it is uncomfortable, but leaving it all alone without getting involved with the thoughts, without trying to put the brakes on the feelings is what brings it to rest, it burns itself out. This is not a technique, it is the total opposite of a technique. This is a full allowing of the energy within you to manifest itself in any way it wishes and then the energy has run out without you trying to interfere, then it will come to rest when it has burned itself out, trying to stop the release is what creates more turmoil. It is the battle with themselves to control, suppress the release that is the main cause of people’s suffering, not the release itself.

Q.2 I would like to know roughly how long it took you to fully recover and how many setbacks did you have during recovery?

Each one of us is different and so I don’t want anyone thinking that how long it took me will be the same for everyone. It all depends on how long you have suffered, how open you are to feeling your anxiety etc. Me personally it took around 6 months to feel real freedom, then around another 4 months to be totally anxiety free, where I only got anxious when I should be, like most other people and not for no reason.

I am telling people this so they don’t have impossible expectations. On setbacks, I had many, but again you have to understand what a setback is, to realise that it is totally normal and a good thing. Anxiety, as I have said before, is just negative energy trapped within the mind and body, the energy needs releasing, there is no other way to get rid of it. To get rid of it, then you need to allow it to rise within you and leave, like the steam from a kettle. But most people don’t do this, they judge, suppress, fight, try to distract themselves from it, anything at all but to feel it, where does it then go? Nowhere, it just stays where it is ready for another go at releasing itself and with all the fighting and extra worry, more may be added to the stores.

So, you have to realise that feeling bad is actually good, it is your bodies way of trying to get rid of this energy that is causing you so much turmoil, but you won’t let it, so what choice does it have but to keep it stored within? So me personally, I had to go through a lot of these purges. When I was open to this release of energy, then yes it was uncomfortable, there was no getting away from this fact and a purge could last between an hour and up to 2 days, but as tough as it was, I stayed open to it, I understood the process, to feel good again I had to feel bad, my body was just releasing all this stored up negative energy. If people have any doubts what it is, then look how people who have anxiety tend to ramble, not be able to sit still, it is just too much energy in the body, why do people feel better after the gym or a run? It has burnt a lot off for a short period of time until the body then replenishes itself.

Just knowing what it was, really helped me through this process and I knew no harm would come from me allowing myself to go through this process. Your body though cannot get rid of all this energy in one go, so it goes through cycles, this is what a setback is. It has got rid of a whole chunk of energy and then if you allow it, you can have a period of bliss after, some of my most blissful experiences came after the toughest releases. But I knew this was not the end, I knew the body would go through another purge and that was fine, in fact, I looked forward to it in a way as I knew this was where progress was really at, feeling bad meant more was being released and I wanted it gone. Feeling good was great and I welcomed it, but feeling bad was good also, as more stuff was coming up to leave and taking me nearer to recovery. The whole deal really is not to cling to any bliss and don’t reject the bad, which is what keeps so many people stuck.

In the space of a few months, the purges came less strongly and less frequently, I could have a few weeks feeling great and then when I felt rotten, it was pretty easy to deal with as the intensity was way lower than before as so much had been released. Then the point came when I felt real freedom, the anxiety was all but gone, the racing/fearful thoughts all but stopped.

So, yes setbacks are a good thing, what most people do when they have a period of feeling good is think they have cracked it, that it is all behind them, I have seen this so often. Then when the energy comes back up to be released they try to shut the process off again, they berate themselves for feeling this way, they search back to try and find what made them feel so good the week before, run to something to try to make themselves feel good again, which is the total opposite of what you should do, you must continue to be open to anything. So nothing has gone wrong in a setback, you have not gone backwards, it is just your body having another release. In fact, this is a good thing, a chance for you to release that energy, the less energy within your mind and body, the less anxiety you feel, the less you suffer psychologically.

Q.3 How do you tackle anxiety without feeling pressure to get rid of it? I feel like all the self-help stuff comes with so much pressure of “I’m doing this specifically to alleviate anxiety” that whilst you’re doing it you’re worried it’s not going to work, so it won’t. Don’t know if that makes sense!

All I can say on this is exactly what happened to me and many others who have recovered have told me. I am not trying to convince anyone I am right, people can make their own decisions if what I say resonates with them. So, what I write below is not meant to start a debate, as no one can convince me otherwise and I have no intention of convincing them either, but what I write rings so true with me on a very deep level and is what brought me recovery.

Trying to get rid of or alleviate anxiety will never work, trust me you will end up on the self-help treadmill forever if you attempt to do this, I tried for 10 years as I was pretty clueless in those days and got worse, it utterly exhausted me mentally too. I basically had to try every technique, every book, every counsellor, I had to exhaust myself with trying before I realised that this was not going to work. I remember thinking, if someone had the magic answer to get rid of anxiety then I would not have to search for it. I looked at all my self-help books, the pills I had taken, the counsellors I had seen and asked myself, what has this all been about? It has all been about trying not to feel something and nothing has changed, am I going to keep blindly going down this route when it is not working? What if I no longer tried to feel different than I do, what would happen then?

What is avoidance? Is the problem really the supermarket, the social event, the car drive? No, it is all about not feeling anxiety, this is what is causing all the problems, what is keeping me stuck in the loop. This is what is really restricting my life, it is all about avoiding this energy release. This really was the start of me seeing things from a totally different angle, it taught me no one and no thing out there could get rid of my anxiety.

This anxiety was not something I could get rid of, this anxiety was something I was going to have to feel, avoiding, suppressing, trying to sort out had only made me worse, this made perfect sense, as how could I get rid of something I was denying myself to feel? It made utter, utter sense to me. It made total sense to me why the self-help market had failed me, as it was all about the promise to get rid of it, without feeling it. I can’t tell you how much money I wasted on this promise. Every new counsellor I saw at the time gave me a new technique to try, more suppressing, more things to carry around in my head, more ways to avoid feeling it, so it stayed in my body and created havoc.

What I found was, the whole self-help market only brought me temporary relief, so a new book and I would feel good for a while after, but a few days later I would be back in old habits. The counsellor would make me feel good and hopeful, then a few hours later I would be back to where I was. A lot of the self-help market is all about the next book, the next retreat, the next session, it keeps people hanging on, like, nearly there folks, not far now. I am not having a go at the whole self-help market here, there are a lot more well-educated people than in my day and if someone educates you on anxiety and what it is, I am all for it, absolutely. As the more you understand, the less you fear it and the more allowing you are to allow yourself to feel it. I also think someone understanding to talk to is good too, it helps release a lot of mental space.

My point is you don’t need to keep on searching for relief. Recovery can never lie in temporary relief, it will never sort out the underlying problem and the underlying problem can never be sorted out if someone is constantly searching for temporary relief. It will also never come from a technique, as a technique is again all about suppression. If you’re looking at the self-help market to make something go away then I am afraid you will be searching for a long time, if you look at it to educate yourself so you understand enough to allow yourself to let go and feel it then this is the direction you need to take.

So allowing myself to feel all this energy within me in instead of trying to find ways to control, or suppress it brought tremendous relief to me, in a sense that I threw all my books out, threw away all my techniques, I did not need to go and see anyone anymore. There was nothing to fight, nothing to go over, nothing to suppress, nothing to fix. The mental energy this freed up was amazing too.

I always tell people when I allowed myself to feel all this energy stored within me, it was like a detox, I felt more than ever, as it was like I had finally turned the tap on and was no longer trying to turn it off, this energy had full freedom to manifest itself as it wished. I had some really tough periods, this energy was not nice to feel and the instinct was to try and turn it off, but I wanted it gone and I resisted the urge to close off to it. I would often need space and time on my own when it got tough. I would also have periods of calm within the storm as chunks of energy were released and then the cycle may start again. I just had to stay as allowing as possible to it all, if my mind raced, created scary thoughts then so be it, if my body was racked with anxiety, then fine, this is a good thing, let it all come up, I want it gone.

So, I would say follow what resonates with you. I came across a few teachings that resonated with me, ones that educated me on how the mind and body worked. Anything that did not resonate with me I discarded, it wasn’t for me. But most of all I was my own best teacher. I really started to see things on a deep level. I went with my own intuition, my own wisdom and came to a lot of my own answers. Answers that made utter sense to me.

We all have this in us, I can’t just physically pass my understanding on to others, I can only write words down and hope that they can see it for themselves. I have seen people read my book in one sitting and bham they have truly got the message and made huge strides very quickly, others take more time. It all depends on how the words resonate with them and if they truly see the message behind what I write and see something for themselves. Me explaining something in a different way can give someone a real Aha moment and the reason I keep writing.

Well, I hope that answers a few concerns. I am sorry I have a really busy schedule and won’t be able to answer any more questions for now but may do this again in the future.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

What causes anxiety?

What causes anxiety

It is not always how your anxiety that causes your suffering, it is your rejection of your current state that does. As when you reject something you either try and suppress it or you fight to get rid of it and both of these take tremendous effort and energy. So most of your suffering is caused by the extra turmoil in your mind created when you fight with the moment physically or mentally. It is the extra tension created by your refusal to accept your symptoms of anxiety, your current state.

But this is what is happening in the moment, it can’t be other than it is. When you accept this and stop searching for another reality, the mind relaxes, as it has nothing more to do and it is the absence of this tension that releases so much of your suffering. Constantly fighting with your present state is the reason that so many people stay in a cycle, they keep re-creating their own suffering and so the system never gets a chance to heal itself.

So much suffering comes through your battle to not feel anxiety

So much mental suffering is caused through the mental battle with yourself and how you are feeling, constantly looking for another state, another reality, a refusal to allow yourself to feel how you feel. This battle keeps the mind overactive, it causes so much mental strain and chaos, the mind becomes so unsettled and there can be confusion, irritability and strain. So much of how you feel physically comes from the strain and tension in your mind.

The mind craves a rest from this battle you are having with yourself. You can never find calm through more thinking, more effort as you are again just using the mind to try and achieve this when it desperately needs a rest, it gets more jobs to do, you are trying to solve the problem with the problem. This is why techniques rarely or if ever work, as techniques are another way to try and manipulate a different state, it is another job for the mind to try and perfect. It is never about trying to force another state through personal will and effort, it is about letting go of all techniques and effort and then the mind finally gets the rest it needs and in time with rest, it will calm itself.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

What do I do to become anxiety free?

  What do I do to be free of anxiety? How do I get rid of anxiety? The answer I searched for, for years and never found. Yes, I could find ways/techniques to cover it up temporary, but never find that illusive SECRET to make my anxiety go away. Surely I just had to keep …

How do I give up my struggle with anxiety?

Stop struggling with anxiety

It’s not your thoughts or emotions that keep you in the cycle of suffering, it’s your constant struggle and rejection of them that does. Non-acceptance of ‘what is’ just creates resistance within and it is this resistance that causes so much suffering and it also what stops a process of healing from happening.

Anyone who is stressed and mentally exhausted has got there through struggling with ‘what is’, through trying to force things to be different than they are. The people who constantly worry and stress are mainly those who are arguing with ‘what is’ be in their inner state or the outside world.

If you’re open to any outer or inner state then there is no struggle.

Less struggle = Less suffering, Less struggle = Thoughts and emotions change naturally. You can’t force or create a particular state through struggle or personal will, this just creates more of what you are trying to get rid of and just mentally drains you. You can’t change the outside world by getting mad at it, it won’t stop raining because you want it to and that woman at work won’t act differently than she is, no matter how much you wish her to. The outside world, life and others act as they do, less stress and worry comes through understanding this one fact and realising that life won’t always go your way and that people won’t always act how you want them to. The outside and others don’t cause stress, it is your none acceptance of how things are that does.

This is also true if you suffer in any way, it is your non-acceptance of your current state that causes so much extra suffering. It doesn’t feel great to feel down, angry, fearful, irritable, anxious or any other state you may find yourself in. But trust me, if you just fall right into your current state and don’t try and feel any different than you do, then you won’t suffer the same as if you battle with it, also the complete acceptance of your current state, allows your mind and body to start the process of healing.

Be open to any state

My own recovery from anxiety came when I saw enough to give up this fight to control and change how I felt. The same thoughts and feelings were there for a while, but I just lost interest in them and without my interest, without the constant fighting, the constant struggle I started to feel some peace and I came out of these thoughts and emotions far quicker. They felt lighter, less serious and had less impact.

If a person was able to no longer fear any state they were in then recovery is inevitable. It is your fear of the state you are in, the story you put around it, the constant struggle to feel different than you do. So much suffering is self-created through lack of understanding, yet we think it is an outside force doing this to us, it is not. So let go and have trust that your mind and body knows how to heal itself without your constant attempts at manipulation.

Someone put this as a reply to a similar message on my twitter account, which is so true.

“Imagine a world where we witness thoughts without becoming them & experience feelings without being overwhelmed by them.”

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.

How do I release all this anxious energy within?

Releasing anxious energy

I have just posted this and my Facebook page, I hope it helps in some way.

Complete allowing is the way out of anxiety and all the other symptoms that go with it. Be it intrusive thoughts, panic, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, feelings of detachment. All this is created by months and maybe years of worry and your body and mind is then full of excess negative/anxious energy. This is why you feel the way you do, forget all these labels that are given out.

The only way out of this is to then release it all. Fighting, suppressing, constantly analysing and trying to control it won’t work and can only give small pockets of temporary relief at best, it can never truly fix the problem. So why do we spend so long trying to fix, suppress and fight these feelings? We do so because our mind is a survival machine and it wants rid of these feelings, it screams ‘Do something, I don’t want to feel this way’ so we go around in circles changing meds, seeing counsellors, reading books, self- analysing, trying different techniques, anything not to feel this way. This cycle can become a lifetime pursuit for many, the further they fall, the more they search for that elusive answer and the harder they battle to get better, not knowing it is this that is causing them to sink further.

The reason we get nowhere and in many cases sink further is because we have never allowed ourselves to feel this negative/anxious energy present within our mind and body, so it has never had the chance to escape our inner space, it’s a vicious cycle when not seen.

When you see things for yourself it takes on a whole new meaning

On my blog, you get people who have truly seen it and they flow with knowledge and understanding, they truly allowed all the inner grot to surface and are now recovered. They did so because they did not just see my words, more that my words resonated with them on a deep level, they truly saw it for themselves. You then get the other person who has read the same material and they are still doing all of the above and the reason is because deep down it has not clicked with them yet and they truly believe the way out is to get rid or suppress how they feel. There is a world of difference between seeing something on an intellectual level and on a deep level. When seen on a deep level, trying to control or suppress how you feel would seem like the dumbest thing you could do, so you would automatically stop.

It took me a while to have that lightbulb moment and get it. I was like ‘WOW’ that’s why that did not work, why that did, I see it now so clearly’. Was that the end of my suffering? No, as there was so much negative/fearful/anxious present within me, seeing what I did would not get rid of it overnight. I knew I had to go through a painful process I had spent years trying to avoid. In fact, finally allowing myself to feel it, I felt it more strongly than ever at times, mixed in with days of peace and bliss I had never felt before. I loved the good days, but I was fine with all the bad too, as I knew it was a vital part of the process of recovery.

Your mind and body is trying to release what is stopping you from feeling at peace

My realisation was the end of all my suppression and coping techniques, as it made no sense to continue to do so. Even when my mind screamed, ‘Escape, fix’ I smiled at it as I knew deep down I was totally fine with whatever symptoms came up. I was not under attack and whatever was going on could not harm me in any way. I truly saw that my mind and body was full of negative/anxious energy through years of worry and stress, this needed to be released by completely letting go and allowing it all to rise up within me.

The mistake a lot of people make is they think that letting go, allowing, is a ‘do’, they want to know how to do it, why? Because again they want to use it as a technique not to feel a certain way, when this is all about feeling it, not the other way around. You can’t ‘DO’ allowing or letting go, it is not a do, it is an attitude. It’s about not holding on to any strategy, not having any rules or technique, not protecting yourself in any way, it is about letting go of everything, about fully opening up and allowing everything to arise within you. People think if they let go of all control and all resistance that something bad will happen, that they will somehow lose control, but don’t fall for your mind’s tricks, it won’t. You feel far more control when you let go than you do when holding on.

The above is not some idea I have about recovery, this comes from personal experience, I have seen so many recover this way, and for me, it is the only way.

Just remember you are always there underneath all this negative/anxious energy, this is all just surface stuff and not who you truly are. When the last of mine stuff was released, all the symptoms left me. All the labels I was given were nonsense, I did not need years of therapy, I did not need to deal with each symptom separate or need a bunch of rules or techniques. I did not need to get somewhere or escape anything; the answer was much simpler than that. The answer really is simple once you see it for yourself, hopefully, my words will help you do that.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.

Anxiety Success Story

Anxiety success story

I have been getting a lot of success stories recently from people who have recovered or have made huge strides. A lady was very keen to share her story with others and asked if I would please share it. It’s only a short story but hopefully, it gives hope and comfort to others.

Hello Paul,

I just wanted to start out by saying that your book saved my life. I cannot thank you enough for all of the information. I suffered from anxiety and severe depression after the birth of my son on July 7, 2014. I came home the following day with my baby and that night suffered from what I know now is a panic attack, and thus my anxiety began. I had every symptom in your book and no answers. I had no idea what was going on. I thought I had a heart attack or something else horrible was happening to me. I ended up in the emergency room, and after 5 hours of strenuous tests, I was told that I was ok, which left me bewildered. I went home and began thinking about what could be wrong with me? What had happened to me? And it began happening again and again because I kept fearing another episode. I thought for sure I had postpartum psychosis or some other type of postpartum problem.

I went to doctor after doctor, with no answers. They all just looked at me and wondered why I was so agitated. Kept trying to force pills that did not help. I was pushed from therapist to psychiatrist to finally a therapist that really helped in my recovery. I stayed away from my son and could not even be around him because I had such disturbing thoughts that I might hurt him or myself. I was back into the emergency room because I knew for sure something was terribly wrong. Barely missing being admitted into a ‘mental’ hospital I was sent home again to try and get better. I slowly began to slip into depression, stopped caring about what I looked like, stopped eating, stopped sleeping all because my brain would not stop searching for the answer to this new found problem.

I tried to explain what I was going through to my husband but he had no idea, nobody understood. I was alone trying to fight my way out of this hell. I figured I would end up in a mental hospital never to see my family again. But I began to research what this could be and stumbled upon your site online, and then your book. And in such a short time suffered from severe depersonalization. My anxiety was so bad I could not hardly read the book or talk, never mind holding a conversation. I started to read and finally, I had found the answers to all the questions my mind was seeking. It all began to make sense. I just gave up the fight, it was very difficult to do but I did it. I had many, many bad days, thinking I will be stuck in this hell forever.

Then I began to have moments of quiet in my mind. The tools in your book started to help I was so relieved. There were many days I wanted to give up, thinking I would never smile again, never be able to take care of my children or love my husband. I realized that the anxiety was there to help me, a friend that would force me to stop the worry and the stress. I had to read your book many times to let the information really sink in, but slowly, very slowly my mind began to reverse these habits I had started and though I don’t feel I’m 100% recovered, I know that full recovery is just around the corner. I can now do all of the things I could do before, including taking care of my son. I made myself smile on the days where it was impossible and never gave up. I realize now how important life really is, how important friends and family are.

Though I can say I hope I never reach that place again, I know that I can get through it and now because of it, I am a better person. I realize now how important your health is. You really just need to get on with your life and take the anxiety with you, and man is it the hardest thing to do because all my anxiety wanted me to do was stay in bed. To others that are suffering from anxiety, you will get through it. And believe me, I was one who thought “yeah right,” I’m going to be like this forever, my life is over. But just let go of the fight, let your body heal itself and never give up. There is so much to live for. Thank you so much, Paul, for all of the information you provide, I really thought I wouldn’t make it out of that hell and was ready to give up. But I did not and thank God every day for that. I hope this helps provide hope to someone as all of their success stories did for me. I really cannot thank you enough.

Rochelle

Here is a link to more Anxiety Success stories

If you would like more information on overcoming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.

I’m fed up of trying to get rid of my Anxiety

Trying to get rid of anxiety

One of the biggest mistakes people make is they think their aim is about getting rid of anxiety, the second is they think they have to protect themselves from feeling it, so they hide away, avoid social interaction, run away from thoughts and feelings, push them away.

Remember the aim is not to, not feel anxiety, it’s to no longer care if you do or not. This is why people buy numerous books, see numerous counsellors, walk around with 20 sayings and 15 safety behaviours. Their aim is to either get rid of it or not feel it.

Both are wrong, you must actively go towards it to unravel the lie behind it, to desensitise to it, to build up new beliefs and habits. Don’t try and protect yourself by avoidance, the respect for the thoughts and feelings just grows, instead of trying not to feel it, ask for more, don’t hide away, reveal your anxiety to yourself and to the world. By this I mean don’t treat it as the thing to protect yourself from, to hide away from, don’t treat it as your little secret you have to keep from others, putting on an act hoping your secret is not revealed. Go from caring to not caring, go from trying to keep it at bay to welcoming it, go from trying to not feel it, to feeling it at will.

I spent years in a loop of trying to not feel it, years trying to get rid of it and to no avail. My realisation came that everything I did, every book I read, every counseller I saw was all with the aim of one of them telling me how to get rid of it, it then dawned on me that this was my mistake and I should do the opposite.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.

How to overcome avoidance behaviours with anxiety

Today I am going to cover the subject of avoidance. Some sufferers suffer from this quite a bit, some hardly at all, but I think everyone can get something out of it. Avoiding places that trigger anxiety is totally counterproductive Avoidance can take many forms, people may avoid social situations, the neighbour, answering the phone. …

Why am l always trying to escape Anxiety?

Trying to escape anxiety

Well I was going to talk today about intrusive thoughts, why they come and how to let them go, but the draft I wrote yesterday did not save to my computer and I lost the lot, it was a long post and will have to be re-written at a later date now.

Today I am going to cover the subject of avoidance. Some sufferers suffer from this quite a bit, some hardly at all, but I think everyone can get something out of it.

Avoidance can take many forms, people may avoid social situations, the neighbour, answering the phone. They may turn down invites to meet with friends, not go for the job they want, not join that evening class.

Basically, they restrict their own life because they become a prisoner to how they are thinking and feeling. They may find doing things too much effort, have got to the point where they hate mixing or that they feel nervous or awkward in social situations.

This was me and what I thought at the time, was that I had to work out the magic formula and then I could start having my life back, that when this awful thing called anxiety went away, then my life could be normal again. The problem was that I did not know how to feel normal again, I had tried everything and nothing had worked.

Yet this is exactly what I needed to get my life back on track ‘Do nothing different than I did before anxiety’ I realised it was me that was changing my behaviour !! Hiding away and avoiding things was only telling my subconscious that there was danger here, there and everywhere, I could NEVER recover this way. The way to recover was to go against these instincts and do it anyway, to teach my subconscious mind that everything was fine.

It was like there was a little voice in my head that would try and keep me safe by telling me not to go here or there and not to put myself in certain situations. Your mind actually thinks it is keeping you safe by doing this, this is a built-in system within everyone and it acts on what information it receives. If you avoid certain places, then your mind registers this and files it under dangerous and will kindly let you know the next time you are in that situation, again the mind is innocent in all this, it is just going by your past actions.

Someone without anxiety may have been fine with dogs, until one day they get bitten and then go out of their way to avoid them. Your mind has picked up on this avoidance and will most likely put you in a fight or flight situation when you see one. And the more you avoid, the deeper the threat goes into your subconscious mind and why the reaction comes instantly upon seeing a dog before you even think about it. This is because the subconscious mind works a lot faster than the thinking mind. The only way to stop this overbearing protection system is to start mixing with dogs again, even when these feelings of fear come, as they most likely will. By doing this you are telling your mind that you’re fine now and you no longer need its protection, you can even thank it for doing its job and trying to keep you safe. This is the same as someone gradually doing something and getting used to it, it is your actions the mind picks up on, you can’t talk yourself better. The only language it understands is your actions, so when you no longer avoid, in time your mind realises you’re safe after all and slowly starts to turn off this protection system.

That little voice in the anxiety sufferer can go off at totally irrational moments it seems, at times when where there is no danger, no threat and it can bemuse us. Yet we have unknowingly created this reaction through our own past actions and behaviours, if we avoid talking with someone, if we avoid socialising, then we are building up a fear in our subconscious about being around people, so it is only doing its job. So yes we have created this false programming, which is great news as now we can be the ones to reprogram it too.

There is no big secret to change this, all I did was understand that it was me that created this, I was the one who decided to change my behaviour and do things differently, so of course my mind just followed and tried to keep me safe, it was me that kept telling it there was danger when there wasn’t, it just went along with what it was being told.

The way I turned it around was simple, I just stopped listening to this little voice, if the phone went off I answered it every time, anxious or not. If I got invited out then I would go, at first it felt odd and I did feel some anxiety, but so what, I wanted my life back. If a neighbour approached I would not look down, I would walk right up and chat. That little voice that tried to keep me safe was still trying to do its job at times, but I just thanked it and told it I was fine. In time this voice and the fight or flight reactions left me, it realised there was no danger there now and there was no need to keep me safe any longer. I slowly, but surely reprogrammed myself and was now free to go anywhere with no problems whatsoever. The journey was quite exciting, seeing my life come back slowly, but surely, I even got a thrill out of testing myself and seeing me come through and the progress I was making.

It was not always easy and the temptation to hide away was still there at times, but I never did. It was like I was looking down on myself at times and seeing the silliness of hiding away and the things I was avoiding.

This really is how I solved this part of my anxiety, I just went against every instinct and did it anyway. I had the power to change things, we all have. I changed it from being able to do everything before anxiety to avoidance, so I always had the power to change it back again.

Anxiety never stops you from doing anything, that is always your choice so don’t be a slave to it. From today if you suffer from any avoidance behaviours the only way to get through them is to just live your life like you did before anxiety and take the feelings with you.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.

Don’t allow your anxious thoughts to become who you are

Negative thoughts

As the last post was so popular and received 3 times more hits than any other post I decided to expand on it, also this comment below from the last post is so true and encouraged me to write a more detailed post.

“Kristina thanks a lot. You are right, I have to change my attitude to my thoughts. My problem is that I believe a thought and in believing it, I accept it as a reality and thus become afraid of it. I need to not respect the strange and abnormal thoughts. That is the key.”

The post is really to express that you are not your anxious thoughts, you are separate from them and it is your choice if you wish to believe them or not.

A lot of people are a slave to their thinking and see it as the truth and follow it without question, with the attitude of “if I think it then it must be true” and all decisions and actions are then based on what they think.

Your past experiences create many of your thinking patterns

It is like someone who has been cheated on in their last 3 relationships, they will then be much more inclined to have thoughts about the next going wrong and their new partner and the relationship may have to suffer because of this. The thought may be ‘He will just do the same to me’. She may then question where he is, continually seek assurances and drive herself silly through her insecurities until the relationship finally breaks down. Now there was nothing wrong with this thought appearing as it came through a belief created through past experiences, but she became identified with the thought and saw it as the truth. It is always the association to a thought that makes it seem real.

If this lady could have caught the thought and realised it was part of her past experiences and not fact then she could have put her insecurities to one side and enjoyed the relationship instead of letting a thought destroy it. Those insecurities may have still popped up, but she could have seen the truth behind the thought and why it was there and not to treat it as fact.

This is the same as when someone may go to a supermarket and have a funny turn and then their mind creates the thought ‘Hey danger, don’t go back there’ this is in no way true as what danger is there in walking around putting groceries in a basket? If the person can see past the thought and do it anyway, then they will see the truth that it was just a thought and not based on fact, just a past experience.

This is where the old saying ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ comes from as it is basically saying recognise your fear, but do it anyway, as it is a false fear and by doing it you will find out for yourself. Once you do it and you survive fine (even if you do feel uncomfortable) then the thought process next time is ‘Hey I got through fine, no danger there’ again your experiences are shaping your thought process.

There are many people in that supermarket with no concern whatsoever, as they are all fine and safe, just as you are too, it is just that you had a fearful thought and they didn’t. The supermarket doesn’t become more dangerous because of a thought you have, it stays the same safe and peaceful place it has always been, only your belief in that thought can disguise that fact.

Thoughts are not reality, they are illusions brought to life by your belief in them

Remember thoughts are not the problem, you can think whatever you wish, it is your reaction and your belief towards them that is.

This is true with my anxiety and how I used to see thoughts as fact. I was very bad socially when at my worst and when I came through I carried a lot of my old fears and experiences around with me and thoughts like ‘People aren’t interested in what you have to say’ or ‘I will just feel awkward all night’ or ‘I don’t fit in socially, so why bother going out?’ with this belief system I would hide away in the corner or make excuses not to talk to others or try and rush the conversation, totally believing my thoughts about who I was and how others saw me.

My faulty thinking was totally wrecking my life and the decisions I made and how I acted. This was not me, it was my thoughts based on past experiences that I decided to believe that were causing me all this pain and restricting my life so much. I had chosen to believe my thoughts about who I was and how I would perform and so tried to protect myself by hiding away in the corner or not going out at all. This had to change as I knew I was being a slave to my thinking process and I needed to regain control back and live the life I wanted. I needed to separate myself from my thinking process and to no longer see thoughts as fact.

Learn to observe your thoughts, rather than take them as fact

On realisation of the above, I also started to catch what I was thinking and would see the silliness behind it. An example would be a neighbour approaching and the thought then would be ‘Oh god don’t let her come over, I will have to chat and then I’ll make a fool of myself, quick indoors’ I would habitually run indoors and then think phew got away with it. Thinking, right I just need to find the answers, wake up one day and all this will be behind me.

I never truly looked at the silliness of the thought process, to me it was a real threat, it was just a case of it must be the truth because my thoughts say so. I had a realisation that my life would never change whilst I was controlled by my current thought process and following it religiously was only making the problem grow. I realised that the thought was absurd, what danger could there possibly be talking to the woman four doors up? I also realised that in this and other occasions that my mind thought it was keeping me safe, it was making a right hash of it. In reality, it was doing a bloody damn awful job of it, as all it was doing was restricting my life.

I then realised that my mind wasn’t to blame, I was, I was the one who had created all these faulty beliefs. I was the one who created them through my past actions and then in believing and following them, they had become deeply subconscious.

So the next time the neighbour approached or there was a social gathering I may have had the same thought, but dismissed it as false and did it anyway, it was actually quite amusing at times when I looked at what my thoughts came up with and the absurdity behind them.

Things did not always go great feelings-wise, but as usual, I just went with how I felt, all thoughts and emotions are fine and after years of conditioning I did not expect things to go perfectly in the situations I had previously avoided. But there was a big shift and in time through no longer associating with my thoughts and by no longer seeing them as fact, my restricting negative thoughts began to disappear and my life started to change.

I did not need protecting from the woman up the street or a gathering of friends, it was absurd later to think I did. My confidence in every aspect of my life began to grow and the old confident me came back and all because I decided to no longer believe or become associated with my old and conditioned thinking. I could think anything, but I did not have to believe it.

To no longer associate with or believe my thoughts whilst understanding why they were present was such a big part of my recovery.

I hope I have explained well enough what I am trying to get across and I am not trying to simplify things as nothing happens overnight, but I hope people find the above helpful.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life.

Help with anxious thinking

Help with Anxious thoughts

I hear a lot of people complain about upsetting or scary thoughts. The simple advice here is to remember that you are NOT your thoughts, whatever passes through is just anxious thinking, yes thoughts created because you’re anxious, they are nothing more than anxious energy finding an outlet.

Rather identify with your anxious thoughts, allow them to be present without trying to suppress or hold distance from them, just observe them in a curious way. Anxious thoughts love you to fear them, believe them and react to them, as they need your participation, your belief in them to survive. The more respect they are given, then the bigger the impact, the bigger the impact, then the more they are feared, the more they are feared, then the more they growl, the more they growl then the more down and frustrated the person is and a cycle to change or eliminate them is created.

If you find yourself in this cycle, then just remember that these thoughts are NOT you or who you are, you are NOT your anxious thoughts. They are just a by-product of anxiety and it doesn’t matter what the thought is, what it says or how loud it shouts, it has no bearing on reality and holds no truth. So just step back and learn to be an observer of your thought, rather than be the thought and follow it blindly.

Allow them to come and go as they please and instead of pulling away or reacting, observe the false thought that just popped up, smile at it and move on, allowing whatever wishes to come next. You don’t find freedom by trying to constantly change or suppress your anxious thoughts, you do so by no longer identifying with them.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

How I overcame Social Anxiety

Today’s post is about helping with Social Anxiety, again the post may help some and not others, but I try to add a full range of topics, so as to hopefully help as many people as possible. Social anxiety can take many forms and many people may not even know they suffer from it. I …

What is the best way to overcome anxiety?

how to overcome anxiety

Hi Everyone,

Well, the last post was a while ago, so I thought I was due to say a few words on what the best way to overcome anxiety is.

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 advise 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 overnight, 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”.

Suppressing your anxiety is counterproductive

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 as she has no intention of feeling anxiety for a minute longer. Trust me she will eventually become exhausted with the search for an overnight cure and then the penny will drop that it doesn’t work that way.

Allow recovery to come to you

The more desperately you look for recovery, then the further away it can seem, as you are putting so much pressure on yourself to feel better and making it your whole life’s goal. 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 negative emotions 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, the day I gave it all up was such a relief. 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 the truth is, it has the opposite effect.

Let go and relax into your suffering

One of the calmest and most together people on the planet are Buddist monks and their whole belief is centred around letting themselves and life just be as it is, to not over think or worry about things, not to argue with life and accept things as they are. This is just simple science that if you allow things to be as they are, then there is nothing to stress or worry about, so then just peace remains.

You can’t create peace, as it is your natural state, to feel it then you just stop doing the things that disturb it. All stress and worry is created by not accepting things as they are. This does not mean you don’t make changes in life, problems still need solving, it just means you just don’t stress and worry about it and accept that life won’t always go your way.

So you just accept that there is a problem and so take action to solve it. Stressing and worrying about it won’t change the fact it has happened, it will just make you feel like crap. There is not a single person on this planet who ever lived where life went just how they wanted it to, the only difference between someone who constantly stresses and worries and a calmer person is that the calmer person accepts when things don’t always go their way, they understand that life has its ups and downs.

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. I realise that I led myself into my anxious state and would never make the same mistakes again.

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, 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 just allowed myself to feel the way I did, then there was a sense of relief and I felt calmer. That is what true acceptance is, it is not a technique to feel good, it just stops all the fighting, the struggle and resistance and so a lot of your suffering falls away and a healing process can begin.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

Why anxiety becomes a learned behaviour

  Today’s post covers something that is very important and was something that kept me in the cycle of anxiety for a long time. I am all for changing behaviours to move forward with anxiety, although saying that I am not one for going down the homework route or filling in progress sheets. That was …

What is the best road to follow to recover from anxiety?

Which road for anxiety

Hi everyone and welcome to 2012, I hope everyone had a good Christmas

As stated I have been very busy with another project, it is now just about completed and I will reveal all that in my next post. But it has been the reason I have hardly been around, it took a lot longer than I expected and a lot more work. I am also looking for more success stories for this project. I tend to get emails or posts of thanks on here when people recover, but rarely a more detailed story of their recovery. If you wish to forward any on to me then just email me your story and I will tell you exactly what it is for, before publishing it.

Right on to today’s post which is called 2 roads and the choices, we can make

When we suffer from anxiety, we can hit a fork in the road and make 2 choices, one sign points us to a safe, but lonely road, a road that leads nowhere. The other points to a road that is full of life and choices, the road looks more daunting, but ultimately leads to a more fulfilling place.

To make my point, I once saw a documentary on a soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan and when he came back to England his mother said he had given up on life and that he just stayed locked in his room. He was full of self-pity and became very depressed with plenty of ‘Why me’? He had decided to give in to his disability and taken to hiding away, getting drunk and feeling sorry for himself. This was until someone came and spoke to him and said ‘You can have a very fulfilling life with the way you are, you just have to make the choice to live again, your disability is not stopping you enjoying life, your attitude towards it is?’.

These words really hit the solider hard and from that day on he was determined to give life a go and stop hiding away feeling sorry for himself. He made a choice to embrace his disability and went out socialising whilst finding local disabled clubs that he could get involved in. This person then went on to represent his country in a particular sport at the Paralympics and made so many new friends, going on to live a life that he never thought possible.

I am telling this story because this person had a choice, he also met a fork in the road and took the safe one at first, to hiding away feeling sorry for himself, the road I took many years ago. Well, I was sick of this road and I decided one day to stop wishing it all away. I had anxiety yes, I had to accept that it was part of me for now. but it didn’t mean I couldn’t live my life, that was a choice I could still make.

Choosing the road of non-avoidance

We can choose a road of avoidance, one of trying to control our anxiety, thinking this temporary relief will help us long term. But it never does and leads to a very restricting life, one were we make excuses not to go here and there, to not to do this and that. We are giving in to the way we feel and letting it control us and what we do. Yet this is the wrong road and leads to more feelings of hopelessness and disconnection with the outside world. There were no more deals to be made with my anxiety, I was living my life and from now on it would just have to come with me. I knew deep down that if I wanted my life back then I had to go out there and live it. Hiding away hoping that one day it would all be behind me was never going to work.

One day you must realise this safe road is not working, it is leading you nowhere, it is just restricting your life more and more, it is not reliving you of anything and certainly not helping the problem.

Let’s go to the other road, the one without safety behaviours, without control and avoidance, without deal and conditions. This is the road I finally decided to take and anxiety would have to come along for the ride. It no longer had a choice, there were no more deals to be made, no more excuses, if it wanted to be part of my life for now, then so be it, but it had lost its hold over me.

At first going out and about and not trying to avoid my feelings was hard and I felt disconnected for a while, but I no longer cared, it was caring so much that got me into the hole in the first place! If I let anxiety into my life without question, then what is there left to fight? What is there left to go over?, What is there left to avoid?, What is there left to control?

The right road opens up your life

The mistake people make is that they are always trying not to feel anxiety, which is missing the whole point, as you will never be free of what you refuse to feel. I may post something and people may then use my words as a mantra, say it is ‘Truly accept the way you feel’ they may then repeat this in an attempt to make themselves feel better. There is the mistake, they again are trying to control their anxiety with a saying, trying not to feel it, they have missed the point entirely.

When I took the choice of the other road, I expected to still feel anxious, I expected to still feel disconnected, more in fact, as I was going out of my comfort zones. I held no expectations to how I would feel, my only goal was to live a fulfilling life again, how I felt was secondary and certainly not something I would be trying to control anymore, I had tried this for years and it did not work.

In time this second road lead me to a far better place, to a more fulfilling life, places and experiences I had avoided in the past opened their doors and let me in, my life grew and grew, feelings and insecurities dampened in time. The other road had the opposite effect, life became narrower and narrower, I felt more and more isolated, my whole day seemed a battle of avoidance and control, no wonder I never got anywhere. I eventually learnt to love this new road, it was not as safe as the other road and had many bumps in it, but it was full of victories and surprises, I felt good about me again, in control.

I was actually always in control, I just never realised it. I had just had to let go of all my uncertainty and insecurities and embrace life again. Life was my salvation, it was my cure, it was not something to avoid and hide away from. Life helped me unearth what was inside of me, it brought all that anxious energy up and forced me to feel its presence, it was only through feeling its presence that I was finally free of it.

Until you truly let anxiety in without question and stop making deals with it, then the same fruitless battle will continue. Nobody has ever fought or thought their way out of anxiety, it is like quicksand, the harder you fight to free yourself, the further you sink.

I hope that the post helps.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

How to change your attitude towards anxiety

OK, so today’s post. After looking through and reading a lot of posts I decided to talk about people’s attitude toward anxiety. If anyone ever asks me what was the eureka moment, what really helped? I always say it was a shift in my attitude to how I felt. This mainly comes through a better understanding of …

Why fighting your anxiety doesn’t work

One thing, I think a lot of people are guilty of is trying to change or suppress how they feel. This I feel needs expanding on, as in many cases it can come almost automatically. To find out if you fall into this category ask yourself these questions: 1. Do you spend any part of your …

Advice on living with anxiety

Well, I hope everyone is well. I was reading through many posts this morning, as its a while since I checked in. Firstly welcome to anyone who is new, it’s always great to see people join the great community we have here. On reading through I did see a common problem and decided to shelve …

Taking a break from the subject of anxiety

Take a break from anxiety

OK, I hope everyone enjoyed a bit of off topic in the last post, we did seem to go back on topic from time to time, but we shared some stories and some laughs and got to know more about each other. This was not just an off-topic subject, it was also designed to give people a break and leads me to my next topic.

I know Scarlet has mentioned to others the need to take a break and I have mentioned it a lot in the past and in my book, but never have I put a post up about it, so I thought if I went into more detail it would make a good post and hopefully help people.

It is very important to take some time out from the subject of anxiety. It’s great to finally find information that can help and very helpful to read it, but sometimes people can immerse themselves in the subject, google symptom after symptom, spend hours looking for the answers that will make it all go away.

People who have been here a while know, that last year I set up a forum and within a few weeks closed it down, not only did I take on too much, but I thought it was not helping people on here in the long run. I have never liked forums as they can become addictive and people spend far too time on them, telling people about their problems, helping others with theirs, reading about other peoples symptoms, day in day out and miss on out the vital timeouts that we need. It is the same with someone who was suffering from depression and went on a forum hearing peoples stories of depression each day, it wouldn’t be helpful and would just reinforce the condition each day.

The mistake so many make is that they chase recovery and don’t let it come to them. In this I mean they will spend hours every day looking up all their symptoms, spend hours looking for and chasing that elusive cure that will make a symptom go away instantly. I can’t tell you how much time I wasted trying to ‘rid’ myself of anxiety and not just live with anxiety there. I never considered just living and letting my body regain its balance, I fought with myself daily, I had to get rid of these feelings, why do I feel like this? , why am I not getting better? , will this ever go away? , what if I do this, will this help? , I never had a break from the subject, I made the mistake of trying to fight and think my way better, this was just like hitting a broken leg with a hammer, it would never recover.

It is also very important to put all symptoms under the umbrella of anxiety and don’t try to separate and work on each one individually. Nothing saddens me more than people asking for advice here on a certain symptom and then asking about another the day after, then another symptom the week after. I just know they are going to go round in circles finding something else to worry about, something else to google. You don’t need to separate each symptom, just see anxiety as one. Worrying about each symptom individually will create 20 different things to worry about, putting it all under the umbrella of anxiety, you can never have more than one.

There has been a lot of good advice recently about just living your life from people on here who have come through. I went from a person who did nothing, but consume himself with how he felt, hide away from everything, spend my days feeling sorry for myself, to one who just said ‘Enough is enough’ the only way to feel normal again is to live as normal life as possible. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I would go for a swim, instead of worrying about how I felt I would get my bike out, instead of spending hours trying to figure a way out of this hell, I would take a walk, instead of hiding away I began to socialise again. Things were odd at first as I was changing a habit I had got into, but by living my life and not living it trying to rid myself of anxiety each day, I felt the old me returning, I began to feel more normal. My day had something else in it but immersing myself in how I felt, it had a break, something else to concentrate on.

I remember going for a swim when I was probably at my worst, full of anxiety and Depersonalisation. I wanted to just shut the world away and not go out, but I went. I arrived in the changing rooms and felt weird, but I got changed and went into the pool. I was somewhere else half the time, my mind reverting back to me, but it was OK, things would not change overnight. I finished my swim and got changed and again felt odd and a little anxious, but that was fine.

When I arrived home I was happy that I did what I did and felt just a little better nothing major, but a little better. I went every week after that, not demanding or expecting anything and within a few weeks, I felt almost normal at times, doing normal things was beginning to feel normal, when at first it was the other way around. I remember when I first felt I had recovered, I had an odd feeling of strangeness and that’s because feeling normal felt strange, like a prisoner first let out of jail, my body and mind needed time to adjust to feeling normal. This is what I mean when I say recovery comes in layers.

A lot of people don’t want to go through anxiety, they think yes, yes, this is all well and good, but I would rather have the quick route and find the answer to make it all go away today, so off they go on their merry way, googling again, going on numerous forums asking questions on how to get rid of this damn thing, they just end up going around in circles, chasing their own tail and getting nowhere.

Going back to forums, some are good, but there are many that are poorly moderated and people who are looking for help end up trying to help others and you end up with plenty of conflicting advice that helps nobody. Also as I say I think they can become addictive and people can end up spending too much time there and not just living their life.

A blog I feel is more helpful as one person is posting advice and then people answer questions and discuss things afterwards on that certain topic. There is no option to google away on here, you’re not having loads of conflicting advice and not being bombarded with information daily. I want people to come here and read what is relative to them and take away any advice, live their life and use the information given. I also have breaks where I don’t come on for a few days, I have just learnt the need to add plenty of things into my day and do some living, it’s not an anxiety thing, its just I spend so much time working on the computer, I need some healthy time out.

So to sum up, live your life however you feel, don’t let anxiety make decisions for you, go out and do things, doing so may seem weird at first, that’s OK as we are changing a habit. But living a normal life is where normal feelings will come back. Do everything you would normally do if you did not have anxiety or D.P, this is the key. It’s OK to have anxiety, it’s OK to have D.P, this needs to be your attitude and the opposite of spending your day trying to rid yourself of it.

I hope this helps and people can relate to it.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

What keeps us in the cycle of anxiety?

The title above is nothing new, but I wanted to add a conversation I had with someone recently, as it may relate to a lot of people and help them understand better as to why they do stay in the cycle, which always helps to reverse it. OK, I was talking with someone the other …

Why am I always people pleasing with anxiety?

People pleasing with anxiety

I thought long and hard about my next post, as I think I have covered a lot recently about having a ‘whatever’ attitude to how you feel and so many people have this concept, and reading through, so many have improved a lot. I have like a diary of my own suffering and how I got through each stage, so I have plenty more to say and do take on board what people post and do think ‘I remember that stage’ or ‘I remember when I struggled with that’ and try to cover such comments or posts the best I can.

Today’s topic certain people will relate to and it was certainly something I went through that held me back. When I first suffered from anxiety, I really had no clue what was wrong with me and in time my confidence really plummeted. Well we all know what people with little confidence have a habit of doing and that is ‘People pleasing’ not only that, but we try and cover up how we are feeling, still trying to be the jolly person with loads of confidence, when inside we feel lost and bewildered.

I remember going to work and just trying to please everyone. My confidence was so low, I felt that everyone was better than me, I had suffered from deep sadness and feelings of low worth and wanted to make myself feel good and wrongly thought that trying to please people would do this. I basically stopped having opinions and just agreed with everyone, which is the quickest way for your confidence to plummet even further and get zero respect.

I also used to get frustrated as to where the old me had gone and try and cover up how I was feeling, acting through the whole day, ‘I must not let people see how I am’, ‘I must come across as normal and happy’ The stress of this had me break down in tears one day. I could no longer keep this act up. I was sick of trying to make people like me, which in turn had the opposite effect I am sure, as people lose respect for someone who has no opinions and just agrees with what everyone is saying, it certainly made me lose even more confidence in myself.

So one day I thought ‘No more’ I am not acting my way through the day, if people notice I am not myself, if I come across as odd then so be it, I am no longer pretending that everything is OK. So many people email me and say this hurts them more than anything. Losing who they are. I say ‘Don’t chase your own tail trying to scramble your way back to who you were or act like everything is OK, this will only put yourself under more stress’.

I also said to myself, ‘However I feel I am no longer trying to please people. However I feel I am going to have an opinion. I have never gone around trying to please people in the past and anxiety will not lead me down that path’.

So from that day if I came across as odd then so be it, if people spoke about me not being the person I used to be, quiet, more withdrawn, not as chirpy, then water off a ducks back, the real me will rise again in time.

Also from that day on, the people-pleasing stopped, I no longer tried to make people like me, to help me feel better, this was just having the opposite effect, it just made me feel worse, more fake and unauthentic. From that day on the stress of trying to be something I wasn’t and not have to act anymore was lifted from me.

So if you can relate to any of the above I would like you to do the same. I hated trying to please others, I knew that acting my way through the day made me feel worse and like everything else. I always recognised this and tried to change it. These changes made so much difference to me in the short and long term. Never forget however you feel, that person is still there, just waiting to rise back up, more confident than ever.

Just to finish, so many people who recover say how much more confident they feel, also how they view life differently, they lose their lust for material things and just enjoy living again. They no longer take the simple things for granted and love just waking up in a morning and doing the simple things, that person is also me.

I hope today’s post helps in some way and that everyone had a great bank holiday.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

True acceptance of anxiety is key

key to anxiety success

I decided to write this post today after reading through a lot of posts recently. Firstly I want to say something again that was stated in an earlier post, some may have missed it so here it is, in a post.

I think certain people get hung up with accepting how they are, this should be a whatever attitude and NOT a need to keep reminding yourself to accept how you feel, as you once again start battling with yourself and again it becomes a ‘Do’. I think someone mentioned it in the last post to the effect where they had to keep reminding themselves to accept how they were. There is no need to do this and as some people may know it loses its force in time.

Accepting is all about not doing ‘Not fighting, not worrying, not filling yourself with self-pity. Giving your mind and body a break, its never a ‘Do’, so please don’t feel the need to walk around telling yourself daily you must accept this. I put it more as laying all your tools down and accepting this is you for the time being and not resisting or spending every day trying to get better. Again the science behind this is to give your mind and body the break it needs to heal. You do this by no longer worrying, fighting or suppressing, basically by dropping all effort and struggle. As it is all this effort and struggle that not only keeps you in the cycle of suffering but also stops the process of healing from happening.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

My personal story of recovery from Anxiety and Depersonalisation

My recovery from anxiety

Well here is the post I promised. I do read almost every post on here as I have to moderate the blog by myself. But I do take on board what people are saying and then adjust my next post accordingly. I can’t post every week, otherwise, it would dilute the quality and I would mostly end up repeating myself. The best way to know what to post is by what people are saying as a collective bunch. I know some ask for specific posts, but I have to do it for everyone and I felt today’s post would help the majority.

Today’s post is more on my recovery and the journey towards my goal of living anxiety free. Firstly maybe I should not say goal, it was more a dream, as at the height of my suffering as I saw no way out, I truly did not. I thought this was me forever, nothing was working, in fact, I was getting worse. To be honest I didn’t even know why I was suffering from anxiety.

The first stage for me was not a visit to the doctor, he was only concerned with giving me pills. My first rung on the ladder was to find out why I felt like I did, a pill would never do this, I wanted answers. Eventually, through research and reading and eventually finding someone who understood the subject, I found a lot of these answers.

Just to have an explanation and to realise that I was not alone, was enough for me to change a cycle. A cycle of self-pity, complete bewilderment and constant worry and fear of what was wrong with me. This is the very reason I was so bad, so lost and felt so terrible. My mind and body were about as tired and emotionally spent as it could be and all I did was worry, fight and pound it with questions daily, no wonder I was getting worse, but what choice did I have, when I had no answers?

I felt I had to work it out for myself, to fight it and hope it went away. I look back at the hole I was in and get angry that I did not find the answers sooner, that no one could tell me anything. This would have saved so much suffering. Through my darkest days I lost my job and many friends, more than that I lost who I was.

So the first stage was understanding, once I had the knowledge I could slow down on the worry, not be so bewildered and realise that I needed to step back and give my mind and body a rest and not fight through each day. Yes, I still felt awful, my body was so sensitised and tired, but for once I felt some relief and hope.

Understanding is always the first step, this is why in my book I don’t just say do this or do that, I explain why you feel like you do and what keeps you in this cycle. Many people email me after reading the information on my site or through reading the book and burst into tears with relief that they have finally been given some answers and also a realisation that they are not alone. They have also finally been given an explanation as to why they feel like they do and that they can recover.

So because I now had plenty of knowledge of what was wrong with me, I then believed I could get better, I never lost this belief once I had some answers. The next stage for me was working out what was right the right way forward and what was not, a lot through trial and error and once one thing made sense, then other things would also.

I realised very early on that I had fallen into a lot of bad habits. Avoidance being one of them and that hiding away was not the way forward and that I would no longer be bluffed by how I was feeling. I knew that normal living would eventually bring back normal feelings. I remember the first thing I did was join a Thai Chi class. I must have put off going 10 times in the week before I went. The thought of going into a room of strangers, feeling dreadful, anxious, panicky, strange, all the symptoms I felt at the time terrified me.

But I could either hide away or take the first step to a new start. So I went, and yes I felt awful at times, but something happened, I got into the class and for a minute or two forgot about how I felt and just got on. I finished the class and went home elated. I had floated past all the negative suggestions not to go. This is what happens, in a healthy body, feeling fear means to fight or flight, it is telling you that you are in danger, take your choice. It could be a snarling dog that you meet and the option to escape is a good one.

Well going to a Thai Chi class there is nothing to fear, no need to run, apart from your instinct brought on by anxiety, fleeing is not needed in that situation. This was why I knew I had to ignore the instinct to avoid. I had to just go and take what comes, what was the worst thing that could happen anyway? So I then began to go everywhere at will. I went socialising with friends, feeling awful and strange. I remember going swimming and feeling as though I was not there, thinking, that’s fine, the more I do it the more normal I will feel. Once you do things time and time again then feelings dampen, your body does not react to certain situations anymore, once you go through certain situations many times you build up a strength, an insulation if you like, places just don’t hold any fear anymore.

So this was my second stage of recovery. Begining to live my life again, without anxiety ruling what I did and the decisions I made. This was very important to me and in time I felt so much more comfortable wherever I went. I always dealt with me and not the situation I was in and if I felt awful then so be it, if I felt great even better. I sometimes felt overwhelmed in the early stages and wanted to run or go home and take the easy route out, but I never did and this is where the real victories came. I did it, I felt really awful, overwhelmed and I stayed, I now know I can handle anything, it was just a feeling, this is what these times taught me.

To sum up, I would have bad weeks, good weeks, great days out, days when I felt awful, but I did everything at will and never let anxiety rule what I did and did not do, this made so much difference to my life. I am not saying it is easy at times, but I knew how important it was. To feel more normal, I had to pack as much normal living in as possible.

At this point, I felt OK but was still left with a tired and sensitised body through what I had put it through previously, so yes I would still feel crap sometimes, but I felt 100% better than I once had. I had gone from having no good days to plenty of them. From feeling so odd and detached, that I questioned if I lived on this planet, to feeling far more normal than I had felt in ages.

I then joined a friend running each night, just a 50-minute run. When I first went I felt awfully unfit and unmotivated, but, no pain no gain. I wanted to get fit and bring something to be proud of into my life, again another focus, but me. I cannot express how much better I felt when I came back from these runs.

I felt great, exercise is by far the best way of burning off excess energy and not only that it really helped me think straight. I could think so clearly when I got back that I had another realisation, it was anxiety that created my anxious/irrational thoughts. Without this anxious energy present, the thoughts weren’t there, which proved that they were never real in the first place, they were just a symptom.

I was now so into this fitness that I took up cycling. I used to go with a group of friends and cycle all over my local county, sometimes for miles. I now had something else in my day. Instead of thinking about how I felt, I was planning my next bike ride or run. I was aiming to do a half marathon also and had so much going on that my whole life and focus was changing. I hardly cared about the few twinges of anxiety, the very slight feeling of strangeness, they became just a feeling in the background that really did not bother me. The exercise and looking after myself brought them to such a level that I hardly bothered or noticed, my days had another meaning and focus to them now.

I did eventually give up the running and cycling and have recently just got back into it. But I was just about recovered then, once recovery stopped being my goal, it just came to me, living my life is what truly cured me. I think people reach out too much for recovery and end feeling disappointed.

I first ran because I thought, ‘hey I will feel great when I get back’ and I would almost tune in to see how I felt, feeling disappointed if I did not feel great. I then realised I was again trying to do something about my anxiety, putting pressure on myself to feel a certain way.

So I changed my attitude and ran for me, to get fit and if it helped me feel better then great. This attitude helped me so much as I ran and forgot about myself. I was no longer running and then thinking about how much it would help me, this no longer had any bearing on it. I realised that I had to let recovery come to me and stop focusing everything I did on this goal.

I hope that makes sense and I would say that realisation was my final stage to recovery and the person I am now. You don’t have to go running and I understand it is impossible for certain people, but it was as much a new focus, as the exercise that helped me so much. So doing anything new, even if it is painting at home, gardening, a new hobby. Not to try to forget or distract yourself from anxiety, just to go back to normal living, to give up the full-time job to get better and to find a new focus naturally.

My own attention was on myself for a while and I still had the subject hovering in the background, but I understood I had thought about me and the subject for so long that this was now purely habit and that it was normal in the circumstances and through acceptance would fade in time.

This has been asked many times ‘How do I stop thinking of me and how I feel’ the answer is you don’t, brooding at home does not help and the reason I say find a new hobby and focus to your day.

Don’t try not to think about yourself, if the attention is on you then let it be, just don’t get frustrated with it. I had it for a while, but in time it dampened when I gave it no respect. As I say I had other things to bother with and not myself, to be honest, I got bored with the subject in the end. I had really developed a ‘whatever’ attitude, it had become inbuilt in me, I no longer cared.

I also think the support I had from my mother and partner was vital, someone I could trust and knew would not judge me or tell me to pull myself together. I think it is vital to anyone who is suffering from anxiety, that their partner supportive and doesn’t judge them or tell them to pull themselves together. The partner may not always understand, but if they can just give them the time and understanding they need, this would help reduce the stress on them to rush recovery and reduce any guilt they have about not being the person they feel they need to be.

To finish, I will say some people will relate to all of the above, some to parts of it, we are all different and I had a few stages to go through as I suffered so long and fell so deep. It is a lot easier to recover if you have not suffered for a long time, memory and habits are not so raw and people may not be as sensitised.

If you have suffered longer, then it may take longer to be back to your old self, but no matter how long you have suffered, just go for progress initially, don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to recover, this holds so many people back.

You also have a lot more information than I ever had, you have the support from others, that I so craved, but never received. As you see I went through a lot of bad times to become the person I am now. I had to do things I did not feel like doing. I used to lie in bed wanting and wishing it all away, but I knew deep down this would not happen, certain things were up to me.

I hope there is something above for everyone. It is not a full account by any means, just a brief account highlighting the most important stages of my recovery and how I came through them. I am not saying everyone will go through the stages I did, but I felt I needed to go through the stages, so people don’t feel they are missing something or that it was easy for me.

The truth is, that it was a very up and down affair, but so worth it to be the person I now am. My life is so different now and every day is a gift and that gift is there for everyone who keeps the faith. Anxiety and the symptoms that go with it are just feelings, never see it as anything else, it can only hold you back if you let it.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

Will my anxiety ever go away?

push anxiety away

This title I have used is because it is one of the questions that people search more for on Google than anything else. The trouble is that people will try anything to make it all go away and this in many cases is the problem. Their desperation to be better in many cases makes them feel worse.

I know as this is what happened to me. I don’t think a day went by where I did not worry about how I felt, a day never went by without me trying to figure a way out of this hell, a day never went by where I did not try to do something about it. I searched through the local phone book for someone or something to make it all go away, this was the very early days of the internet and really the only way to get help. I tried acupuncture, hypnosis and many other useless treatments that just parted me with my money. My whole week was set around making it all go away, every day was a battle.

My day would go something like this…..I would wake and feel awful, very anxious and almost like like a walking shell. I also felt odd and strange, not with it, but I had to earn a living so off I went to work on autopilot. I would get to work and try and hide from everyone how I was feeling, put on an act and hope to hold it all together. I would then be in my own little world for a few hours trying to figure out how to make it all go away, I would basically worry and obsess all day about how I felt.

Then I would go home after an awful day of worry and self-pity and start the process all over again. I would constantly search for the miracle cure to make it all go away. Maybe another trip to the library to read my 30th book on the subject, I had to get rid of this thing. At this point, I had been given little explanation, if any, as to what was wrong with me, so I had to try and figure it all out myself. This went on for many years and I was getting worse…Why?

Well, a lot of people develop anxiety through a build up of stress, which is true in my case. I then felt worse because I spent all my day worrying and stressing about how I felt, the last thing my mind and body needed, was this onslaught, it wanted a break. My mind was so, so tired from all the deep thinking, trying to figure it all out. Did I give it a break? Did I hell, I constantly tried to figure a way out, again worried and obsessed about it all, so my mind tired further and I felt more lost than ever. I felt so disconnected from the world because I had not allowed myself to connect with it, the subject of anxiety and how to find a way out had consumed me, is it any wonder I was getting worse?

Sometimes, even after advising people, they can carry on in this pattern. Never quite sure that it’s not something else and they need to keep searching, worrying and trying to do something about it. In my book, I said it is like having a broken leg and hitting it each day, it will never repair, it needs to be left alone and given a little time to heal. The day I gave up the daily battle with myself, is the day things got easier. I was not cured by any means, this would take more time as I still needed to heal the suffering I had created.

I won’t claim things are easy, they were not for me at first, the real rewards come later. But this is another mistake people make, they become impatient or let one bad day throw them back into despair. So off they go on their roundabout of searching for something to make it all go away again. There is nothing wrong with educating yourself on the subject if the information is useful.

Just remember helpful information is to help and lead you to stop doing, it is not there to add more techniques to your growing list. I instantly knew when I read something if it was good information, it made sense, it felt right, it taught me to let go. All the miracle cures and therapists I had seen before did not, I knew deep down that the real answer must come from within and that no thing or person out there could free me, it was down to me.

I hope there is something there for people to relate to.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

How I first suffered with anxiety

Anxiety help

Hi,

Well today’s post is a double post from a question and a point somebody made through the blog. Firstly I did first suffer because soft drugs that took over my life a bit. I know a lot of other people also first experienced anxiety and depersonalisation this way. Here is the original question.

Paul if you could share a little of your drug experiences, personal as they are, then I think it would help a lot of readers of this site.

I am not going to go into the effects of drugs and I have no right to preach to anyone, but here is how I fell into the trap of anxiety and everything thing else it brought with it.

I basically got into the dance culture of the late 80’s and got into soft drugs, speed and ecstasy. I felt my personality was changing over time and began to feel not with it, a bit dreamy and very little energy. Looking back if you treat your body like that it will get its revenge, you will have to suffer at some point.

But I ignored all the signs and carried on until I first felt panic. I had never felt like this before and it really scared me, I knew then I had to stop taking drugs at this time and get myself back together. So there was no withdrawing gradually, I just stopped and began to build my health back up. The trouble is that I still suffered from these bouts of panic and worried daily about them.

I had no anxiety at all at this point. But the constant worry of these bouts of panic and the way I felt eventually made me anxious, it was all the worry of my feelings of panic that created my anxiety. I then decided to worry about this new feeling of anxiety and found myself getting worse. It was at this point I went to see my doctor who didn’t explain anything, he just put me on to the medication of Seroxat and propranolol. Well, to be honest, I felt worse, the medication did little for my anxiety and just brought on new symptoms, on top of feeling anxious, I now felt like a zombie who couldn’t feel any emotions and found it hard to connect with people.

I was also trying to hold down a full-time job at this point and felt I had to get better otherwise I would lose my home. So I fought and worried more about how I was feeling thinking this was the way out. Yet all this extra worry and stress just made me feel worse and then one day I started to feel unreal and detached from my surroundings. This is when the depersonalisation came on, so I worried and fought even harder. I can see so clearly now how each stage started and how I fell deeper into my condition.

Here is something else I would like to expand on from a comment someone left on this blog.

A final note, Paul suffered for all that time, yet he continues to immerse himself in an environment of people with anxiety issues, I must admit reading some of these posts is great and encouraging, but sometimes it just reminds me of how I feel. If Paul suffered for that long and can come on here and discuss all of this with us, when at one point the word ‘anxiety’ used to send him into a panic, then I honestly know if we stick to the methods, we can all get better.

I agree that we can immerse ourselves in the subject and how we feel and that it does not help at times. This is one of the reasons I don’t have a forum. To me, they are full of people’s problems and have loads of conflicting advice. Someone suffering finds it hard to deal with their own problems without being subjected to someone else’s on a daily basis. There was no way I could have helped others when I still suffered myself.

In my days of suffering, I always felt able to read about the subject, if I could relate to it and I was learning new things. Reading something that you can really relate to and that makes sense tends to make you feel better, mainly because you lose a lot of fear about how you are feeling. Reading horror stories of how people are getting worse or how they can’t go out can have the opposite effect, especially when suffering from anxiety, as our emotions and reactions are a lot higher.

I help people now and have no problems at all with doing this. As I no longer suffer and have no fear of symptoms, then it is very easy for me to help and talk about the subject, otherwise, I would have to put myself first and not do so.

It is a pleasure to help others when and where I can and we have some wonderful people on here, some who really impress me with the way they have picked up a lot of what I try and get across.

Anyway, that’s me for today, I hope you all had a good weekend and that everyone is well.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life

How do I recover from anxiety? My own story

my recovery from anxiety

I thought I would just post more of my own story about how I recovered. A lot of people who have read my book will know my story, others will not. This short post has a message and is not about self-promotion on my own recovery, as I am sure you will acknowledge as you read on.

How did I recover? My own recovery came through knowledge. I have spoken to many people who have recovered over the years, some who have become close friends and they all pretty much recovered in the same way. This is why I have stuck with my own beliefs throughout. This is the reason I don’t put adverts on my site and the reason I turn down all offers from others to place useless products, to make money out of other people’s suffering on my site.

Knowledge brought me so much. Without knowledge, I spent all my time worrying about how I felt. Why did I worry all day? Because I had no idea what was wrong with me, I was a serial worrier for many years. All this worry wore out my mind and my nerves and kept me in the cycle of anxiety and panic.

I also spent all my days tuning into how I felt, thinking deeply, trying to figure a way out of my hell. Why? Because with no help from the medical profession apart from pills, I felt I had to try and think my own way better, what choice did I have? But all this constant mental work just tired my mind further, making me feel more lost and detached than ever. My whole day was filled with worry and fear, Why? Because again I had no idea what was wrong with me, I believed that this was me forever. I always believed I had to fight and think my way better, the daily strain on my already anxious mind and body was immense, is it any wonder I got worse and not better.

I have been involved in the subject for many years since my recovery, going on to help sufferers in my spare time. The one thing that stood out more than anything was that people still had a total lack of good information on the subject. To this day people seem to be passed medication and sent on their way.

People would sometimes burst into tears in front of me because for once they had been given an explanation as to why they felt like they did. This was the very reason I set my own site up and went on to write my book. I did not want people to spend 10 years like I did getting worse through lack of information. I don’t get bitter, but with the right information and guidance, I could have been helped far sooner than I was. In fact, it was left to me to get all the answers I craved for all those years.

So don’t be fooled by claims to cure you within a week. Recovery comes through knowledge and patient progress, nothing can be achieved overnight. I could have anxiety and all its symptoms tomorrow and know that it would pass in time as I would no longer do the very things that kept me in the cycle. My own recovery did not come when I no longer had any symptoms, it came when they were no longer important to me. And this came through a lack of fear of how I was feeling, brought on by understanding.

I know in the deepest depths of suffering there can seem no way out, but there is. I was as bad as anyone, worse than most people I help and don’t get me wrong my recovery was a very up and down affair. I had a lot of bad days, but it was my reaction to those bad days that was the key, I realised there would be many setbacks whilst recovering from my anxiety. I knew my symptoms would not leave me overnight, but I needed for once to step out of my own way and let my mind and body recover in its own time. I never set targets, demanded anything and this is one of the reasons I did recover.

Paul

If you would like more information on over coming anxiety, then visit my site anxietynomore. If you would like to know more about my book then visit At Last a Life