AG Suicide Survival Guide

suicide

Have you ever thought about killing yourself? It’s a terrifying thought.

I know because it happened to me in the summer of 2007.

I never developed a plan or any intention of doing it, but for about a week I thought “What if?”

What if I move beyond thoughts and develop a desire to die?

What if I can’t stop myself from thinking like this?

At the time I had no idea where the thoughts came from which caused confusion and filled me with dread.

Even saying the word suicide made be anxious. As if just thinking about it meant that I might actually go through with it.

Looking back I realize that I was anxious and depressed rather than crazy. But imagine going through that experience without understanding that.

And what made everything worse is that I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone.

Eventually, I reached out to my sister, but not before I suffered with severe anxiety and depression for months.

Like most people I waited to reach out because I was embarrassed – even ashamed about what I was going through.

Talking about my problems also made me nervous and avoidant, so I was willing to suck it up and trudge along on my own a lot longer than I should have.

The problem is that in the case of suicide silence can kill. Isolation breeds more depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.

Look what happened to Robin Williams, for example.

Over the past week I’ve heard several people that knew him say things like “I didn’t know he was in pain,” or something along those lines.

But that’s the thing, this problem is a lot more common than most people would like to admit. And people keep this problem to themselves far too often.

Here are some important facts about suicide:

Suicide is no joke

  1. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
  2. In 2010 over 38,000 people committed suicide
  3. In the same year over 1 million people attempted suicide
  4. Males are more likely to complete the act of suicide
  5. People that commit suicide are often between the ages of 24 and 40

What puts you at risk of suicide?

  1. Family history of suicide
  2. History of child abuse
  3. Previous suicide attempts
  4. Alcohol/Drug abuse
  5. Severe Depression and Anxiety
  6. Hopelessness
  7. Isolation
  8. Significant loss such as a death or divorce
  9. Serious illness

What helps to prevent suicide?

  1. Clinical care (psychiatrist/therapist)
  2. Support of friends and family
  3. Cultural or religious beliefs

What makes it an emergency?

  1. You are experiencing severe anxiety or depression
  2. You are having thoughts of harming yourself
  3. You have a plan to hurt yourself
  4. You have access to means needed to hurt yourself
  5. In case of imminent threat to yourself call 911

If you’re suffering with thoughts of suicide I want you to know that there is help.

In the United States you can call 1-800-273-8255. If you live outside the U.S. please do a quick Google search for “suicide hotline” to reach someone near you.

I was lucky that I had someone there to support me and as a result things didn’t get out of control.

But when it comes to suicide you don’t want to rely on luck. If you need help ask for it.

To learn more listen to this week’s podcast by clicking the icon below.

Don’t forget to share this post and comment below!

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Confidence and Self-Esteem for Sufferers of Anxiety

self-esteem, confidence

Today’s guest post is brought to you by former anxiety sufferer Jon Jones. Jon began his struggle with anxiety and depression over 18 years ago. And after years of struggling he’s learned how to overcome these two challenging conditions. — Paul Dooley

Being confident and feeling great about yourself are two qualities that make life deeply satisfying.

You have a spring in your step and a twinkle in your eye. People you meet are swayed by your natural charisma and charm.

The good times are better and the bad times not so bad.

You can take any problems life throws at you on the chin and plow forward to reach your goals with optimism and in high spirits.

Socializing becomes enjoyable, and people become attracted to you as you have the confidence and self-esteem to just be your real, genuine, fantastic self.

Being a sufferer of anxiety and panic, these qualities can seem out of your grasp. You feel hopelessness, despair, and maybe even shaky to the core.

Your mind is full of doubts, what will people think of me, will I perform at work, will the economy
recover, and so on.

So the first step in building confidence and self-esteem is learning how to manage your anxiety.

Getting Started

By learning how to deal with yourself in difficult situations that normally cause you to panic or experience anxiety your confidence can begin to grow.

Although you may still be shaky at first and experience anxiety you still managed to get through the situation and make it to the other side.

And this is what you must focus on, the fact that you were able to do it. By learning how to deal with yourself and not the situation you regain control.

By taking action and overcoming your personal battles you will begin to feel good about yourself. You´ll start having good feelings inside you.

Even simple things like walking down the street, going shopping or reading a book will become more enjoyable as you are more relaxed and have a deeper sense of satisfaction.

A Developed Skill

I´m not going to kid you and say that you can instantly develop bullet-proof confidence.

Like anything worthwhile in life you need to work on it. Confidence is grown by repeated practice.

Like a golfer who has learned to perfect his swing by constant practice at the driving range is confident in his abilities, so you too can develop your confidence in dealing with yourself by repetition.

By constantly exposing yourself to situations that normally cause you anxiety the fear dies down.

I´m not saying to grit your teeth and push yourself into anxiety causing situations, but rather to not avoid them. To go into them willingly.

This repeated exposure over time proves to yourself that you can do it. And true confidence can emerge.

But first you need to learn techniques which will allow you to be able to deal with yourself. I used to panic at the thought of different stressful situations.

My confidence was so low and my self-esteem was very weak.

But I no longer cringe at the thought of such things as public speaking, going to social events, or talking to strangers.

And this has all been down to the repeated exposure to situations which I used to dread.

I have built up my confidence of such situations by learning how to deal with myself, and not feed my anxiety.

The techniques that I have used to help me deal with my anxiety are all on this site. I can now do things with a feeling of inner strength.

I no longer doubt myself, but have clarity and purpose.

And it feels great to have this freedom. It has a very enjoyable feeling of lightness to it, as you can make your way in the world with a sense of ease and comfort.

Speak Up

One thing about confidence is that you can´t wait for it. You have to strive for it. Push the boat out.

Don´t wait until you feel confident before doing something, act and the confidence will come.

Although you may feel nervous, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and then speak up.

By doing so you will prove to yourself that you can do it. And will start changing your self-image seeing yourself as a confident person.
You can speak positive to yourself as much as you want, but there is no substitute for action.

You have to firmly decide that you are going to work on being a confident person, and take the necessary steps to becoming so.

So next time you in a anxious situation take a deep breath, let go of yourself, and grasp the nettle, and speak up. Then you will see that you can do it.

That the anxiety you were feeling was false, you were able to do it. And the sense of satisfaction you will feel will be amazing. You will feel fantastic.

There´s nothing better than proving to yourself that you can do things.

Keeping a Journal

A great aid in facilitating this is keeping a journal. In your journal you can write your thoughts for the day.

The moments you felt anxious and what you did to deal with yourself.

You can write down how you felt before you entered a difficult situation, the symptoms you had and the thoughts you felt.

And then you can write about how by dealing with yourself and not the situation you were able to successfully cope with yourself.

By building up positive memories of instances when you coped with yourself and got through situations which seemed very difficult at the time, then you are building true inner confidence and self-esteem.

And next time you enter a difficult moment you can recall these times. This will give you confidence, because if you have done it before, and you now have proof that you can do it again.

It is as if you have a personal cheer-leader standing beside you rooting for you, ¨saying you can do it!¨

And the beautiful thing is you can, because you already have done it many times before.

By constantly exposing yourself to different situations, writing down your successes and reminding yourself of how you were able to deal with yourself before then that little voice which once whispered ¨you can do it,¨ now starts to shout it out loud.

Feelings and thoughts of confidence become second nature, and come to you automatically. And you truly become a confident person with true self-esteem.

And the great things is the more you do this, the more reference points of success you build up the more your confidence and self-esteem will grow. It will snow ball.

So start today, by next week you´ll be more confident and feeling better. And this will continue next month, next year and well into the future. Because these personal achievements happened.

You faced what you thought were difficult moments, dealt with yourself, and proved to yourself that you could do it. So just imagine what other great things you can achieve!

List Positive Things About Yourself

Putting things on paper is a very powerful thing. The mere act of seeing your thoughts on paper and reading it has the effect of ingraining it further into your mind.

So make a list of your achievements, positive attributes, compliments and past praises that people have given you.

This also provides you with evidence to enable your confidence and self-esteem to grow and flourish. These things you have on your list are facts.

They happened and you did them! So when you are feeling low in confidence or self-esteem you can prove these feelings wrong.

When you have a thought of ¨I´m a loser¨ or something similar, you can think of your list and that time you had your boss congratulate you at work, or when you cooked an amazing meal and your dinner guests asked for seconds.

By getting into the habit of thinking of a positive thought when you think of a negative thought then you can make yourself more positive, because you can pick your moral up immediately by flipping it around.

Work On It

Being a confident and high self-esteem person is something you have to work on. It´s like gardening.

You need to start planting some beautiful thoughts in your mind. If not then negative weeds will grow.

Make it part of your routine to devote ten or fifteen minutes a day to work on your confidence and self-esteem.

You can read over your journal, and your lists mentioned above.

Also in quiet moments such as traveling to work, or waiting in line at the supermarket remind yourself of your positive points and achievements.

Doing so will develop a habit of positive thinking in your mind, until it become second nature to you. But you need to constantly work on it. If not weeds will grow.

So, by doing the different tips I have mentioned true confidence and self-esteem can emerge.

No longer would you be feeling inferior or timid. You will be able to walk tall, have an inner smile, and truly connect with people you meet.

A new sense of being will come into your life! Life is fantastic. And by developing true confidence and self-esteem you will also feel fantastic!

To learn more about how you can deal with anxiety and panic you can download my free eBook here.

Do you have a story that you want to share with the AG community? If you’re interested in spreading hope and knowledge send Paul an email at info@anxietyguru.net.

7 Essential Books That Will Transform Your Anxious Life

anxiety treatment

Mastering the art of anxiety reduction takes time.

You might be anxious and frustrated but the process of recovery doesn’t care how you feel.

It doesn’t care what you want. And it doesn’t care how long it takes you to get it right.

Recovery demands that you take certain steps first. Steps that you cannot skip.

And if you try to skip steps you will pay a price.

The price, of course, is eternal stagnation. A never-ending loop of short-term relief followed by more anxiety.

So what is the first step towards recovery? The answer is education. And not just any old type of education, either.

The kind that requires you to actually open a book and act like you care.

First, let me just say that internet research is not all bad. The internet is a useful means of looking up information quickly.

The problem is that if this is your only means of gathering information most things that you learn will become disorganized and unrelated in your head, which renders the information useless.

Books on the other hand, are well organized and hammer a single topic. This is what you want: Expertise, structure, accuracy and focus.

Over the years I’ve read a lot of books about anxiety but only a few stood out.

Here are my favorites:

1. Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Claire Weekes

This is a classic anti-anxiety book. It was written by an MD with bad nerves. What else could be better?

She provides an informative but easy to understand picture of anxiety. She defines it so well that you’ll be nodding your head at least half the time.

Buy this book on Amazon

2. Pass Through Panic (Audio book) by Claire Weekes

I told you, this lady is awesome. I bought this CD about 8 years ago and it never let me down.

She has a no nonsense way about her that tends to bring you back to reality.

Buy this CD on Amazon

 3. At Last a Life by Paul David

This guy has a huge following for a reason.

Paul David will school you on how to accept anxiety and move forward with your life. The book is not well polished but the message is.

Buy this book on Amazon

4. The Science of Fear by Dan Gardiner

Anxious people develop fears about a lot of things, which of course only serves to worsen their anxiety.

Dan Gardiner dives into the human mind and explains how we develop irrational fears.

Buy this book on Amazon

5. Misunderstandings of the Self by Victor Raimy

This book was written in 1975 but remains relevant.

It breaks down how misconceptions develop and provides critical insight into the therapeutic process.

Buy this book on Amazon

6. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns

Do you want to change your negative thinking? Then read this book.

Buy this book on Amazon

7. The Anxiety and Worry Workbook by David A. Clark

Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective only when you work at it.

This book will help keep you organized as you work towards strengthening your CBT skills.

Buy this book on Amazon

Obviously there are many other books that you could read to educate yourself about anxiety. However, these are a good start for anyone that feels stuck.

I read some of these books when I was really anxious and others I used as research material. But they all provide something of value.

As you embark on your journey toward recovery don’t forget that the first step is to understand what you’re up against.

Blind hope is not a solution to your problems. You have to arm yourself with the right knowledge because it will light the path towards ultimate freedom.

What are your favorite anti-anxiety books? Comment below!

You Know Everything About Anxiety, So Why Are You Still Anxious?

anxiety

In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” – Bertrand Russell

You know more about anxiety than 99.9% of the population. Yet, here you are.

The question is why? Why isn’t all your fancy-pants information helping you?

Well it’s not because you’re dumb. I was in your shoes for over 10 years and I consider myself relatively smart.

I was good at filling my head with facts but that’s about it. I had a really hard time moving past this phase.

But you know what? So do a lot of other people. For example, I’d say that most people that I work with struggle with this problem.

The reason this happens isn’t a mystery though. It’s due to something called the backfire effect.

People that work in the mental health field call it confirmation bias, but I’m sticking with backfire effect because it sounds cooler.

Simply put, it means that people tend to favor information that supports their beliefs; especially in the face of contradictory evidence.

In fact, beliefs not only stay the same when challenged, they tend to get even stronger.

For example, say that you started having problems with your balance. Chances are you’d jump on the web and search “balance problems” and come back with a thousand hits.

Next, you’d run into several other related symptoms and before you know it you’d start building a rock solid case in favor of MS or some other disease.

When you experience those same symptoms in the future you’d selectively recall biased information (usually all bad) that supported your twisted views about anxiety.

But hang on, it gets worse.

You then misinterpret all incoming information with “I’m already sick” lenses on, which increases anxiety and reinforces the belief that your specific symptoms are related to a real illness rather than stress.

In short, the backfire effect creates biased searches for information, biased interpretations of that information and creates biased memories.

So when you do come across “good information” you disregard it because it doesn’t line up with your beliefs about anxiety.

Basically, you double down.

The crazy thing is that even if you know that you’re doing this, it won’t stop it from happening. It’s a paradox.

Eventually, I stopped falling victim to this backfire business but it wasn’t easy.

Why this happens

One of the reasons people get stuck on bad information is because they favor “early information” and give it more importance than information gathered later.

So if someone told you that your neighbor was a real weirdo you’d develop an ugly (biased) picture in your head about that person.

A picture that would probably be hard to shake even after you met them.

Biased interpretation offers an explanation for this effect: seeing the initial evidence, people form a working hypothesis that affects how they interpret the rest of the information.” Raymond S. Nickerson

Now, you would still form your own ideas about your neighbor, but he would have to work a little harder to prove that he isn’t weird.

The backfire effect is also strengthened by negative moods like anxiety.

So, the more anxious you are, the harder it is to challenge your tainted beliefs about anxiety.

How do you stop this from happening?

1. Stay Curious. When people encounter information that supports their suspicions, they become certain about things they don’t truly understand.

Staying curious about what’s going on leaves the door to new, probably more helpful information, wide open.

2. Present a counterargument. What would happen if you had to put anxiety on the stand and cross examine it?

I bet nothing but good things. I encourage you to write out a counterargument against your anxiety.

Use all the counter evidence you can find and write a narrative designed to persuade others that your anxiety is harmless.

3. Suspend judgment. Stay neutral and open whenever you investigate whether or not something is harmful to you.

4. Accept the gray areas. One of the biggest reasons why people stay stuck in anxiety is because they are desperately seeking certainty where there is none.

Instead, learn how to tolerate ambiguity. This is a powerful tool.

In this week’s episode of The Anxiety Guru Show I discuss how you can increase your tolerance of the unknown and how to use this skill to decrease anxiety. Check it out and comment below.

anxiety, podcast

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

goals, anxiety treatment

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.

anxiety, podcast

5 Uncommon Ways to Lower Stress

anxiety, blog

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.

anxiety, podcast

 

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

anxiety, panic, trust

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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