the Feelgood Way
Find your way around the 3 stages here:
This page serves as a partial sitemap, an overview of the pages on this site which describe how to overcome anxiety the Feelgood Way.
There are three steps to this approach, each equally important. These must be carried out in the logical order in which they are presented in order for them to be effective.
It is possible to understand this method simply by following the information provided although if more depth is required this can be found in my books or the online e-course.
To overcome anxiety habits takes time. Anxiety is created by the way in which we react to things that happen around us. Once the brain gets used to responding in a particular way to anything it will tend to keep doing the same until it is taught to do otherwise. A full understanding of how our brains learn these responses is essential to knowing what to do and how to respond differently in order to overcome anxiety habits. Therefore, the first part of the Feelgood Way is
1 - UNDERSTANDING HOW ANXIETY COMES ABOUT
The following pages are best read in the order given:
- A debunking of the belief that this is caused by some mystery virus or other illness over which the sufferer has no control.
A step by step look at the different mechanisms which determine our responses and how they relate to one another in the chain of command. An understanding of this sequence is vital because to overcome anxiety habits the chain of command must be re-aligned.
There are 6 mechanisms to consider:
This page helps develop an awareness of the movements of the arousal system and what this means for anxiety control.
An explanation as to why some people are more susceptible to anxiety difficulties than others.
The need to understand how the survival instinct works and the part it plays in the development of anxiety.
This mechanism which saves us when the danger is real, can become a roblem when the danger is imaginary as in the development of anxiety.
This is the key to the fear response. Once we learn to manage this the development of anxiety is controllable.
Teaches an understanding of the things in everyday life which tend to lead to a startle warning and so trigger anxiety.
2 - TECHNIQUES TO USE TO OVERCOME ANXIETY
Before expecting to be able to apply these techniques to anxiety behaviour it is essential that the technique itself is fully understood and practised. It's hard enough trying to overcome an anxiety habit without attempting to do so whilst still learning the technique required.
So learn and become accustomed to using these techniques in everyday life when not feeling anxious. That way they will come more naturally when you start to apply them where it really matters.
The techniques can be grouped into three categories although some of them fall into more than one.
1 - Techniques that will be used when actually feeling anxious
The instant use of a mental image that has been previously associated with a feeling of calm. This needs to be trained first. This page describes how to do this.
A means of instantly releasing tension in the body in order to convince the brain that there's no need to become afraid and so help unlearn an anxiety response.
A method for deliberately letting go of thoughts so that they can't trigger raised arousal and anxiety.
A simplified version of being mindful of breath which can be done instantly in order to prevent raised negative arousal and anxiety.
We all have a bad habit of constantly holding conversations with ourselves in our heads. These are often negative in nature and only serve to increase anxiety tendencies.
2 - Techniques to use at any time to improve general calm
These techniques, if used regularly in everyday life, will help maintain a lower arousal level and so make the person generally calmer and less likely to become anxious. It is not necessary to use all of these, just focus on the ones which appeal to you or which fulfil the needs you have at the present time.
This technique is quite technical and will only appeal to those who enjoy playing with mixed media sound. Nevertheless this is a powerful tool. It is possible to purchase commercially produced recordings but these are not so effective as making your own.
This is a very powerful tool. Our thoughts are responsible for our emotions. If we imagine negative things we get negative feelings. On the other hand, the habit of picturing (visualising) pleasant scenarios has the power to lift our mood.
As well as using this when actually starting to feel anxious, this is a good habit to develop for everyday life. We don't need to constantly talk to ourselves in our heads!
Making Mindfulness a part of everyday life encourages us to focus on positives and thus creates a general feelgood feeling. The Feelgood Way to overcome anxiety without struggle is based around the philosophy of mindfulness.
This is a very specific way of going about unlearning anxiety associated with particular situations. This is always done by working on the easiest part of the problem first.
Simply listening to music from the Baroque era encourages brainwaves to develop which create a sense of calm.
3 - Techniques to Improve the Feelgood Way of Being
This final section of techniques gives some ideas as to those which might be indulged in. In the main, doing anything which absorbs the mind and gives pleasure is good for us. We all need to do more of what feels good and less of what we feel we 'should' do.
Such activities were once known as "hobbies". Creative pastimes went into decline with the development of home entertainment systems and many people spent their free time passively being entertained. This contributed to an increase in problems such as depression and anxiety.
There is nothing more beneficial than losing ourselves in creating something. Maybe the move towards excessive passive entertainment is now declining a little as hand-crafting is on the increase.
There is more about this way of being in the "In the Moment" section of this website.
3 - APPLYING THESE SKILLS TO OVERCOME ANXIETY
Now that you understand how anxiety habits are created, and you have practised essential techniques for focusing elsewhere, other than on how anxious you feel or trying to get rid of it, the time has come to start applying this new approach of non-struggle.
The following pages describe how to go about doing this: