Is There a Cure For Anxiety?
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress

Is There a Cure For Anxiety?

No.

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No?

OK. Fair enough.

I know it’s probably the last thing you want to hear, but let me instantly reassure you – anxiety not having a cure isn’t a bad thing.

When I was desperately looking for a cure for my anxiety, I’d have done anything to get it. If you’d told me putting my head in a vice for two weeks would cure my anxiety, I’d have done it.

It took me many years of despair, frustration and kissing of frogs before I discovered a cure for anxiety doesn’t exist. I’m hoping I can save you anymore heartache. I know the pain of looking and hoping and not finding.

But as I just mentioned, anxiety not having a cure isn’t a bad thing. It just means we have to look at it in a slightly different way. Before we do that, here’s some random comedy to lighten the mood.

Is there a cure for anxiety?

(‘Cause that’s the thing about anxiety. It has a habit of making things way too serious – hence us looking for cures for it every five minutes.)

Here’s what I mean about looking at anxiety differently.

If we had a life-threatening disease or condition, like cancer, we’d want a cure. We’d want rid of it. We’d want to say goodbye to it and hope that it never returns. Anxiety is different – however you look at it.

Anxiety is, and will continue to be, a fixed part of our lives. We don’t need a cure for something we depend on – something we need for our very survival.

Quick example: You’re crossing the road and a car is coming at you pretty quickly. What is it that tells you to run across the road rather than get hit? Your fight or flight, right? In other words, your anxiety (fear).

How does the prospect of getting rid of that sound now?

We don’t need a cure.

Anxiety might come with unwanted feelings, but it’s part of the life experience. It’s like when we get angry, sad, or just generally feel shitty about ourselves. It’s not nice, but it’s part of the overall emotional experience we go through as humans. We wouldn’t know what it was like to be happy if we didn’t know what it was like to feel shitty.

We accept that getting angry and sad is part of life, but we’re still hung up on getting anxious. We see anxiety as a weakness and something we need to get rid of.

If we’re going to change how we feel about anxiety, including our relationship with it, that has to change.

One of the things that confuse us the most is Dr Google.

Dr Google

If you pop in ‘cure for anxiety’ into Dr Google (and I don’t recommend you do), there won’t be a shortage of companies and people offering you one. They’re normally in the shape of medicines, programmes and methods.

With so much on offer, we can be forgiven for thinking we’re the issue. We’ll think, ‘Maybe I just haven’t tried the right thing yet?’. Add a money back guarantee, and you think you’ve got nothing to lose. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We end up jumping from one ‘cure’ to the next.

Some will help for a while, and you’ll think you’ve finally cracked it. That is until you face a challenge, and that familiar feeling starts coming back to haunt you.

All of this is because dealing with anxiety is a life’s journey.

As you grow, so do the challenges you face. In other words, the way you faced anxiety when you were fifteen years of age will be different to how you face it when you’re fifty.

Anxiety isn’t a one-size-fits-all.

It’s unhealthy and damn frustrating to keep jumping from one ‘cure’ to the next. You’ll never get anywhere. But when you change how you view anxiety, including your relationship with it, you’ll start changing how you feel towards it.

It’s all in the management and balance

The quickest way to change your relationship with your anxiety is to stop thinking and believing you need a cure and, instead, know that dealing with anxiety comes with managing it better. And that’s where balance comes into play.

When you’re dealing with anxiety (or high anxiety as I call it), you’re dealing with higher than normal levels of anxiety.

The key to overcoming that period of high anxiety is to aim to get back to a better place of balance.

Notice my terminology here: ‘period of high anxiety.’

All high anxiety is temporary. To some, this period of time might seem like a lifetime. And I hear you because I felt the same. But high anxiety is always temporary. There was a time in your life when it didn’t affect you as badly as you feel it is now. That means you know what it feels like, no matter how badly high anxiety is clouding your mind right now.

You have to know that, with the right answers and a bit of action, you can manage your anxiety better. You can change your relationship with it. You can spend a lot more of your time in a better place of balance. You can make your journey better.

Do yourself a favour and stop looking for that elusive cure. Stop going around in circles, trapped in a cycle that pulls you from pillar to post.

Start taking control and find those answers that will make the difference for you.

If any of this has struck a chord with you, check out my bestseller, Anxiety Rebalance. It will give you more of the answers you’re looking for.

How the 80/20 Rule Will Help You Deal With Your Worry and Anxiety
Anxiety, Fear, Happiness, Self-Confidence, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

How the 80/20 Rule Will Help You Deal With Your Worry and Anxiety

The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, shows us why 80% of our worry (and the anxiety that comes with it) is made up by us.

Watch the full workshop in the Rebalance Club.


If you haven’t heard of the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle), the basic principle of it is that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Effects of what? Causes of what? I hear you say.

Anything.

That’s the whole point of the Pareto Principle. It relates to anything – and it’s surprisingly accurate in relation to anything.

Seeing as I spend most of my time in the world of anxiety, and seeing as you’re probably here because you want to manage your anxiety better, I thought it might help us with managing our anxiety. And it does. Massively.

When I discovered the principle and how accurate it was, it helped me appreciate just how much of my worry, anxiety and stress was real and how much was made up by me.

In other words, it helped me see and appreciate that I was my own worst enemy!

How the 80/20 rule relates to overcoming anxiety

The Pareto Principle is such a powerful and accurate principle, it’s well worth us translating its meaning into overcoming anxiety. And that’s the bit I want to help you with.

When we link the 80/20 rule with overcoming anxiety, it shows us that 8/10 of your problems don’t exist.

That’s a decent bit of knowledge to have – especially when it comes to reducing our anxiety.

You’ll have about 60,000 thoughts tomorrow. If you’re dealing with high anxiety, most of those thoughts will be worrying ones. You know the type of worrying thoughts I’m talking about. They normally start with ‘what if…?’. They’re thoughts based on us trying to predict the future and worrying about the past (what’s already happened).

Summed up: Overthinking.

What the Pareto Principle shows us is out of all those worrying thoughts you have, 8 out of 10 of them won’t be real. 8 out of 10 of the things causing you anxiety is made up by you.

On the flipside of that, it means that roughly 20% of the things you worry about are worth worrying about. They’re the things worth spending your time on. And when you spend your time on those things, they make a difference to your life.

What does this knowledge do for you?

I’m hoping it does two things:

  1. It helps you appreciate that nearly all of your worry, and therefore all of your anxiety, is made up by you. That means that when you start taking more control the impact can be significant.
  2. It instantly reassures you to know that your problems and worries aren’t as big and overwhelming as you thought they were. When you focus on the 2/10 things that count, it gives you the confidence to know you can handle it.

Try it for yourself.

If you’ve read this and think the 80/20 rule is a bit of a crock, or you’re still not convinced, try it for yourself.

When you wake up tomorrow, have a piece of paper and pen handy, and write down every worrying type thought you have throughout the day, no matter how big or small.

At the end of the day, go through your list and tick all the thoughts you had that were made up – all the worrying thoughts that were not real – things that didn’t happen.

I’d be very surprised if at least 80% of those thoughts on your list weren’t ticked.

BTW – If you’ve got all your predictions for the future 100% accurate, please get in touch. You and I can make some serious money.

The Rebalance Club

3 Big Myths About Sleep, Insomnia And Anxiety
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Stress, Success & Wellbeing, Work-life Balance

3 Big Myths About Sleep, Insomnia And Anxiety

Channel 4’s The Secrets of Sleep expert and leading Sleep Physiologist, Stephanie Romiszewski, gave us some big insights into sleep problems and insomnia related to anxiety.

Watch the full video in the Rebalance Club.


Stephanie is a rebel.

You have to admire anyone who is willing to take a big subject, like sleep, and challenge the status quo.

Sleep, like anxiety, is one of those things where lots of people have lots of different opinions. One ‘expert’ will tell you something different to another ‘expert’.

What I liked about Stephanie’s approach is how open she is to all methods and solutions for sleep problems and insomnia, but rather than just blindly practising those methods (like most other ‘experts’ do), she is keen to add a new approach.

By having a new approach, Stephanie is breaking some of the myths around sleep problems (including anxiety-related insomnia) and giving us some real solutions we can work with.

Here are the top three myths about sleep problems, insomnia and anxiety we uncovered.

Myth #1: Relaxation and sleep are connected

When we think of sleeping, we think of relaxing. The two things naturally go together. But they’re not actually connected. I know, crazy, right!

When I asked Stephanie if she recommended any sleep apps, including sleep trackers, she said no, not really. Why? Because there is no research to suggest that relaxation will help you get to sleep.

We should be aiming to relax in the day, rather than when we go to bed at night.

If you want to use apps and methods to help you deal with stress and anxiety, they’re more useful in the day than at night. And when you think about it, it makes sense. How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you start your day feeling relaxed by controlling your anxiety and stress from the get-go, your day will continue in the same fashion, and you’ll go to bed feeling the same way.

That will put you in a much better position to sleep well, rather than try to force relaxation when it’s sleepy time.

Myth #2: The time you go to bed is more important than the time you wake up

The media have done a great job at scaremongering us into thinking we need to go to bed at the same sensible time every night, which is why most of us hit the pillow and don’t feel sleepy.

I don’t know about you, but I hate going to bed and feeling pressurised to sleep when I don’t feel tired. Sometimes, it almost feels like I’m forcing myself to get those eight hours.

Going to bed at the same time every night is not the key to good, consistent sleep. It’s the time you get up in the morning that is more important!

Stephanie suggests that the best time to go to bed is when you’re ‘sleepy tired’ – when you’re literally nodding off in your chair. If you do that and wake up at the same time every day, that will build up enough ‘awake time’ to get a good consistent pattern of sleep.

The key to making this work is getting up at the same time, every day.

Myth #3: Sleep deprivation is the same as insomnia

I can relate to this, big style!

Feeling fatigued (like crap) is a common symptom of anxiety and stress. The overthinking and worry zaps your energy, so you feel like a zombie.

When anxiety was crippling me, all I wanted to do was sleep all day. And I did. Some days I’d sleep for sixteen hours straight. That’s why on the Rebalance Scale in Anxiety Rebalance, sleep is at the bottom of the scale – because it represents low mood (depression) and low energy.

On the flipside of that, I also went through long periods of sleep deprivation. At the time, if you’d have asked me why I looked like a drooling zombie, I’d have said it was down to insomnia. But it wasn’t. I was sleep deprived, and that is a different thing.

Where I went wrong is I didn’t get the pattern right. I was either sleeping too much or too little. I had no routine or benchmark to set a better pattern.

The conclusion and action to take.

If anxiety is preventing you from going to sleep, try going to bed when you feel ‘sleepy tired’ – when your head is nodding. It doesn’t matter what time it is, go to bed then. The trick to making this work is getting up at the same time every day. Set your alarm and don’t sleep past it, no matter how tired you feel when you wake up. That will build up enough ‘awake time’, and if you stay patient and do this consistently enough, you’ll eventually sort out your sleeping pattern.

You might feel tired and drained in the day, but if you can get through that pain barrier, you’ll want to sleep at night. You’ll get a decent night’s sleep and getting up in the morning won’t be the heavy task it was before.

The Rebalance Club

7 Popular Relaxation Techniques To Overcome Stress - Carl Vernon
Anxiety, Happiness, Health & Diet, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress, Success & Wellbeing, Work-life Balance

7 Popular Relaxation Techniques To Overcome Stress

The first step to overcoming stress is to get into a less frantic, more relaxed state of mind. How can we relax when we’re feeling stressed, and what are the best relaxation techniques to use?

When we’re stressed, we’ve got a couple of options.

  1. Stay frantic and let the stress continue to pile up and get worse.
  2. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and take control.

Overcoming stress is an impossible task when we’re feeling overwhelmed and frantic. We need to get into a better mental place to start dealing with it.

You can’t deal with stress unless you’re in a good mental space. Trying to overcome stress with a stressed mind is like trying to fight fire with fire. (Pointless.)

That’s why creating a more relaxed mental space is crucial for dealing with stress – it gives us the very best chance of overcoming our stress and managing it better.

Let’s take a step back, take a deep breath, and stop stress from taking over. Let’s get the control back.

Here are seven popular relaxation techniques you can use to overcome stress and stop it from controlling you, including videos to help.

The Rebalance Club - Carl Vernon

#1: Deep breathing

When you practise deep breathing, you breathe in slowly and deeply, while expanding your belly, allowing your diaphragm to contract. Breathing in this way sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax, which makes it effective for dealing with stress. It is a simple and versatile technique that can be learned and used immediately.


#2: Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is a great technique for releasing tension in your muscles: you tense a muscle for a few seconds and then relax it. For example, try clenching your fist for a few seconds and then letting go, releasing the tension so your hand is as loose as possible. Your hand should feel relaxed after doing this a few times. You can use this technique on any muscle in your body, so if you have a particularly tense area, you can concentrate on that. The typical areas of the body that affect us are the neck, chest, face and shoulders. If you do this daily, you will condition your muscles to relax much more freely and naturally.


#3: Physical exercise

You need an outlet for your tension so it’s not trapped inside you and used to create more stress and negative energy. Physical exercise is a great way to release tension, due to the fact you burn energy and feel like you’ve accomplished something.

Here’s a little trick to help you get to the gym more often.

Yoga and tai chi are known to improve breathing and relaxation and are therefore good for stress and tension. If you’re more of a football or boxing fan, join your local club. The aim is to find a physical activity you enjoy.

Group exercise

Here’s a top tip: Try a group exercise class. Being around other people gives you extra motivation, and you achieve more. Plus, you get to meet new people.


#4: Mental exercise

You can channel the release of tension through healthy mental exertion. I can, however, think of a few board games that increase tension rather than reduce it, so if it becomes counterproductive, avoid it! Sitting down to do a crossword is relaxing for some people, and stressful for others. Use your common sense: if it’s not helping you reduce your stress, try something else.


#5: Meditation/Mindfulness

Meditation

Although I don’t practise meditation or mindfulness, I make sure I find a moment to relax every day, especially if I’m busy and find myself dealing with extra stress. People have told me meditation and mindfulness has helped reduce their stress and anxiety, improved their mood, and been good for their insomnia – so it could do the same for you. Meditation takes time to perfect, but if it’s something you would like to explore, you’ll find apps and videos on YouTube that will help get you started.


#6: Have a clear-out

It feels very therapeutic to have a good clear-out. The more possessions we have, the more emotional attachment we have to them. This emotional attachment isn’t always negative, and you’ll probably have possessions that bring you great joy and comfort, like your favourite jumper or chair. At the end of your clear-out, I don’t expect you to have an empty home! However, there will be some items you just don’t need (or want) any more. A good clear-out can make you feel lighter and clearer. I do it regularly. When I looked at my wardrobe I noticed I tended to wear the same selection of clothing all the time, so I packed up all the clothes I hadn’t worn for a year and sent them to a charity shop. eBay is marvellous for raising some extra funds from unwanted stuff. You might be surprised by how much you can raise. Maybe you could put the money you raise towards a trip, or course?

The TEDx talk by the Minimalists, A rich life with less stuff, explains this well.


#7: A change of scenery

If you’re constantly looking at the same four walls, talking to the same people, or doing the same monotonous tasks or job, you’re not presenting your brain with the variety and challenge it needs and deserves. Predictability is boring, and boredom leads to unwanted feelings, including feeling trapped, leading to stress and tension. So spice up your life a little. Take a relaxing break, change your scenery, and do something out of the ordinary.

Now is a good time . . .

The Rebalance Club - Carl Vernon

6 Ways to Crush Social Anxiety - Carl Vernon
Anxiety, Fear, Happiness, Self-Confidence, Social Anxiety, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

6 Ways to Boost Your Social Confidence

It’s time to ditch the social awkwardness so you can focus on having a good time and achieve more socially.

Most socially anxious people will avoid social and business gatherings, like parties, weddings and meetings, like the plague.

I know I used to.

I spent years trying to mask how I really felt in social situations by hiding my gut-wrenching lack of confidence with pointless head nodding and fake smiling.

I think I got away with it.

But it’s no good just getting away with social unconfidence using fakery.

Fakery is just a mask used to cover up how we really feel. Eventually, the faking catches up with us, the mask falls off, and we have nowhere left to hide.

Seeing friends, social gatherings and business events – and basically having a good time – shouldn’t be destroyed by a lack of confidence. Especially when you consider that confidence is a skill that anyone can grow.

Confidence is a skill that anyone can grow - Carl Vernon

And that includes social confidence.

Knowing that you can grow the skill of social confidence means you can take a different approach. With practice, you can look to develop your social confidence skills until you reach a point you look forward to seeing people. (Maybe even have a good time.)

Here are six ways to boost your social confidence so you can ditch being shy, meek, socially awkward and anxious.

The Rebalance Club - Carl Vernon

#1: Ditch the silence

Socially anxious people are quiet. They don’t say much and prefer to stay on the outside of a conversation. This isn’t always the case. Some confident people are thinkers and prefer to listen than talk. But you know the difference. The unconfident, silent and socially anxious type get embarrassed when they’re asked for their opinion, whereas a thinker will give it without delay. A socially anxious person would prefer the floor to swallow them up rather than face the prospect of speaking in public.

Boosting social confidence means speaking out.

However uncomfortable you might feel, get involved in the conversation and get in the habit of speaking out and voicing your opinion. ‘Public speaking’ doesn’t necessarily mean getting on stage. Whenever you’re in public and talking that is public speaking. That means you’re practising public speaking just by speaking with a friend.

Whatever the circumstance or situation, there is no room for complete silence. Keep practising speaking out and voicing your opinion, whether that’s with one friend or in a group of twenty.

#2: Be comfortable in your own skin

Socially confident people are comfortable in their own skin. They know they’re not perfect (because there is no such thing), and embrace and accept their imperfections as much are their strong points. This includes both their looks and personality.

Socially anxious people are constantly looking at themselves in the mirror and worrying about what other people are thinking about them. They focus on their imperfections and, by doing so, convince themselves that they’re not good enough and nobody would ever want them.

Boosting social confidence means the ability to recognise both your imperfections and strong points – and be comfortable with both.

By accepting the fact you’re not perfect you’ll stop striving for perfection. You’ll get instant freedom and immense satisfaction from that. You’ll start to feel more comfortable in your own skin, and that will ooze out of you as self-confidence.

#3: Be forthcoming and say hello

Socially confident people say ‘hi’ first. They introduce themselves without the need to be asked. They are approachable and generous with their attention and time. They know how to use their ears as well as their month, listening intently, taking in every bit of valuable information. They are honest and don’t see value in lying or the need to boast.

Socially anxious people avoid introductions. They flit from one thing to the next without focusing their attention on one specific thing, including conversations. Due to their insecurities, it’s common for a socially anxious person to talk too much, not listen, and exaggerate the truth – to make themselves and their lives sound perfect. Imperfections and insecurities are seen as negatives, rather than something we all have.

Boosting social confidence means introducing yourself first and saying ‘hi’ even in uncomfortable and intimidating social environments.

Be disciplined when it comes to communication, be sure to listen, and make an effort to remember someone’s name – that alone will go a long way. When you are more forthcoming with your attention and time, your ability to influence others will take huge steps. You’ll embrace those imperfections and insecurities and use them to your advantage.

#4: Believe in yourself

Socially confident people know the difference between arrogance and self-belief. They know that they can’t win unless they first believe they can. That’s why they wouldn’t enter a competition unless they know they can win it. This isn’t to say that they are as physically or mentally capable as their competition. Socially confident people know that on many occasions they will be the underdog, but that doesn’t stop them from believing they can win. That’s not arrogance – that is strong self-belief.

Socially anxious people have little self-belief, with insecurity pushing them towards arrogance. Being arrogant makes up for their lack of depth and skill. Underneath the skin their self-image is meek. They have very little confidence in their ability to win and because their belief system is weak a win is a rare occurrence. It’s easier to blame external factors for a loss.

Boosting social confidence means believing you can win, whatever the circumstance.

It means painting a better self-image so you can compete with the best. When you build your self-belief by knowing you can win, minus the arrogance, you will win much more frequently.

#5: Get comfortable with being judged

Socially confident people are comfortable being judged because they understand that being judged will always be part of life – especially if they’re doing things that challenge the status quo. It’s human nature to judge, and confident people know that there will be people in their life (sometimes very close to them) who will try and clip their wings as they try to fly. They don’t take this personally and use criticism as a form of feedback to help them on their journey to achieving their goals. They understand that in the pursuit of their goals they will receive negative judgement as well as positive judgement.

Socially confident people also realise that judging others is no good for them, as it only keeps them in a negative state of mind. They keep their minds sharp and focused by concentrating on what’s important (their goals) and are too busy to get involved in drama and gossip (toxic behaviour).

Boosting social confidence means getting comfortable with being judged.

When you can use both negative and positive feedback to your advantage, don’t lose focus on your goals or get trapped in toxic behaviour, your social confidence will hit an all-time high.

#6: Adapt to your environment

Socially confident people appreciate the crucial need to adapt to their environment. They know that things are constantly changing around them. Unless they keep up with that change, they know they’ll be left behind. The best example of adaptability is in business. Businesses led by socially confident people change and evolve with the times. They embrace new systems and technology because they know putting investment into these things will pay dividends.

Socially unconfident people are scared of change and don’t adapt well to their environment. They believe that things should adapt around them and their values, which results in them being left behind. Rather than tackle a situation they will leave it in the hope that it fixes itself. (It never does.) That’s why businesses led by socially incompetent people stay rooted in the Stone Age.

Boosting social confidence means adapting to your environment and being comfortable with change.

The quickest and simplest route to making this happen is to appreciate everything is change. Nothing stays the same, including you.

The Rebalance Club - Carl Vernon

What can I do when panic attacks? Carl Vernon
Anxiety, Fear, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety

5 Crucial Choices To Make When Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are one of the worst physical symptoms of anxiety. What can we do when panic hits us, and what choices do we have?

At that moment, when panic attacks, it consumes us.

Panic convinces us that we’re trapped, and we’re so focused on our survival and getting through the panic, we forget that we do have options and choices.

Choices seem like the last thing we have when panic sets in, but we can do more than just allow the panic to consume us and take over.

Feeling trapped and believing our only option is to suffer the panic is part of the trick of panic. It’s a big reason why panic attacks are allowed to continue.

When we appreciate that we do have one more than choice, we can start to look at panic attacks in a different way.

We can look to control and stop them.

Here are five of our most popular reactions to panic attacks. One of them will make all the difference.

The Rebalance Club - Carl Vernon

Choice #1: Fuel the fear and run

Drop everything.

Throw the shopping basket on the floor, and run for your life.

Keep moving forward – run, walk, jog – do anything, as long as people can’t see the sweat on your forehead and the panic on your face as you have a panic attack. That would cause you great embarrassment.

What would people think if they could see me?

What people think matters, so continue to worry about what people are thinking and allow that worry and fear to stoke the fire (panic).

Like a steam train, watch as your fear keeps your panic chugging away and continues to get worse as you stoke the fire.

Choice #2: Question your sanity

Are these symptoms real?

Are they life-threatening?

Is it just indigestion?

Is it a migraine?

Should I call for an ambulance? I might look stupid.

Allow all the ‘what if. . .?’ thoughts to continue to fuel the panic and produce more thoughts about scenarios that will never happen.

Keep questioning your sanity and convincing yourself that you’re not normal.

Allow these negative beliefs to fuel your panic further.

Choice #3: Search Dr Google

Get out your phone or laptop and frantically type in your symptoms on Google.

Fuel the panic further as you read through the symptoms and life-threatening results, believing every word of them.

Spend the rest of your life in and out of doctor’s surgeries, getting more frustrated and disillusioned with every visit.

Make lots of trips to the hospital, seeing specialists and having tests, looking for a diagnosis – one you know you won’t get because deep down you know it’s anxiety.

Allow the constant need for reassurance to keep fuelling your panic.

Choice #4: Fight the panic

Fight the symptoms of panic.

Have a battle with the anxiety and panic, even though you know you can never win against something that is naturally within us all.

Continue to beat yourself up and become more and more disillusioned as you convince yourself your life will never change.

Waste all your energy so you get to a point where you feel like you have no fight left in you – vital energy that could have been used to overcome the panic.

Allow your lack of energy to continue the panic.

Choice #5: Accept the symptoms, stand firm, don’t fight and don’t stoke the fire

Accept the symptoms of panic, and when it hits, don’t fight it.

Say to yourself:

‘I recognise that I’m having a panic attack, but I also accept that it won’t last. It never has. No matter how much I panic, I know it’s never caused me any physical harm. I know it’s a fact that it can’t.’

Get immediate confidence and reassurance by knowing that a panic attack isn’t going to harm you – because it can’t.

A panic attack has NEVER caused physical harm to anyone.

It’s the unknown and ‘what if’s…’ that fuel the panic. This knowledge will help you get rid of these things instantly.

Stand firm, and recognise that, like a bully, panic feeds off fear.

When you give it nothing to feed on, the panic goes away.

Face the panic head-on, and shout out: ‘DO YOUR WORST!’. Shout it out in your head if you can’t do it publicly. Don’t worry about what other people are doing or thinking – that is not your worry or concern.

When you face the panic head-on, it won’t get worse. It will get better.

As your anger, determination and confidence grow, feel the symptoms continue to subside.

Know that when you don’t stoke the fire, panic has nothing to feed off.

As your panic is almost gone, smile. Thank anxiety for keeping you safe. Reassure it, and tell it, on this occasion it wasn’t needed. It was simply a false alarm.

Keep doing the things and visiting the places that cause you to panic, and keep telling your brain you’re OK. No need to panic.

With time and practise, watch as your anxiety and panic triggers ease each time you do these things – until you reach the point you no longer panic.


Choice #5 comes with its challenges. Facing up to a bully isn’t easy. But I can assure you of this: it is no more of a challenge than facing the prospect of being bullied by panic attacks for the rest of your life.

Which choice will you make? I like #5.

The Rebalance Club - Carl Vernon

Why does my toxic boss cause me stress and anxiety - Carl Vernon
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Panic Attacks, Self-Confidence, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

Why Does My Toxic Boss Cause Me Stress & Anxiety?

Toxic bosses are way up there when it comes to our stress and anxiety levels. How can you spot a toxic boss and, more importantly, what can you do about it?

The title of this post is Why Does My Toxic Boss Cause Me Stress & Anxiety?

The answer to the question is in the title.

A ‘toxic’ anything will always cause you stress and anxiety. Whether that be a toxic partner, friend, whoever.

But there is something extra shitty about contending with a toxic boss.

There are standout reasons why a toxic boss is consistently voted as one of the top causes of our stress and anxiety. Here’s just a few:

1. If you work full-time, you’ll be spending most of your time at work. That means you probably spend more time with your boss than you do your family!

2. There seem to be enough toxic bosses to go around the equator, twice. Because of that, the chances of you getting a toxic boss are moderate to high.

Let’s have a look at some toxic boss traits and the ways to deal with them. When we can identify a toxic boss, we can do something about them.

The Rebalance Club - Carl Vernon

How to identify a toxic boss

Toxic bosses generally come in three categories.

#1: They know they’re a toxic boss but want to improve.

#2: They don’t know they’re a toxic boss.

#3: They know they’re a toxic boss but just don’t care.

Category number one isn’t too bad because they’re aware of their behaviour, and they’re trying to improve. If your toxic boss falls into this category there’s a good chance with time things might get better.

It’s category number two and three that you need to be most aware of.

These are the two categories that are the most dangerous and severe on your stress and anxiety levels.

If your boss doesn’t know they are toxic, who is going to tell them or convince them that something needs to change? And if your boss knows they are toxic but just doesn’t care, well, that’s as bad as it gets.

Whichever category your toxic boss falls under, there is no doubt they are making your life a living hell and something needs to be done!

Before we look at the three steps that will help you deal with a toxic boss, let’s have a look at some of the usual toxic boss traits. (Just in case you were in any doubt.)

A toxic boss:

  • Micromanages.
  • Gets you to do things he wouldn’t do himself.
  • Excessively controls everything (even though they are crap at what they do and they get it wrong – badly wrong – and then blames you).
  • Looks after herself above anyone else.
  • Is always right.
  • Asks you to do something and then asks you why you did it the next day.
  • Is late and often absent when really needed.
  • Has no direction for their team or themselves.
  • Steals the glory.
  • Uses bullying tactics to get what they want.

You can probably add a few of your own to this list?

OK. So we’ve identified the most dangerous toxic bosses and toxic boss traits. Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty and discover how to deal with them.

Here are three steps to deal with a toxic boss.

How to deal with a toxic boss

STEP #1: Take responsibility and take control

A toxic boss’ behaviour is fundamentally based on bullying. And like all bullies, they can only successfully bully you if you are prepared to be a victim.

It’s important you understand this statement correctly.

Most people don’t choose to be a victim. You wouldn’t wait in a queue to sign up to get a toxic boss. Having a bad boss isn’t your fault. But allowing yourself to be a victim is your responsibility.

You have to take ownership of the issue (the toxic boss) if you’re going to do something about it.

And that means taking responsibility for the situation.

You can’t control your bad boss. It’s up to him how he acts. Trying to take control of him will most likely lead to more despair and disappointment.

Instead, take control of yourself – the thing that you do have control over.

Take responsibility by establishing what your boundaries are. Make the decision that you are no longer going to allow these boundaries to be breached by your toxic boss – that you are no longer going to be a victim and you’re going to do something about it.

Once you’ve come to this conclusion, the next step is to confront the behaviour.

STEP #2: Confront the behaviour

Nobody said confronting a bully is going to be easy.

But here’s the deal: It’s no more difficult than the prospect of working for a toxic boss for the rest of your life, being a victim, and suffering all the stress and anxiety that comes with that.

The stress and anxiety you get from confronting your toxic boss is nothing compared to the stress and anxiety you get from not doing it.

Common sense and logic will tell you that there is no sense in suffering.

The same goes for the fear of facing your manager. 

The fear of facing your boss will never be as bad as the fear you get from not doing it – including the prospect of continuing to work for them for the next ten years.

Being assertive and not aggressive, you have to be prepared to confront your toxic boss and communicate how you feel and why you feel that way.

There is no moving forward unless there is communication.

If you can’t communicate with your toxic boss, move on. It’s a lost cause.

In this scenario, if you think it’s worthwhile talking to someone more senior, go ahead. It might not be your job to tell your toxic boss how bad they are. Just be realistic and mindful that this could cause further issues with your toxic boss – especially if they’re not open to improvement.

Once you’ve confronted the behaviour, the final step is to stick to your boundaries.

STEP #3: Stick to your boundaries

If you stop a bully from stealing your lunch money on Monday, but he tries again on Tuesday and you let him take it, he’ll just keep coming back for your lunch money and doing what he knows he can keep getting away with.

Consistency is the key to change.

Set your boundaries and stick to them at all costs.

Show your toxic boss (the bully) that you mean business.

You ain’t shifting, no matter what.

If anyone is shifting, it’s them – not you.

If you’re prepared to stick to your boundaries at all costs, there will be a few things that happen.

  • Like all bullies, your toxic boss will get tired of trying to bully you and will stop trying.
  • Your toxic boss will find another victim. (If you care for them, you’ll get them to read this too.)
  • Eventually, your toxic boss will get found out and fired. If the company you work for is any good, this will always be the case.

All of these options look pretty good, don’t they?

The Rebalance Club - Carl Vernon