This Is How a Solid Anti-Anxiety Plan Will Change Your Life

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Want to know the secret to recovering from abnormal anxiety?

It’s obvious right?

It’s so obvious that you’ve completely ignored it.

The secret is having a solid plan for recovery.

It doesn’t matter if you experience high anxiety twice a month or twice a day, if you don’t create a plan nothing will ever change.

You might get a break every now and then but as soon as life gets stupid you can easily find yourself in a state of anxious misery.

You probably hope that your emergency internet research will suffice but how far has that gotten you?

People usually have a hard time recovering from abnormal anxiety because they have become conditioned by fear.

This causes people to respond to anxiety, physical symptoms, and worry in a shockingly ineffective and limited way.

This is why developing a recovery plan is so important. It brings reason back into the picture.

Let’s be honest, right now a lot of the stuff you do is irrational.

You’re probably just doing a bunch of random learning, reassurance seeking and cycling between semi-calm and utter panic.

It’s time for change. The problem of course is that change is hard.

Change also happens in stages that have nothing to do with squeezing your eyes tight and hoping for the best.

It has more to do with creating a clear plan of recovery and sticking to it.

So how do you make a good plan of recovery? What are the steps?

In today’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show I’ll tell you exactly what they are.

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5 Uncommon Ways to Lower Stress

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I often encounter people that want a magic solution to their anxiety problem.

And you know what? I don’t blame them. Who wants to live with bad nerves?

But, sadly, there is no such thing. The solution to abnormal anxiety is less magic and more self-discovery.

Finding out how you became anxious and how to stop it is a long journey.

But that got me thinking. Is there anything that you can do to decrease your anxiety while you seek full recovery?

Of course there is! And the crazy thing is that much of what you can do to lower anxiety doesn’t involve therapy or drugs.

What it requires is that you pull your head out of the clouds and examine your everyday life just as much as you examine your symptoms.

It is easy to understand why people get stuck on the obvious problems that high anxiety poses, but what about the obvious solutions?

In this week’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show I explore what parts of your everyday life you can tweak to help lower stress.

Yeah, I said stress. People are hyper-focused on anxiety. They are focused on the big stuff as it were. But what about the little stuff?

What about the little doses of stress that smack you square between the eyes on a daily basis?

Could addressing the low hanging fruit of daily stress help you recover from abnormal anxiety faster?

Alright, enough with the questions. Click on the icon below to hear the show.

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The Link Between Personality and High Anxiety

Usually I write an introduction for my podcast episodes. But today is different.

I spent a good chunk of time researching and thinking about this topic because it explains a lot about why some people become anxious in the face of life.

If you’ve ever wondered why you became an anxious person then you need to listen to this podcast.

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Is Your Health Phobia Just a Way to Cope With Reality?

Dear Hypochondriac,

Admit it. You’re a symptom junkie. You scrutinize every pulse, twinge, ache or pain that you deem strange.

Unfortunately, you believe that your anxiety symptoms are more than what they seem.

You believe that every doctor, medical exam, article, and loving family member is wrong about your health.

You believe that your symptoms are a sign of serious disease.

Here’s the thing though, anxiety symptoms are not all in your head. The mind has a limited capacity to endure stress and at some point passes on that stress to the body.

The idea that anxiety symptoms are a sign of impending death, well maybe that is all in your head.

But why you? After all, not everyone is walking around thinking they have multiple sclerosis, right?

There are a lot of theories as to why some people are affected by the belief that they have a serious disease when they don’t.

Perhaps you were exposed to death or illness when you were young which planted a fear of something similar happening to you.

Another theory is that maybe your health phobia acts as a psychological defense mechanism, which is just a fancy way of saying that people sometimes distract themselves (i.e., with disease) in order to avoid unpleasant thoughts or feelings.

But that’s not all. Some people, like me, are neurotic. This is an outdated word that was used to describe people who are born with a negative emotional baseline.

I plan to devote an entire podcast next week to this miserable state of being, but for now let’s just say that if you’re neurotic you are prone to anxiety, depression, irritability, phobias, fantasizing and negativity.

This of course means that you have a lower threshold for stress which often ignites your nervous system in all the wrong ways.

And this produces the symptoms that cause you to think that you’re suffering from a catastrophic illness.

I decided to talk about health phobias not just because they’re common, but because I don’t want people to think that their experience is random.

There are specific reasons why people develop a fear of death and disease and the more you know about how this happens the less afraid you will be of your symptoms.

So in this week’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show I explore health phobias and where they come from.

Enjoy!

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6 Non-Cheesy Ways to Get Rid of Fear and Self-Doubt

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It’s scary, isn’t it?

The little voice in your head telling you that you just can’t do this anymore; that your anxiety is just too much to bear.

You’re not sure where it’s coming from, but it usually gets louder when you feel anxious.

And you want to know something really weird about that little voice? You created it.

Yeah, that’s you telling yourself that anxiety symptoms are dangerous.

It’s you telling yourself that feeling nervous or panicked means something sinister.

You’ve also convinced yourself that you will never get better. Well, guess what? You’re wrong. You can get better.

But there is a reason why you’re stuck in your anxiety. And it’s due to one major problem. Put simply, you don’t trust yourself.

As a result, you’re often flooded with self-doubt and very little confidence in your ability to withstand anxiety.

You may have dealt with this feeling by relying on avoidance or your network of safe people. But has this helped you?

Could you in fact be wasting your time by leaning so hard on avoidance and reassurance seeking to help you manage your fears?

Well… let’s find out.

Be Your Own Lifesaver

When you doubt what you know, when you don’t trust yourself, it fosters a sense of desperation. So you end up searching for relief in other people.

I don’t believe that reaching out to others for information or reassurance is wrong. There’s no doubt that sometimes you need someone else to help ground you.

But this can’t be your only option. Why? Because when the shit hits the fan you are alone. Maybe not physically, but in your mind, in the midst of your fear, you are alone.

And although you may have wonderful people in your life that can offer reassurance they can’t be there for you 100% of the time.

People have to work, they move, even die. You must become your own go-to person. You have to learn how to be there for yourself.

Before you start the process though, you have to understand a few things.

Like the fact that when anxiety and panic strike you’re hit with a lot more than symptoms.

You second guess yourself at every possible turn. You don’t believe the positive things you tell yourself, which causes all your carefully researched anxiety facts to go flying out the window when you need them most.

You end up betrayed by your intuition and fall victim to the fear emanating from your gut.

Not because you want this, it’s just what happens when you become immersed in anxiety and don’t trust your body, your mind, or your ability to repel the effects of anxiety.

The Non-Cheesy Definition of Self-Trust

A lot of gurus, therapist and motivational speakers say things like “Trust yourself.” But what does that mean?

I don’t believe that anyone can say for sure, but there are certainly important elements to self-trust.

To trust yourself means that you trust your rational thoughts. You trust that you are smart, resourceful, and that everything you’ve learned about anxiety is correct and therefore reliable.

To trust yourself means that you trust your body. You understand how it works and accept the impact that stress and anxiety can have on it.

To trust yourself means that you can remember your past experiences with anxiety yet understand that your greatest fears have never, and will never, come true.

It’s important to build trust in yourself because it increases conviction in what you know to be true, which increases confidence and acts like a buffer against the effects of fear.

Of Course You Don’t Trust Yourself!

It’s hard to trust ourselves because we don’t know how to.

I can’t think of any conversation in my life when someone said anything like “Paul, you gotta trust yourself and this is how you do it.” It doesn’t happen.

It’s also difficult because…

  • We focus on our fears and symptoms
  • We have a deep seated fear that our past experiences will repeat or get worse
  • We internalize our past experiences and assume that it is the only possible outcome. As if there are no alternatives!
  • We get confused, stuck, and often feel helpless
  • We doubt ourselves because we judge our ability to withstand anxiety harshly
  • We overestimate the effects of anxiety
  • We are afraid to fail at recovery so instead we don’t try

Okay, you get why it’s so hard to trust yourself. But what can you do about it?

The Zen of Knowing That You’re Not Dying

If you have an issue with physical symptoms you need to confirm that you’re healthy.

Going to forums and asking people what they think about your symptoms is a waste of time and strengthens your fears.

If you want to stop fear in its tracks then eliminate uncertainty. Stop messing around and make an appointment.

I have offered this tip in the past so it’s nothing new. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s important.

Knowing that you’re healthy is the ultimate in fear destruction.

How to Reduce the Shock of Fear

Here’s the thing. Understanding how anxiety impacts your body makes sense on the surface. Until you actually try to use this information.

Seriously, how hard is it to think straight when you’re scared? It’s not exactly a walk in the park, right?

So I encourage you to learn more than the basics. Stop being lazy and figure out how adrenaline causes symptoms and makes you want to jump out of your own skin.

Get intimate with the facts. The more you know the more ingrained the information will become which will decrease the need for you to dig in your mind for comforting information.

The shock of fear, the one that drives panic and apprehension, gets reduced when you don’t have to guess what’s happening to you.

Stop Hating Your Body

Chances are that you aren’t comfortable with your body. Sitting still, feeling your heart beat, paying attention to your breathing, it all probably freaks you out.

But it’s precisely this discomfort that you have to confront. Each and every day you should take a few minutes to be with yourself.

You don’t have to Zen out, either. Just take the time to pay attention to your body. Listen to how it works.

Get comfortable with the bumps, pulses, and rhythm inside of you. Stop treating your body like some alien entity.

You can decide how to achieve this but I assure you that once you get more comfortable with your body the less it will scare you when it gets aroused by fear.

You Already Have the Answers

How many times have you disregarded everything you know about anxiety? Okay, let’s not count, but way too much right?

You need to have more faith in what you know. After all, you are a world-class researcher and connoisseur of anxiety facts.

You’ve read hundreds of articles, blog posts, and forum threads. Trust me, you know your stuff.

Believe in what you know and remind yourself at every possible opportunity.

Hit Your Brain’s Pause Button

If you’re like most anxious people I know you live in the future. Stop it.

You need to practice how to live in the moment. You need to develop the ability to focus on the minutiae of life.

Whether it’s eating, drinking, talking, writing, or whatever, slow it down.

Why?

Well, when you slow down, so does everything else. Your thoughts, your body, your surroundings even; they all move at a slower pace which fosters a sense of calm.

Obviously you can’t live your life in slow-mo, but you can take a few minutes every day to yank your mind out of the future and help reduce how much you worry in the process.

Be a Pioneer

You can learn to take care of your own emotional needs by being a pioneer. Yes, as in the people in covered wagons.

Isolation breeds fear. That’s why it’s so important to get out more and take on the spirit of a pioneer.

I mean come on, if they could hop onto wagons and head into the unknown, then you can surely put yourself in the same mind frame and visit a Cheesecake Factory near you.

Be willing to explore new places, people and experiences. Always do the opposite of what abnormal anxiety compels you to do.

Locking yourself away erodes self-confidence while getting outside of your comfort zone boosts a belief in yourself and your ability to survive anxiety no matter where you are.

Can You Really Learn to Trust Yourself?

I think you can. The key is to be flexible. A lot of anxiety sufferers act as if the only way to enjoy life is the complete absence of anxiety.

And this simply isn’t true. Things don’t have to be perfect for you to move beyond where you are now. They simply need to be good enough.

The more you challenge your anxiety the more “good enough” turns into what you actually want, which is confidence in your ability to be anywhere, to feel anything, without thinking that something is going to go wrong.

While you head out on this journey of building self-trust I hope you celebrate your small victories.

I hope that you are compassionate with yourself.

And I hope that you learn to leave the past and the future where they belong.

Ultimately though, if you want to get better you have to embrace the feeling of fear in your gut, the scared little voice in your head, and every sensation that anxiety has ever thrown at you.

Don’t run from your anxious thoughts and feelings. The truth is that there is nowhere to run anyway.

Stand your ground. Believe in yourself. And believe that you’re going to be okay.

Of course, I’m not done. Listen to today’s podcast to learn even more about how you can learn to build trust in yourself.

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How to Overcome Your Fear of Crowds, Restaurants, and Strangers

social anxiety

You know that other people don’t bite, right?

Of course they don’t. So why do people with social anxiety run around like they do?

Well, if you fear other people let’s start with why you’re afraid.

You’re afraid of being judged, criticized, ridiculed or laughed at. You don’t like the feeling of strangers approaching or crowds gathering.

So you hide.

You cower in your home. You limit the places you visit. You drown your fears in the mundane but deep down you wish you could do more.

Maybe there’s hope though. Maybe your fear of other people is just an illusion. Maybe you just never gave yourself permission to explore the world without preconceived notions about what’s out there.

The best part is that you can put an end to your fear of people starting today.

You can overcome your fear of crowds, restaurants, movie theaters, or whatever, and it doesn’t require any special tricks.

So in today’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show I explore what steps you can take to get out of your house and into every fantastic human experience that you deny yourself right now.

Plus, I discuss what a “normal” person is and how to tell if you fall into that category.

Don’t forget to comment below and share this podcast on Facebook and Twitter.

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Do You Have to Take Antidepressants Forever?

This is a damn good question.

I got an email from a reader the other day asking whether or not it was a good idea to ditch their SSRI (antidepressant) in favor of going all natural.

This is an issue that a lot of people have pondered given the many concerns surrounding the use of psychiatric medications.

I’ve known quite a few people that worried about addiction or the long-term effects of SSRIs before starting up, which isn’t unreasonable given the side-effects and addictive qualities of certain medications.

However, SSRIs are relatively effective and are not addictive the same way that say alcohol or tobacco is.

So, let’s say everything goes smoothly with your SSRI experience. When should you stop taking them? And what happens when you stop?

I thought that this was a particularly good question given the number of anxiety sufferers that use SSRIs to quell their anxiety.

In this week’s episode of The Anxiety Guru show I explore this question in detail to give you a better idea about when and how you can stop taking your SSRI.

But, of course, I didn’t stop there. I also tackle why anxious people often think they’re crazy and how you can learn to take your own anti-anxiety advice.

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How You Tricked Yourself Into Becoming Anxious

Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will make you nervous. Well, if you let them anyway.

If you tell yourself the wrong things about anxiety symptoms over and over they tend to get more tenacious. This makes the words you choose to describe your anxiety symptoms super important.

That’s exactly what happened to me. When I first encountered anxiety symptoms I didn’t know what they were so I ended up associating threatening words with the symptoms I was experiencing.

This was a horrible mistake that a lot of rookie neurotics make. I’m sure you’ve probably done this too.

When anxiety symptoms strike the first few times it tends to leave you speechless and fumbling in your mind for an answer. So naturally you start making stuff up as to why you’re dying all of a sudden.

Palpitations turn into heart attacks, headaches into brain tumors, and racing thoughts into pure insanity.

But the words you choose to describe your anxiety symptoms, especially in the beginning, play a huge role in how your relationship with anxiety will play out.

In today’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show I discuss my theory on why we tend to use threatening words to describe anxiety symptoms and how you can turn this around to help yourself regain control.

Don’t forget to comment below!

The Anxiety Guru Show

The Most Important Anti-Anxiety Advice in the World

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Let’s face it; taking the time to really understand anxiety symptoms is boring. There just isn’t anything sexy about the autonomic nervous system.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s important. If you can wrap your head around how your anxiety symptoms spring to life then you’ve won.

Remember that scene from The Matrix when Neo is standing in a hallway made of green numbers? That’s true badassery. And that can be you.

Truly understanding how anxiety symptoms work paves the way towards ultimate freedom from fear, worry, and every single part of abnormal anxiety that’s made your life suck.

But why symptoms? Well, isn’t that what this is all about? I know that symptoms are only a reflection of emotional angst, and maybe bad genes, but not for you.

For you they are everything when it comes to feeling bad.

So, instead of trying to take you on some transcendental trip, I’m just going to roll up my sleeves and explain the nuts and bolts of how anxiety symptoms work and why this is so crucial to feeling better.

I get so many emails from my anxious brethren about their latest ache, itch, or twinge and it saddens me, really.

But I get it. So in today’s episode of the Anxiety Guru Show I lay down the law on how to smash your fear of anxiety symptoms.

And as a bonus I even discuss anxious parenting and how to defy your fear of death. Good stuff.

Don’t forget to comment below!

The Anxiety Guru Show