The truth is that most people looking to heal their anxiety don't think in terms of growth. People tend to think more in terms of cessation. In short, they just want the pain to stop. And although I can relate to this type of thinking it usually doesn't help much. What is helpful is trying to experience anxiety with new eyes. What is helpful is to challenge yourself to see anxiety not as a curse but a very unwelcome learning opportunity. Now in a perfect world there would be no need to experience pain and suffering in order to grow as a person.
Anxiety is a great attention-grabber. It keeps the mind overloaded with scary what if scenarios. These scenarios range in severity from "Man, I hope that doesn't happen," to "Oh my God if that happens again I'm dead." That's why it's easy for people to become obsessed with their anxiety related problems. They get stuck on the 'what if's.' A horrible mix of anticipation and fantasy keeps otherwise sane people scurrying about the internet looking for answers. The issue with this, of course, is that anxious people end up problem focused.
I have some news. For at least the next two months The Anxiety Guru Show will be on hiatus. I'm taking a break to give myself more time to study, exercise, and be with my family. I know that for a small number of you this show helps, which is why I want to emphasize that I am not canceling the show. After I earn my license and things settle down a bit I will return. Recently it struck me that I have been doing the podcast for over 7 years without a significant break, which is kind of nuts when you think about it. What's good about that though
This week's guest post was written by C, a member of the AG community. She wrote this as a forum post, but I felt that it was too good to keep hidden in the forum. What this post reveals is that recovery is a process and not simply a single insight or idea. It illustrates the many facets of recovery in a clear and meaningful way. I hope it provides you with a new or different perspective. - Paul Dooley 'No one has ever analyzed or battled their way to recovery.' Well, no, probably not but neither have I known anyone glide serenely to
When anxiety becomes a problem it's hard to cultivate solutions. Instead, you're more likely to focus on the problem itself, or maybe even uncovering some quick way of making it all stop, which makes sense. Yet, as natural as this instinct is, what happens when this quick solution doesn't materialize? In my experience, people usually become frustrated with their inability to overcome this major life issue. That's why when you feel stuck with anxiety it is critical that you go back to the beginning and figure out the most basic details of your
When you're faced with relapse or persistent anxiety part of you might feel defeated. Like no matter what you do you just can't seem to get the upper hand against your anxiety. I certainly felt that way when I had a few good days in a row followed by a return of anxious thoughts or symptoms. In my view, it is okay to acknowledge how you feel in those dark, lonely moments. Yet, it can be dangerous to linger too long on those kinds of negative thoughts. Dangerous in that anxiety tends to build on itself and the more you stand still and ponder how
At the peak of my anxiety I was miserable. I missed out on all kinds of fun because of it. But at the time it was hard to not feel that way. Anxiety always seemed busy producing a never-ending lineup of frightening symptoms for me to contend with. It started with palpitations, then stomach problems, then out of control worry. And every time I mastered one symptom a brand new one would sprout up in its place. What made things worse is that I didn't spend my time trying to get better. I just dove deeper into my little self-created hell. In fact,
Having random thoughts is normal. You could be brushing your teeth and start thinking about whether or not you locked your car or about what you did with those TPS reports at work. It happens to all of us. But what happens when you experience high anxiety along with random thoughts? The short answer is that your mind will often wander into a very negative space. You might start thinking about the past, the future, or about all the ways that anxiety might ruin your life. Anxiety can provide a never ending stream of negative outcomes. And, of
Today I want to introduce you to a single concept. It's called externalization. In my view, learning externalization techniques can set you on a new path. One that leads far, far away from high anxiety. See, when you have really bad anxiety it's common to assume that you and your anxiety are one and the same. For example, people often say things like "I'm such an anxious person." If this is the narrative that you have adopted then over time it becomes hard to tell where you start and where anxiety ends. It makes anxiety feel embedded. This is