Many Types of Anxiety

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image of old green gate for my anxiety meditation garden since 1990

Many Types of Anxiety

We know there are many Types of Anxiety, not the least of which is Common Anxiety. There seems to be so much confusion concerning this! Most of us don’t realize there are several Types of Anxiety, and then so many levels of these Types.

For different Types of Anxiety, it will be different kinds of therapy that will work to help the person suffering. Frequently it will be a combination of talk therapy and meditation. Sometimes it will actually require medication to resolve the Anxiety for the patient’s relief.

Anxiety Meditation Garden Gate

The opening picture for this Post is how I picture my Anxiety Meditation Garden Gate. I have had the same Gate in my mind’s eye since 1990 when I was taught to meditate for Anxiety relief. It calmed me then, and it does now. Then I had to find out how from a psychologist but now you can get a recording on Guided Imagery from a store.

With each Type of Anxiety, you will discover upon examination different forms of beginnings and ages of onset of symptoms. Some will present with a certain event for which a precise event can be determined as a cause and possible beginning! This will sometimes be a Natural Disaster (Hurricane, Typhoon, Volcano).

Disasters & Triggers

As likely the event cause be a Social Disaster (War, Murder, Sexual Abuse, Rape, Violent Assualt, Divorce, Torture). And I know, many more, of both kinds, but I cannot list them all!

From events like these, we later realize we have “Triggers”. So, when something frightens, shocks, or hurts us we remember it. When something reminds of it quickly in a way that brings on an Anxiety or Panic Attack, this is designated a “Trigger”. Of course, all Types of Anxiety can result in Anxiety Attacks with or without a “Trigger”.

Personally I have had Anxiety Attacks since the age of five, sometimes three or more a day when unmedicated. But throughout my sixty-eight year old life I have only had three Panic Attacks.

If an Anxiety sufferer has these, they are sometimes said to have PTSD. The treatment for this is therapy, meditation, deep breathing, and often medication.

Ongoing Unrelenting Stress

Then at times, it will be a time in the person’s life from which there was no reprieve from continual Stress! If this ever suits you, you will know it not just a few stressful weeks while you produce that job for your employer. This Stress will be ongoing unrelenting Stress of taking care of the elderly or ill for a prolonged time, years!

Or as is happening to our elderly population now, being plunged into prolonged poverty ill-prepared to cope with the state of their finances. We have our Severe Depression and Suicide Rate amongst the elderly spiraling out of control!

Social Anxiety Disorder SAD

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a more clinical illness Type of Anxiety and different students of Anxiety disagree about it. I must be clear about this. Social Anxiety Disorder is a form of Autism and a patient is born with it. There are ways to achieve high levels of relief but little chance of a cure at this time from Social Anxiety Disorder.

Social Anxiety, that is a form of General or Common Anxiety is different from Social Anxiety Disorder. SA accounts for predominantly 80% of Fears or Phobias of facing groups of people to speak. Social Anxiety is usually Causal by the effect, thus curable. This does take time, patience, and I would insist on kindness!

Aromatherapy is useful for calming the frazzled edges at times! Choose your favorite scent, and let the aroma waft into the room, soothing everyone in there. For Anxiety, the scent most often recommended is Lavender. If you can massage a tiny drop into your temples it is extremely relaxing!

For Aromatherapy

Water – A Natural Remedy

? I want to share with my Readers this article by Barry McDonagh, an international panic disorder coach.

Water Helps Ease General Anxiety!

Water Helps Ease General Anxiety!

Today I want to look at something so simple and yet equally powerful in alleviating the symptoms of general anxiety.

This tip also helps reduce the frequency and strength of panic attacks.

Fresh Drinking Water

Water is a great quencher of thirst but more importantly here -a great quencher of anxiety.

Read all about it on my blog here :

http://www.panicaway.com/blog/water-helps-ease-general-anxiety

Barry Joe McDonagh

All material provided in these emails are for informational or educational purposes only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition

For More Information About PanicAway

Please Leave Me Your Comment or Question!

Janice Fox-Henley.AnxietyReliefCoach
Janice.CuringAnxiety@Gmail.com

Anxious Thoughts and Broken Records

Anxiety Girl In A Jar Logo

? I want to share with my Readers this article by Barry McDonagh, an international panic disorder coach.

Anxious Thoughts and Broken Records

Have you ever noticed that anxious thoughts are like a broken record?

I know with Ipods etc. it’s a bit outdated to be using a record analogy here but it works well to illustrate a key point about anxious thoughts.

Remember when a record got scratched it made a very unpleasant sound and caused the needle to get stuck on the same groove.

The same one line would play over and over again ad nauseam until you picked up the needle and moved it past the scratch.

Anxious thoughts are bit like this. You might be happily going about your day and then something triggers an anxious thought.

The worry the thought creates sends an unpleasant shock wave through your nervous system. (The scratch on the record).

Then once you start reacting to the anxious thought it is hard to stop thinking about it over and over again. (The needle stuck in a groove)

The repetitive anxious thought can last minutes, hours , days depending on how upset you become by the thought.

I want to share with you a quick technique to jump out of this anxious groove. This technique is you learning how to pick up the record needle and move it past the scratch.

Here it is:

1, Observe 2, Trust 3, Move

Observe the anxious thought and label it. Say

“Oh there is fear X again, imagine that”

Try your very best to not get sucked into reacting emotionally to the thought.

Then

Trust that what you are worrying about will in all probability never come about. Almost all the anxious thoughts we have are a complete waste of our energy.

Trust that things will work out fine.

Joseph Cossman said “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”

If you are religious/spiritual then hand your anxious thought over to a higher power. Trust that there is nothing to fear and you will be looked after.

Trust and let it go.

“Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway. ” ~Mary C. Crowley

Lastly,

Move your attention elsewhere. Focus on something positive that takes your mind out of the anxious groove.

Replace the anxious thought with a positive thought. You are not trying to suppress the anxious thought, you are simply moving your attention elsewhere. To continue the record analogy, you pick the record needle up (your attention) and move it out of the groove it was caught in.

If you are engaged in an activity then move your attention fully there. Be 100% present in the moment.

If you are walking focus on the surroundings, if you are driving observe all the sights and sounds. If you are with someone focus all your attention on them.

By moving your attention into the present moment there is no room for anxious thoughts to dominate your mind.

Play around with both moving your attention to positive thoughts or into the present moment. Different people find one or the other is easier to accomplish. The key thing is to move your mind out of the anxious groove and put you back in your natural flow.

So to sum up remember O.T.M.

Observe, Trust, Move

It takes a bit of practice but as long as you remember the above 3 steps you will be able to dramatically eliminate anxious thoughts from your day.

To learn more about how to end panic attacks and general anxiety fast then

PanicAway

Barry McDonagh

All material provided is for informational or educational purposes only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition

Janice Fox-Henley.AnxietyReliefCoach
Janice.CuringAnxiety@Gmail.com

Please Leave Your Comment and Questions!

Agoraphobia and Panic Attacks

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? I want to share with my Readers this article by Barry McDonagh, an international panic disorder coach.

Agoraphobia and Panic Attacks

There is phobia that is linked to the experience of panic attacks, and that is agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is the fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places such as shopping markets. It is a fear associated with leaving a safe zone, such as the home.

Because of a feeling of being vulnerable, people who experience this fear often suffer from panic attacks in these “open” situations. It is true to say many people who have regular panic attacks experience different degrees of agoraphobia. Some have a lingering background anxiety about being away from home should they experience a panic attack. Other people are so immobilized by this fear that they find it very difficult to leave their home for even a short period.

The thinking behind agoraphobia usually follows the line that were a panic attack to occur, who would look after the person, how would he or she get the assistance and reassurance they needed? The vulnerability grows from the feeling that once victims of agoraphobia are caught in the anxiety, they are suddenly unable to look after themselves and are therefore at the mercy of the place they find themselves in and the strangers around them. In its extreme form, agoraphobia and panic attacks can lead to a situation where people become housebound for numerous years. Please note, this is by no means a hopeless situation, and I always need to reinforce the fact that something only becomes hopeless once the person really believes that to be the case.

To begin with, the primary issue that needs to be addressed is the belief in the safe zone. To clarify, when I talk about safe zone, I am referring to the zone where the person believes panic attacks do not occur, or at least occur infrequently. As comfort is found there, it is where the person tends to spend more and more time. The safe zone of anxiety is a myth sustained by the mind. The mind has developed a habit of thinking that dictates that being inside the safe zone is the only place to feel secure and avoid agoraphobia and panic attacks. If agoraphobia is an issue for you, watch as your mind comes up with reasons why it believes only a certain area is safe and another is not. Those reasons range from being near the phone or people you trust to having familiar physical surroundings to reassure you.

The reality of anxiety is that there is no such thing as a safe zone. There is nothing life threatening about a panic attack, and therefore sitting at home is the same as sitting under the stars on a desert island. Of course, your mind will immediately rush to tell you that a desert island is a ridiculous place to be as there are no hospitals, no tranquillisers, no doctors, NO SAFETY.

You need to review your previous experiences of panic attacks. Aren’t you still here, alive and well, after all those attacks during which you were convinced you were going to die?

It may be that on occasions you have been driven to the hospital where they did medicate you to calm you down, but do you really believe that you would not have survived were it not for the drugs? You would have. If the same bout of anxiety had occurred on this desert island, it too would have passed, even if you were all alone. Yes, when it comes to conditions that need medical attention such as asthma, diabetes, and a whole litany or other conditions, then having medical aid nearby is a big asset, but no doctor in the world would tell someone with anxiety that there are only specific safe zones in which she or he can move.

As I know more than anyone how terrifying it can feel to move out of your safe zone as the feeling of fear is welling up inside, I do not wish to sound harsh. This course is not about chastising people for their behaviours. It is a way of looking together at solutions and seeing through the myths that form prison walls. The goal is to enable you to return to a richer and more meaningful life and ultimately defeat your agoraphobia and panic attacks. I also realize that people around you cannot understand why a trip to shops would cause you such discomfort. You will have to forgive them and try not to be upset by their lack of understanding of your problem.

If an individual such as a partner or family member has not had a similar anxiety issue, that person may often find it hard to understand and empathize with what you are going through. I am sure you have been dragged out of the house numerous times against your will, kicking and screaming. This can then lead to tensions and arguments and is upsetting as it can make you feel less understood by those around you. People around agoraphobics are often simply trying what they feel is best. If you can see that their intentions are well meaning (although often misguided), then you will be able to relate to them better and help sooth any potential conflicts.

There is one thing I am sure you will agree with, and that is that the only person who will get you out of agoraphobic thinking is yourself. These are your thoughts, and only you can begin to change that pattern. Dealing with long term agoraphobia and panic attacks is a slow process to begin with, but once the results start happening, it moves faster and faster until you reach a point where you will find it hard to believe that going out was such a difficult task.

Learn more

Barry McDonagh is an international panic disorder coach. His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here: http://www.panicportal.com

This article is copywritten material

For More Information & Free Audio From Panic Away

Janice Fox-Henley.AnxietyReliefCoach
Janice.CuringAnxiety@Gmail.com

Please Leave Me Your Comments, Questions, or Life Experiences!

Causes of Panic Attacks

image of sitting anxious girl

? I want to share with my Readers this article by Barry McDonagh, an international panic disorder coach.

Causes of Panic Attacks

The short and obvious answer: panic attacks are caused by high anxiety. But, what exactly is anxiety? Understanding how anxiety crops up will help you defeat panic attacks.

One of the biggest myths surrounding anxiety is that it is harmful and can lead to a number of various life-threatening conditions.

Definition of Anxiety

Anxiety is defined as a state of apprehension or fear resulting from the anticipation of a real or imagined threat, event, or situation. It is one of the most common human emotions experienced by people at some point in their lives.

However, most people who have never experienced a panic attack, or extreme anxiety, fail to realize the terrifying nature of the experience. Extreme dizziness, blurred vision, tingling and feelings of breathlessness—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

When these sensations occur and people do not understand why, they feel they have contracted an illness, or a serious mental condition. The threat of losing complete control seems very real and naturally very terrifying.

Fight/Flight Response: One of the root causes of panic attacks?

I am sure most of you have heard of the fight/flight response as an explanation for one of the root causes of panic attacks. Have you made the connection between this response and the unusual sensations you experience during and after a panic attack episode?

Anxiety is a response to a danger or threat. It is so named because all of its effects are aimed toward either fighting or fleeing from the danger. Thus, the sole purpose of anxiety is to protect the individual from harm. This may seem ironic given that you no doubt feel your anxiety is actually causing you great harm…perhaps the most significant of all the causes of panic attacks.

However, the anxiety that the fight/flight response created was vital in the daily survival of our ancient ancestors—when faced with some danger, an automatic response would take over that propelled them to take immediate action such as attack or run. Even in today’s hectic world, this is still a necessary mechanism. It comes in useful when you must respond to a real threat within a split second.

Anxiety is a built-in mechanism to protect us from danger. Interestingly, it is a mechanism that protects but does not harm—an important point that will be elaborated upon later.

The Physical Manifestations of a Panic Attack: Other pieces of the puzzle to understand the causes of panic attacks. Nervousness and Chemical Effects…

When confronted with danger, the brain sends signals to a section of the nervous system. It is this system that is responsible for gearing the body up for action and also calms the body down and restores equilibrium. To carry out these two vital functions, the autonomic nervous system has two subsections, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

Although I don’t want to become too “scientific,” having a basic understanding of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system will help you understand the causes of panic attacks.

The sympathetic nervous system is the one we tend to know all too much about because it primes our body for action, readies us for the “fight or flight” response, while the parasympathetic nervous system is the one we love dearly as it serves as our restoring system, which returns the body to its normal state.

When either of these systems is activated, they stimulate the whole body, which has an “all or nothing” effect. This explains why when a panic attack occurs, the individual often feels a number of different sensations throughout the body.

The sympathetic system is responsible for releasing the adrenaline from the adrenal glands on the kidneys. These are small glands located just above the kidneys. Less known, however, is that the adrenal glands also release adrenaline, which functions as the body’s chemical messengers to keep the activity going. When a panic attack begins, it does not switch off as easily as it is turned on. There is always a period of what would seem increased or continued anxiety, as these messengers travel throughout the body. Think of them as one of the physiological causes of panic attacks, if you will.

After a period of time, the parasympathetic nervous system gets called into action. Its role is to return the body to normal functioning once the perceived danger is gone. The parasympathetic system is the system we all know and love, because it returns us to a calm relaxed state.

When we engage in a coping strategy that we have learned, for example, a relaxation technique, we are in fact willing the parasympathetic nervous system into action. A good thing to remember is that this system will be brought into action at some stage whether we will it or not. The body cannot continue in an ever-increasing spiral of anxiety. It reaches a point where it simply must kick in, relaxing the body. This is one of the many built-in protection systems our bodies have for survival.

You can do your best with worrying thoughts, keeping the sympathetic nervous system going, but eventually it stops. In time, it becomes a little smarter than us, and realizes that there really is no danger. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent—modern science is always discovering amazing patterns of intelligence that run throughout the cells of our body. Our body seems to have infinite ways of dealing with the most complicated array of functions we take for granted. Rest assured that your body’s primary goal is to keep you alive and well.

Not so convinced?

Try holding your breath for as long as you can. No matter how strong your mental will is, it can never override the will of the body. This is good news—no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you are gong to die from a panic attack, you won’t. Your body will override that fear and search for a state of balance. There has never been a reported incident of someone dying from a panic attack.

Remember this next time you have a panic attack; he causes of panic attacks cannot do you any physical harm. Your mind may make the sensations continue longer than the body intended, but eventually everything will return to a state of balance. In fact, balance (homeostasis) is what our body continually strives for.

The interference for your body is nothing more than the sensations of doing rigorous exercise. Our body is not alarmed by these symptoms. Why should it be? It knows its own capability. It’s our thinking minds that panic, which overreact and scream in sheer terror! We tend to fear the worst and exaggerate our own sensations. A quickened heart beat becomes a heart attack. An overactive mind seems like a close shave with schizophrenia. Is it our fault? Not really—we are simply diagnosing from poor information.

Cardiovascular Effects Activity in the sympathetic nervous system increases our heartbeat rate, speeds up the blood flow throughout the body, ensures all areas are well supplied with oxygen and that waste products are removed. This happens in order to prime the body for action.

A fascinating feature of the “fight or flight” mechanism is that blood (which is channelled from areas where it is currently not needed by a tightening of the blood vessels) is brought to areas where it is urgently needed.

For example, should there be a physical attack, blood drains from the skin, fingers, and toes so that less blood is lost, and is moved to “active areas” such as the thighs and biceps to help the body prepare for action.

This is why many feel numbness and tingling during a panic attack-often misinterpreted as some serious health risk-such as the precursor to a heart attack. Interestingly, most people who suffer from anxiety often feel they have heart problems. If you are really worried that such is the case with your situation, visit your doctor and have it checked out. At least then you can put your mind at rest.

Respiratory Effects

One of the scariest effects of a panic attack is the fear of suffocating or smothering. It is very common during a panic attack to feel tightness in the chest and throat. I’m sure everyone can relate to some fear of losing control of your breathing. From personal experience, anxiety grows from the fear that your breathing itself would cease and you would be unable to recover. Can a panic attack stop our breathing? No.

A panic attack is associated with an increase in the speed and depth of breathing. This has obvious importance for the defense of the body since the tissues need to get more oxygen to prepare for action. The feelings produced by this increase in breathing, however, can include breathlessness, hyperventilation, sensations of choking or smothering, and even pains or tightness in the chest. The real problem is that these sensations are alien to us, and they feel unnatural.

Having experienced extreme panic attacks myself, I remember that on many occasions, I would have this feeling that I couldn’t trust my body to do the breathing for me, so I would have to manually take over and tell myself when to breathe in and when to breathe out. Of course, this didn’t suit my body’s requirement of oxygen and so the sensations would intensify—along with the anxiety. It was only when I employed the technique I will describe for you later, did I let the body continue doing what it does best—running the whole show.

Importantly, a side-effect of increased breathing, (especially if no actual activity occurs) is that the blood supply to the head is actually decreased. While such a decrease is only a small amount and is not at all dangerous, it produces a variety of unpleasant but harmless symptoms that include dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, sense of unreality, and hot flushes.

Other Physical Effects of Panic Attacks:

Now that we’ve discussed some of the primary physiological causes of panic attacks, there are a number of other effects that are produced by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, none of which are in any way harmful.

For example, the pupils widen to let in more light, which may result in blurred vision, or “seeing” stars, etc. There is a decrease in salivation, resulting in dry mouth. There is decreased activity in the digestive system, which often produces nausea, a heavy feeling in the stomach, and even constipation. Finally, many of the muscle groups tense up in preparation for “fight or flight” and this results in subjective feelings of tension, sometimes extending to actual aches and pains, as well as trembling and shaking.

Overall, the fight/flight response results in a general activation of the whole bodily metabolism. Thus, one often feels hot and flushed and, because this process takes a lot of energy, the person generally feels tired and drained.

Mental Manifestations: Are the causes of panic attacks all in my head? is a question many people wonder to themselves.

The goal of the fight/flight response is making the individual aware of the potential danger that may be present. Therefore, when activated, the mental priority is placed upon searching the surroundings for potential threats. In this state one is highly-strung, so to speak. It is very difficult to concentrate on any one activity, as the mind has been trained to seek all potential threats and not to give up until the threat has been identified. As soon as the panic hits, many people look for the quick and easiest exit from their current surroundings, such as by simply leaving the bank queue and walking outside. Sometimes the anxiety can heighten, if we perceive that leaving will cause some sort of social embarrassment.

If you have a panic attack while at the workplace but feel you must press on with whatever task it is you are doing, it is quite understandable that you would find it very hard to concentrate. It is quite common to become agitated and generally restless in such a situation. Many individuals I have worked with who have suffered from panic attacks over the years indicated that artificial light—such as that which comes from computer monitors and televisions screens—can can be one of the causes of panic attacks by triggering them or worsen a panic attack, particularly if the person is feeling tired or run down.

This is worth bearing in mind if you work for long periods of time on a computer. Regular break reminders should be set up on your computer to remind you to get up from the desk and get some fresh air when possible.

In other situations, when during a panic attack an outside threat cannot normally be found, the mind turns inwards and begins to contemplate the possible illness the body or mind could be suffering from. This ranges from thinking it might have been something you ate at lunch, to the possibility of an oncoming cardiac arrest.

The burning question is: Why is the fight/flight response activated during a panic attack even when there is apparently nothing to be frightened of?

Upon closer examination of the causes of panic attacks, it would appear that what we are afraid of are the sensations themselves—we are afraid of the body losing control. These unexpected physical symptoms create the fear or panic that something is terribly wrong. Why do you experience the physical symptoms of the fight/flight response if you are not frightened to begin with? There are many ways these symptoms can manifest themselves, not just through fear.

For example, it may be that you have become generally stressed for some reason in your life, and this stress results in an increase in the production of adrenaline and other chemicals, which from time to time, would produce symptoms….and which you perceive as the causes of panic attacks.

This inccreased adrenaline can be maintained chemically in the body, even after the stress has long gone. Another possibility is diet, which directly affects our level of stress. Excess caffeine, alcohol, or sugar is known for causing stress in the body, and is believed to be one of the contributing factors of the causes of panic attacks (Chapter 5 gives a full discussion on diet and its importance).

Unresolved emotions are often pointed to as possible trigger of panic attacks, but it is important to point out that eliminating panic attacks from your life does not necessarily mean analyzing your psyche and digging into your subconscious. The “One Move” technique will teach you to deal with the present moment and defuse the attack along with removing the underlying anxiety that sparks the initial anxiety.

Learn more

Barry McDonagh is an international panic disorder coach. His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here: http://www.panicportal.com

This article is copywritten material

Find more information here PanicAway by Barry McDonaugh

Janice Fox-Henley.AnxietyReliefCoach
Janice.CuringAnxiety@Gmail.com

Please Leave Us a Comment or Question!

Gratitude Lifts The Weight of Anxiety

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? I want to share with my Readers this article by Barry McDonagh, an international panic disorder coach.

Gratitude Lifts The Weight of Anxiety

Let me tell you why the art of gratitude is such a great tool for ending anxious thoughts.

A lot of people write telling me how their anxiety makes them feel very cut off or removed from the world around them. This sensation can be distressing as people fear that they will never be able to feel normal again.

This feeling is common and in my experience is mainly fueled by a cycle of anxious thinking.

A person with a panic disorder or a generalized anxiety disorder will spend much of their day mentally “checking in”.

Checking in is a term I use to refer to how people with anxiety constantly monitor their mind and body.

“Am I feeling ok?” “How are my thoughts ?”

“Am I feeling secure or on edge right now?”

The reason regular checking in happens is because anxiety has such a powerful effect on the mind and body.

People tell me that they can deal with the anxious bodily sensations but it is the anxious mind that causes them most distress. That is what I want to address today.

Anxiety can often feel like a thick fog has surrounded your mind. Nothing really seems enjoyable as you are always looking out at the world through this haze of anxious thoughts and feelings. This fog steals the joy out of life and can make you feel removed or cut off from the world.

The anxious thoughts act as a barrier to experiencing the world and this sensation of separation then leads to feeling even more upset as you fear losing touch with yourself.

So how do you get this anxious fog to lift from your mind?

When someone is very caught up in anxious thoughts they are top heavy so to speak. The constant mental activity they are engaged in has caused an imbalance where all of their focus is on their mental anxieties.

A powerful way to move out of this anxious mental fog is to switch your focus from your head to your heart.

By simply making a deliberate shift of attention to your heart you will find the anxious thoughts dissipate more easily and the mental fog starts to gradually clear.

You can make this switch by practicing the art of gratitude.

I am sure you have heard of people speaking about the art of gratitude and the benefits it can bring to you.

Did you know that it has now been scientifically proven that regular practice of gratitude can dramatically change your bodies chemistry giving way to a more peaceful body and mind.

The Heart Math Institute has 15 years of scientific research proving that a simple tool like the art of gratitude can dramatically reduce stress and improve performance for individuals and organizations.

Many Fortune 500 companies are now starting to use this technique to reduce work related stress.

I am going to outline the technique briefly in a very straight forward exercise so you can start practicing right now.

When you practice this exercise you will feel a lightness and greater sense of perspective on any matter that has been troubling you. This activation of your heart emotion will lift the sensation that anxious thoughts create.

This is a very simple exercise but it is really powerful. Print it off and try it someplace where you can be alone.

Are you ready?

-Begin by closing your eyes and moving your attention to your heart area.

-Imagine a feeling of warmth emanating from the center of your chest.

If appropriate place your right hand there. If you are around people or driving etc. simply imagine your right hand resting on your heart area.

Imagine this area glowing warmly for one to two minutes.

-Now, begin to focus on something in your life that you feel a genuine sense of appreciation for.

This can be one or more things that you really appreciate having in your life (e.g., family, health, friends, work, your home, a beautiful day etc).

It is important to focus on things that spark a real sense of gratitude and appreciation. If you really appreciate the thing you are thinking about, you will immediately feel a response from that area by way of a light warm sensation in your chest or an involuntary smile (remember those).

It does not really matter what you think about as long as it evokes this feeling of warm appreciation from your heart area.

Don’t struggle with this exercise. Everyone has something they can be grateful for. (Remember, the cemetery is full of people who would love to have your problems!)

Do not worry if you are thinking of your partner/family and you do not feel this. Some days it will be people close to you that will spark the heart feeling, other days it may be gratitude for very simple things like the fresh air you breath. It depends on the mood you are in, -remember it is the feeling you after.

The feeling we are looking to achieve is unmistakable, it is a positive change in your emotional state.

I say it is best to do this exercise alone because you will need to stay with this feeling for as long as you can.

Then, when you feel you have taken it as far as you can, open your eyes.

There is no time frame on this exercise, it can be a few minutes to half an hour. Again it is about establishing a heart/mind connection and getting your awareness out of the anxious thoughts and more into your body.

After a few attempts you can incorporate this into your daily routine.

Do it in the car. Do it sitting at your desk. Do it before you sleep at night.

You have to practice it frequently. Just like a muscle your heart will get more accustomed to this state and you will be able to switch into that feeling in seconds.

With practice you can also use this exercise in the middle of any stressful situation. You will be surprised at the positive outcome in terms of your own stress levels and the change in others around you.

This simple exercise can completely transform the outcome of interacting with other people, be it work or personal relationships.

This is especially true where there is conflict or misunderstanding between you and other people. Try it out, see what happens!

Be creative with it and make it your own daily ritual for yourself.

I am sure you agree that it is a worthwhile exercise to incorporate into your daily life. It is my experience that most people do not have the patience or time to make major lifestyle changes. By using this one simple exercise you can make a dramatic improvement to the quality of your life.

The simplest things in life are free and this is one of those gems.

Don’t pass it up

Kind Regards, Barry Joe McDonagh

Learn more about Panic Away here: www.PanicAway.com

All material provided in these emails are for informational or educational purposes only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition

Find out more here at PanicAway

Janice Fox-Henley.AnxietyReliefCoach
Janice.CuringAnxiety@Gmail.com

Please Leave Me a Comment, Question, or Life Experience!

Public Speaking and Panic Attacks

Anxiety Girl In A Jar Logo

? I want to share with my Readers this article by Barry McDonagh, an international panic disorder coach.

Public Speaking and Panic Attacks

It is often observed that many people’s top ranking fear is not death but having to speak in public. The joke is that these people would rather be lying in the casket at the funeral than giving the eulogy.

Public speaking for people who suffer from panic attacks or general anxiety often becomes a major source of worry weeks or even months before the speaking event is to occur.

These speaking engagements do not necessarily have to be the traditional “on a podium” events but can be as simple as an office meeting where the individual is expected to express an opinion or give verbal feedback. The fear of public speaking and panic attacks in this case centers on having an attack while speaking.

The individual fears being incapacitated by the anxiety and hence unable to complete what he or she is saying. The person imagines fleeing the spotlight and having to make all kinds of excuses later for their undignified departure out the office window…

This differs slightly from the majority of people who fear public speaking because their fear tends to revolve around going blank while speaking or feeling uncomfortable under the spotlight of their peers.

The jitters or nerves of speaking in public are of course a problem for this group as well, but they are unfamiliar with that debilitating threat which is the panic attack, as they most likely have not experienced one before.

So how should a person with an anxiety issue tackle public speaking?

Stage one is accepting that all these bizarre and quite frankly unnerving sensations are not going to go away overnight. In fact, you are not even going to concern yourself with getting rid of them for your next talk. When they arrive during a speech/meeting, you are going to approach them in a new manner.

What we need to do is build your confidence back to where it used to be before any of these sensations ever occurred. This time you will approach it in a unique, empowering manner, allowing you to feel your confidence again.

It is said that most of the top speakers are riddled with anxiety before speaking, but they somehow use this nervousness to enhance their speech.

I am going to show you exactly how to do this, although I know that right now if you suffer from public speaking and panic attacks you may find it difficult to believe you can ever overcome it.

My first point is this and it is important. The average healthy person can experience an extreme array of anxiety and very uncomfortable sensations while giving a speech and is in no danger of ever losing control, or even appearing slightly anxious to the audience.

No matter how tough it gets, you will always finish your piece, even if at the outset it feels very uncomfortable to go on. You will not become incapacitated in any way.

The real breakthrough for if you suffer from public speaking and panic attacks happens when you fully believe that you are not in danger and that the sensations will pass.

“I realize you (the anxiety) hold no threat over me.”

What keeps a panic attack coming again and again is the fear of the fear—the fear that the next one will really knock your socks off and you feel you were lucky to have made it past the last one unscathed. As they were so unnerving and scary, it is your confidence that has been damaged by previous anxiety episodes.

Once you fully understand you are not under any threat, then you can have a new response to the anxiety as it arises while speaking.

Defeating public speaking and panic attacks…

There is always a turning point when a person moves from general anxiety into a panic attack, and that happens with public speaking when you think to yourself:

“I won’t be able to handle this in front of these people.”

That split second of self-doubt leads to a rush of adrenaline, and the extreme anxiety arrives in a wave like format. If, however, when you feel the initial anxiety and you react with confidence that this is not a threat to you, you will move out of the anxiety rapidly.

Using this new approach is a powerful ally because it means it is okay to feel scared and feel the anxiety when speaking–that is fine; you are going to feel it and move with and through the sensations in your body and out the other side. Because he or she is feeling very anxious, often before the talk has begun, that person may feel they have already let themselves down.

Now, you can relax on that point. It is perfectly natural to feel the anxiety. Take for example the worst of the sensations you have ever experienced in this situation—be it general unease to loss of breath. You will have an initial automatic reaction that says:

“Danger–I’m going to have an episode of anxiety here and I really can’t afford that to happen.”

At this point most people react to that idea and confirm it must be true because of all of the unusual feelings they are experiencing. This is where your thinking can lead you down a train of thought that creates a cycle of anxiety that produces a negative impact on your overall presenting skills.

So let that initial “oh dear, not now” thought pass by, and follow it up immediately with the attitude of:

“There you are–I’ve been wondering when you would arrive. I’ve been expecting you to show up—by the way, I am not in the least threatened by any of the strange sensations you are creating—I am completely safe here.”

The key to controlling your fear of public speaking and panic attacks is that instead of pushing the emotional energy and excitement down into your stomach, you are moving out through it. Your body is in a slightly excited state, exactly as it should be while giving a speech, so release that energy in your self-expression. Push it out through your presentation not down into your stomach.

You push it out by expressing yourself more forcefully. In this way you turn the anxiety to your advantage by using it to deliver a speech where you come across more alive, energetic and in the present moment. When you notice the anxiety drop as it does when you willingly move into it.

Fire a quick thought off when you get a momentary break (as I am sure you have between pieces), asking it for “more.” You want more of its intense feelings as you are interested in them and are absolutely not threatened by them.

It seems like a lot of things to be thinking about while talking to a group of people, but it is not really. You’d be amazed how many different non-related thoughts you can have while speaking. This approach is about adopting a new attitude of confidence to what you might have deemed a serious threat up until now.

This tactic will truly help you with fear of public speaking and panic attacks you have associated with them.

If your predominant fear of the speaking engagement is driven by a feeling of being trapped, then I would suggest factoring in some mental releases that can be prepared before the event. For example, some meetings/speeches allow for you to turn the attention back to the room to get feedback etc. from the group.

If possible, you might want to prepare such opportunities in your own mind before the engagements. This is not to say you have to ever use them, but people in this situation often remark that just having small opportunities where attention can be diverted for the briefest of moments can make the task seem less daunting.

It my even be something as simple as having people introduce themselves or opening the floor to questions. I realize these diversions are not always possible and depend on the situation, but anything you can factor in that makes you feel less trapped or under the spotlight is worth the effort and can help alleviate fear of public speaking and panic attacks.

Learn more

Barry Joe McDonagh is an international panic disorder coach. His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here: http://www.panicportal.com

This article is copywritten material.

Learn more here about PanicAway by Barry Joe McDonagh!

Janice Fox-Henley.AnxietyReliefCoach
Janice.CuringAnxiety@Gmail.com

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