Using Self Help to Manage or Overcome Anxiety
Overcoming anxiety has become the greatest wish of millions of people, yet so many fail to achieve it.
Is this you.......?
- You believe it's hard to overcome your problems - your anxieties, your panic attacks, your obsessive habits, your phobias - because you've tried before and failed.
- You've tried different treatments... but your anxiety problems are still there. None of the treatments has worked. And each time it failed you became a little less hopeful of ever getting better.
- Many of the treatments offered were boring or time-consuming or required you to do things you didn't feel comfortable doing so you didn't stick with them. You felt anxious about doing them!
- You've reached the point where you think maybe nothing is going to work - but you still hope for a miracle although you don't think it will ever happen.
- You don't live the life you'd really like because of your anxieties but you sort of get by on a day-to-day basis. Yet your life is ruled by your anxieties and you constantly wish they'd go away... but they don't.
But what if I tell you that anxiety can be managed, reduced or even overcome and without struggle or having to confront it?
I know, you're skeptical. I fully understand your doubts. It sounds too good to be true.
My professional training as a psychologist taught me the theory behind the traditional treatments for anxiety, but it was only my own experience of severe anxiety that gave me the chance to test out what really worked.
"OK, but you're an expert. How do I know this will work for me?"
I had panic attacks as a child, long before I trained as a psychologist. I also continued to have them even after I qualified. It was my knowledge of psychology that allowed me to work out what was happening to me and that is the information I am sharing with you and have shared with countless others in clinical practice.
But I still had to do what was required to overcome my anxieties just as anyone else has to.
I know that you are almost afraid to trust this approach as it sounds too good to be true. That's because we've been taught by our cultures and schooling that we have to work hard at things to succeed.
Overcoming anxiety is the exception! I've been there, done it! What I teach others to do is what I did for myself.
My Approach to Self Help for Overcoming Anxiety
There are three stages to this:
Many of the treatment approaches used by professionals focus on telling you what to do about your anxiety. They show you coping techniques such as breathing exercises, ways to rationalise your thoughts, to challenge your fears... None of which feel good to do at the time when you find yourself doing battle with your anxiety symptoms, do they?
Rarely do they go back to the beginning and teach understanding of it and why it developed in the first place. Why does your body start creating a response, which would be perfectly acceptable if the danger were real, under circumstances which other people just take in their stride?
Only by knowing and understanding where anxiety comes from can you really see how and why you need to do what needs doing to overcome it.
When there's no true understanding, there's no real motivation for putting the approach into practice.
Next you need to learn various techniques to apply when overcoming your anxieties. These techniques need to be learnt before attempting to apply them to anxiety itself. These techniques are skills. A skill needs to be perfected so it can be done almost without thinking in order to be useful.
Too many treatment approaches ask you to develop these skills whilst actually trying to apply them to situations in which you feel anxious. That's often too much to ask. Skills need to be perfected first and then applied.
This is where you apply the various skills learnt to unwanted anxiety habits. Because you now understand exactly why you are doing this and the skills come easily, the effort required is minimal. There's no need to struggle.
"But I feel that if I stop struggling to overcome my anxiety it, it will get bigger and overwhelm me!"
That's the mistake we all make. But in the case of anxiety, once we stop struggling it actually reduces.
When we struggle we are creating stress... tension... anxiety... so we are actually increasing the one thing we are trying to overcome!
Struggle is counter-productive! In this method struggle is BANNED.
"Sounds as if it will take ages to overcome my anxiety. I want to get better soon!"
One of the biggest reasons for failure to overcome anxiety is impatience. Everyone wants to get better NOW despite having probably spent many years acquiring the anxiety habits in the first place.
Learning any new skill takes time, patience and practice. Unlearning any habit takes patience and persistence. No-one becomes a champion athlete overnight and nobody would expect to. Likewise, if you really want to overcome or reduce your anxiety habits for good, you have to be prepared to just keep chipping away at it.
Each day that you put this method into practice will lead to an improvement.
You will eventually start to do these things without having to think about them.
These new ways of being will slowly and surely replace your old anxiety habits.
One day you will look back and realise that you no longer feel anxious like you once did.
Why does it have to be Self Help?
Anxiety isn't a virus or something that comes over you by chance! We teach ourselves to have it although without meaning to. But a habit is what it is and, like any other habit you might want to get rid of, it has to be done by you.
An expert can only teach you about it and show you the path to take to overcome it. The doing has to be done by you, yourself.
To overcome anxiety, self help is the only way whatever form the anxiety takes.
- As a clinical psychologist I specialised in treating anxiety-related disorders for over 40 years. For the first 15 or so of those years, plus another 15 when growing up, I battled with anxiety issues and panics myself.
- In the early 1970's I was well aware that none of the approaches being used to treat anxiety would work for me to overcome my own and I came up with several tricks that got me by, but which didn't cure me.
- Finally one day, finding myself trapped in the house with my fears, I used my professional knowledge to work out what was happening. Then I came up with a plan that made sense according to psychological theory. It worked.
- I haven't had an anxiety attack for over 30 years. I have been to places and done things that even many of those without anxiety issues would never consider doing.
- The approach I used on myself 30 years ago was a version of what I now refer to as the Feelgood Way and is based on the use of Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
There is a full account of my story on this site. If you would prefer to read this offline, I offer a pdf download in return for your email address so I can keep you informed about updates to this site and new books, courses etc.
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Nobody knowingly or deliberately develops an anxiety habit
But a habit is what it is and, like any other habit you might want to get rid of, it has to be done by you.
That's why an expert can only teach you about it and show you the path to take to overcome it. The doing has to be done by you, yourself.
To overcome anxiety, self help is the only way whatever form the anxiety takes. I explain this in more detail on the next page.
Anxiety isn't a virus or something that comes over you by chance! We teach ourselves to have it although without meaning to.
You must first understand how and why we get anxiety in the first place. Only then will the steps you need to take to overcome it make sense.
If it doesn't make sense to you, you won't keep doing it!
Where do I start then? I want to begin overcoming my anxiety!
If you have chosen to find out about overcoming anxiety by using the information on this website, click the link below to go to the next page.