Anxiety is Your Protector

My family used to have this great dog called Shadow.He was a cross between a Collie and black Labrador (see below).He used to sit there all day long in the front room of our house waiting for anyone to come to the front door.When someone would finally arrive he would go absolutely berserk!

Until…we invited that person in.If we did not invite the person in, (for example a door to door sales man), he would bounce off the walls barking loudly with all the hair standing on his back.

No matter how hard you tried to tell him to stop barking he simply would not listen.

His reasoning was that

“I am the guard of this house and if my owner does not invite a person in, then that person is a threat.

I sometimes used to keep friends standing at the door for a few minutes and then let them in (if they were brave enough), just to see Shadow’s dramatic change of reaction.

It was the same every time. He would immediately stop barking and sit back down on his seat once I let the person in.

Anxiety is just like a guard dog.

It is your protector.It is your fight or flight response activated by the emotional part of your brain designed to keep you from harm.

It needs you the owner (your rational brain) to reassure it that the unusual bodily sensations that pay you a visit are not a real threat and that all is well.

But just saying ‘everything is okay’ does not cut it. Just like Shadow, it needs to see your actions. You need to mentally invite the anxiety in.”

If you keep your door closed your emotional brain thinks that the threat is real.

When you invite anxious sensations in and allow them to be through your acceptance of them, your emotional brain (your guard dog) backs off and calms down.

So don’t keep anxious bodily sensations waiting outside.

Accept them fully and watch as your guard dog settles back down.

Shadow keeping guard at 17 years of age (81 dog years)

shadow

Anxiety is Your Protector

“How I learnt to Accept + Let Go’ A Panic Away Success Story

The central theme in the panic away program is ACCEPTANCE. The key to recovery is to allow the anxiety to come back. Complete 100% acceptance of all that you feel is crucial for the anxiety symptoms to lessen and eventually fade away.

It sounds simple, but it is far from it. True acceptance of your anxiety and sensations is extremely difficult and challenging and takes time. Panic Away member Ella describes her journey to full acceptance and how a simple re-phrasing of the word ‘acceptance’ to ‘letting go’ helped her overcome her anxiety.

Acceptance was the hardest thing for me to do. I didn’t understand how I was suppose to “accept” all these symptoms, condition etc. It felt so awful that it made no sense to me. I did think about it long and hard and tried to turn “acceptance” in something I was able to do. I turned “acceptance” into “letting go”. I let go of the life I use to live without anxiety. I stopped thinking I want my life back, I want to be the old me. I let go of the twisted attachment I had to feeling horrible cause that’s all I knew. I accepted that I had anxiety and panic and I accepted that it was going to take a lot of work to get better. Once you learn to keep your symptoms at bay it will be a lot easier for you to accept.  I never really accepted my symptoms but I did stop caring for them. I payed them no attention. I didn’t love them nor care for them. This is how I treated my symptoms at first:

Have you ever had to hang out with someone all day that drove you crazy, you wanted to pull out your hair cause of them, they got on your nerves, they made you angry and simply irritated? Hopefully you have! I think we all have! Well in the morning look at your symptoms as the “un welcomed visitors” like you have to hang out with them you have no choice. So welcome the un welcomed visitors, let them know you don’t care for them, you wont pay attention to them, but this is the situation and you are stuck with them and you are going to go on with your day not paying attention to them.

If you had person in your house that you couldn’t stand all day I’m sure you wouldn’t “check in” with them to make them feel at ease or ask if they wanted anything etc. You would probably ignore them. The more you do this the more that person you don’t like wont want to hang out at your house, they eventually leave and don’t want to come back. It’s the same thing with symptoms.
Treat them as un welcomed visitors. This worked for me. I refused to check it. You have anxiety you don’t have serious deathly illness. Nothing will happen. You are safe, just uncomfortable.
Hopefully this makes sense to you cause explaining it is not the easiest! lol
Kim “

Thank you for sharing that with us Ella. By comparing your anxiety to an ‘un welcome visitor’ you were able to see the situation with clarity and in a new light.

“How I learnt to Accept + Let Go’ A Panic Away Success Story

“I travelled to Washington” – A Panic Away Success Story

 A Panic Away member describes how she overcame her fear of travelling on a three hour drive to Washington. Christine used Panic Away techniques to control her anxiety on this journey

“Getting ready to leave Friday evening, I started to get really nervous about our three hour drive to D.C. to visit my fiance’s sister and her fiance. I even started to shake and sweat a little towards the beginning.

But this time, I was able to use PA’s techniques and not let it escalate. I sat in the car and took note of my sensations, and tried to embrace them as best I could. Then I told the panic to do its worst. And I trusted my body to take care of itself. And it did! The panic symptoms faded about 45 minutes into the car ride.

Now that I understand my panic symptoms I am able to ride them out better. Before, the panic would only escalate, until the point where I’d be paralyzed in the car, crying from the panic. And getting to my destination didn’t usually make it better, I’d have general anxiety throughout the whole trip. But this weekend I was able to enjoy everything we did! We saw the monuments, went out to dinner, went to a busy food expo among hundreds of other people, and took the metro (which used to make me feel claustrophobic). And it felt so liberating! It was SUCH a confidence booster.
I was afraid I’d never be able to have a normal trip again but I am! And next weekend I am flying to Florida and after this weekend I am starting to really look forward to the trip….whoo!”

Christine used the 21 second countdown four simple steps to control her anxiety by observing, embracing, demanding more, and trusting.  Congratulations Christine!  There is no stopping you now, we are all rooting for you on your next journey.

Do you have a success story? Please share it with us in the comments below! 

“I travelled to Washington” – A Panic Away Success Story

“I travelled to Washington!” – Panic Away Success Story

 A Panic Away member describes how she overcame her fear of travelling on a three hour drive to Washington. Christine used Panic Away techniques to control her anxiety on this journey

“Getting ready to leave Friday evening, I started to get really nervous about our three hour drive to D.C. to visit my fiance’s sister and her fiance. I even started to shake and sweat a little towards the beginning.

But this time, I was able to use PA’s techniques and not let it escalate. I sat in the car and took note of my sensations, and tried to embrace them as best I could. Then I told the panic to do its worst. And I trusted my body to take care of itself. And it did! The panic symptoms faded about 45 minutes into the car ride.

Now that I understand my panic symptoms I am able to ride them out better. Before, the panic would only escalate, until the point where I’d be paralyzed in the car, crying from the panic. And getting to my destination didn’t usually make it better, I’d have general anxiety throughout the whole trip. But this weekend I was able to enjoy everything we did! We saw the monuments, went out to dinner, went to a busy food expo among hundreds of other people, and took the metro (which used to make me feel claustrophobic). And it felt so liberating! It was SUCH a confidence booster. I was afraid I’d never be able to have a normal trip again but I am! And next weekend I am flying to Florida and after this weekend I am starting to really look forward to the trip….whoo!”

Christine used the 21 second countdown four simple steps to control her anxiety by observing, embracing, demanding more, and trusting.  Congratulations Christine!  There is no stopping you now, we are all rooting for you on your next journey.

Do you have a success story? Please share it with us in the comments below! 

“I travelled to Washington!” – Panic Away Success Story

Feel Your College Fear and Do it Anyway!

Many people have preconceived notions of what college will be like. They have seen it in movies. It’s where you meet your best friends, have great sex and an amazing social life.

When this doesn’t happen many people can feel down about it. Maybe they didn’t click with a group in their class or don’t have the right people to socialize with.
They go home in the evening and wonder why they are not having a great ‘college experience’.

Maybe you feel something similar?

What many people don’t tell you is that the first year in college is actually quite an anxious year. You are no longer in the safety net of your old school where you knew everyone; this is all new and scary. It is an extremely nerve-wrecking time for almost everyone (even if they do a good job of hiding it).

The anxiety start before you even begin college.

Will I know anyone? Will anyone talk to me? Will they like me?
What if they all know each other already? What if I am late?
What if I say something really dumb?

Even once you have established a group of friends, classes can still be a cause of anxiety. You are learning new topics and may feel out of your depth. Many are afraid to ask questions for a fear of ‘sounding stupid’

What if it is way too hard for me? What if I don’t understand the topic?

If you haven’t made friends yet then a cause of anxiety may be who to sit next to and where will you go on your break in between classes? No one wants to seen as a loner.

The freedom of college is great but its damn stressful too!

To help ease college anxiety here are a few tips

 7 things to help make college life less stressful.

1.  Remembering everyone is in the same boat- they are all out of their comfort zone even though they hide it well.

2.  If you see that someone is alone, talk to them.  You will be amazed at how well people respond.

3.  Don’t wait to be chosen -choose yourself. If you don’t think your class is social enough or you aren’t getting to know them then organize a night out, or a trip or even set up a Facebook page where you can all chat.
4.  Branch out. Don’t just try to make friends in your class. Joining societies is by far the best way to meet people who share your interests. That’s where you will meet the people you have most in common with.

5.  You are paying them. Remember that lecturers are being paid to help you. Take advantage of that and approach them. 95% of other student won’t. You can email them and ask to meet for a coffee to get extra help or insight with a part of your course that you struggle with. (Might help with the grades too as they then know you are interested)

6. Ask for help.  Most universities have free doctors and counseling services, use them if you need to.

7. It is going to fly by. College years are some the best years of your life but they zip by so enjoy them and do as much as you can. You will spend years later wishing you were back there so try and make the most of it even if you find it stressful at times.

Feel your college fear and do it anyway!

Feel Your College Fear and Do it Anyway!

What has Panic Away taught you?

On the Panic Away forum a member asked: What is the most important thing Panic Away has taught you? We were overwhelmed with the responses.  Sharing your progress and successes is an important step in your recovery.  Please see below some of the valuable lessons our members have learnt.

– I have learnt it is good to go with the flow of life, I have learnt acceptance of myself & to love myself, to listen to my body to rest when i need to rest, when to stop when to go to listen to the body sensations & that it is all ok. I have learnt that it is ok to not have perfection.

I Still struggle a little though but getting better. I have learnt i am a strong person & not weak, that i have faith, that it will always get better in all situations even when i can’t see it at the time. Learning about the person i really am, for once looking inside of me how i tick. Pushing myself, keeping my mind at peace with positive thoughts.

Even though i still struggle with this at times. To be greatful of my friends & family, to not take things for granted anymore. To open up my heart to let others in so that i can heal & i still have a long way to go but i am getting there. TRUST… Accepting it all takes time to heal & that we all heal at different time frames. The most important thing anxiety had taught me is patience and acceptance. Treating an anxiety disorder is not a speedy, easy process. Since I’ve been using this program I have learned to accept myself as I am and trust that I am working my absolute hardest to get back to a peaceful existence.

Accepting and embracing my anxiety has been a very beneficial lesson to me. I am a more accepting person in other aspects in my life because of what I have learned about myself using Panic Away.  – The biggest thing I’ve learned is that you need to keep on pushing yourself and teach your brain that you *can* handle things fine and even if you have a PA, guess what?  It’s not the end of the world.  You can get through it and continue on.

And each time you push yourself a little bit more it gets easier.  You have to take that action, though.  It takes a little bit of bravery and work.  You can’t keep doing what you were doing before, or you’re going to keep getting the same anxious results.  – For me, the biggest lesson since having anxiety is I don’t judge anybody or a situation (not that I really did anyway) but I’m more aware of why there could be reasons for people to behave or act the way they do, and I’m more forgiving as well.  And I’m more compassionate, which has made me a better person.  Thank you all for sharing your experiences and lessons with us.

It is evident that Panic Away has taught many of you to accept your anxiety and also to accept of yourselves.  Acceptance, patience, inner strength and trust are valuable tools which you will carry with you for the rest of your lives. Anxiety challenges you in a way that most people never get to experience. That challenge, when overcome, leaves you with an inner strength that you carry with you for the rest of your life. That is the hidden opportunity anxiety presents to you. Lets keep the conversation going, please comment below and let us know what Panic Away has taught you! 

What has Panic Away taught you?

What can we learn from anxiety?

Meaning Green Road Sign

In order to heal anxiety you need to move into full acceptance of the anxiety that you feel.

But what if you can not bring yourself to accept the anxiety?

What if deep down you actually really hate it and you beat yourself up for having a problem with anxiety?

What you need to know is that you can really grown stronger as a result of this difficult experience.

Anxiety can become a gift that is wrapped up in a problem.

As you start to heal anxiety, you start to discover what that potential gift might be.

What might that gift be for you?

Listen to this group call I held recently where we discuss that as well as lots of more interesting tips and insights that will help you heal your anxiety faster.

This call will inspire and reassure you that you can win your old carefree self back again. You might also have a flash of insight into how you can see the potential gift that anxiety brings you.

Listen to the call here :

Click Here to Save this MP3 to Your Drive

or download the full transcript of the call here.
Click Here for PDF transcript uow098445

 

 

What can we learn from anxiety?

“I had agoraphobia and couldn’t even walk out of my house”- A Panic Away Success Story

The Panic Away coaching program has changed Kathleen’s life. She was suffering with agoraphobia, and led a very isolated life. After taking part in Panic Away’s coaching program, Kathleen began to appreciate life more than ever before, what a great success that is!

  ”I had agoraphobia and couldn’t even walk out of my house. Now I go to town with my husband. Picking out my own food is a joy! I appreciate life on a different level now. I still have things to overcome but I know from the support I get from the coaching program I can do it. Big thank you to Michelle and all my friends I have made through this program”

 Well done Kathleen. What’s so unique about this coaching facility is that we focus on getting results in the shortest timeframe possible. Therapy should be direct and to the point. In fact we are so sure that you will start to feel a difference in just 7 days that we offer a free 7 day trial.

  For more information on the coaching program and the free 7 day trial please visit:  http://10b26ju08cefdajeolv5osdqbj.hop.clickbank.net/private-coaching-client

“I had agoraphobia and couldn’t even walk out of my house”- A Panic Away Success Story

You heal anxiety with your heart not your head

If you know much about my work, you will know that I teach how acceptance, compassion, playfulness are qualities that heal anxiety.

Have you noticed that these all are qualities traditionally associated with the heart. The reality is that:

You heal anxiety with your heart not your head.

Your mind can help you manage anxiety quite well. Through the sheer mental effort of changing thought patterns or employing distraction techniques, anxiety can be kept under control but not truly healed. When it comes to long-term recovery that is where your heart plays a vital role.

I am not just speaking metaphorically when I talk about the heart healing anxiety. I mean it on a physical/neurological level too.

The heart is so much more than just a blood pump. There is a complex neurological system of communication between the heart and the head where information is been sent back and forth all the time.

Most people are not aware that in 1983, the heart was reclassified as a hormonal gland. The heart produces several important hormones several of which are responsible for reducing the stress response. One of those hormones is called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) and its job is to reduce the release of the stress hormone cortisol.

Another hormone called oxytocin, commonly referred to as the “love” hormone” is also a powerful stress relieving hormone. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels go up. Moments of empathy and compassion stimulate the release of the hormone, bringing about an anti-stress response.

By adopting an attitude of compassionate acceptance towards your anxiety you trigger the secretion of these stress reducing hormones. This helps cools the stress response and enables your nervous system to relax.

When highly anxious, the anxious part of your brain is trapped in an anxiety loop of fear feeding more fear.

When you adopt attitude of complete acceptance, control is shifted back to the rational part of your brain and the anxiety loop is broken (even if its just for a few short minutes).

A bit like a tuning fork, acceptance, compassion, playfulness (qualities of the heart) help synchronize the mind and body together. With that synchronization comes a greater peace of mind.

I want to now share a simple but powerful exercise to amplify the healing power of your heart:

Heart Exercise


1.  
Start by taking some deep belly breaths.

Belly breaths are ones that lift your stomach instead of your chest.
Think if like you are breathing into down into your legs. Breathe in
until you feel full and hold it for a few seconds and then breathe out
slowly.

 

2.   As you are breathing in, I want you to imagine a warm smile
forming across your chest. It is a big warm smile that spreads up to
onto the lips on your face as you breathe in fully.

 

3.   Hold for a few seconds and then as you breathe out I want you to
have complete acceptance for any anxious sensation that you feel.
So for example you might think:

In breath: Smile (imagined and on your chest spreading up to your face)
Out breath: I accept and allow the anxious feeling in my stomach.

Or

In breath: Smile
Out breath: I  accept and allow this anxious feeling in my chest.

In breath: Smile
Out breath: I accept and allow the anxious thoughts in my mind.

 

4. As you do this exercise, become aware of the connection between your
head and your chest area. Imagine both areas are connected together by a chord.

 

You are going to continue the exercise for a minimum of five minutes. Anything shorter than five minutes will not get the desired stress reducing effect. (Of course please keep going with it for longer if you wish).

I know it’s really hard to smile when anxious but please try it for just 5 minutes and see how you feel.

The purpose of this exercise is to trigger a release of stress reducing hormones and create a better synchronization between your head and your heart.

The really great thing is that you can trigger the benefits of this Heart Exercise any time during the day, simply by smiling with your lips.

One smile will trigger the memory of the exercise and move you into a heart alignment in an instant.

Then anytime you are going about your day and feel a flash of anxiety, notice the anxiety and immediately smile.

Feel the smile on both your lips (and your chest). That will then trigger a calming response instead of an escalation of anxiety.

So if you think of nothing else

 

smile ;)

 

 

You heal anxiety with your heart not your head

The most important thing anxiety has taught me

On the forum we asked ‘What is the most important lesson you have learned since beginning Panic Away?’ Read on as Megan shares with us how patience and acceptance have been vital to her recovery from anxiety.

 The most important thing anxiety had taught me is patience and acceptance. Treating an anxiety disorder is not a speedy, easy process. Since I’ve been using this program I have learned to accept myself as I am and trust that I am working my absolute hardest to get back to a peaceful existence. Accepting and embracing my anxiety has been a very beneficial lesson to me. I am a more accepting person in other aspects in my life because of what I have learned about myself using Panic Away.

Along with acceptance, I have learned to be patient with myself. No one here deserves to be verbally abused- especially by yourselves. It has been so hard for me to kindly encourage myself to work hard at overcoming anxiety. Being so harsh on myself was a nasty habit that needed to be broken, and I have anxiety to thank for that (in a weird, twisted way lol). Every day I tell myself that it is okay to work toward my goals at whatever pace I feel is comfortable. No more beating myself up if I feel like I’m not making progress fast enough.

It wasn’t until I learned these lessons that my anxiety started to drastically become easier to maintain. Although I still struggle with anxiety from time to time, I am overall a happier person because of my experience using Panic Away and am working hard to be a better me.

 Congratulations Megan. True Acceptance is extremely difficult to achieve. It takes a lot of patience and time. Complete 100% acceptance of all that you feel is crucial for the anxiety symptoms to lessen and eventually fade away. When we try to mentally push feelings of anxiety away, the feelings bounce back harder. You need to know that you have a choice. You can fight and resist anxiety or move to true acceptance of it and allow it to be present. When you move into a state of true acceptance of how you are feeling you create a gap for nervous system to calm and heal.  No longer allow yourself to be the passive victim waiting for anxiety to come, take control and change the way you think about it.

 By accepting, you are paradoxically healing your anxiety.

The most important thing anxiety has taught me