Small steps is all it takes
Anxiety, Fear, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety

17 Small But Powerful Steps You Can Take To Deal With Anxiety and Panic Instantly

Anxiety and panic want to keep you trapped.

They want to hold you with their grubby paws and keep you rooted to the same spot.

When anxiety and panic are consuming you, it’s deciding to take a small step in a different direction that will produce a different result.

Small steps are all it takes.

It’s the small steps that will take you in a different direction and make all the difference for you.

These small steps will break the pattern of anxiety and panic, so they no longer have a hold on you.

The next time anxiety and panic are trying to grip you, give these 17 small but powerful steps a try. They could produce a very different result for you.

#1: Point your body where you want your mind to go

When you get anxious and panicky, you naturally want to stay in the same spot. By doing that, you’re allowing all the worrying thoughts to consume you. Get up. Go do something. Anything but stay in the same spot. When you change your physical state, you change your mental state.

Point your body where you want your mind to go - Carl Vernon

#2: Close off the ‘what if…’

What if… what? Don’t jump from one what if scenario to the next. Finish off the what if… Rational thinking will tell you things rarely ever get as bad as your worrying thoughts will have you believe.

#3: Become present

The past has gone. The future hasn’t happened yet. The only thing that is real is this moment, right now. Let this profound appreciation melt your trouble away.

#4: Go for a walk, jog, run or drive

This is a reminder of point #1 because it’s the most effective. Go see what nature can offer you. Breathe in the air. Go for a drive, even if you have nowhere in particular to be. Anything but stay rooted to the same spot.

#5: Go people watch

Get out of the house and go to a cafe or some other public place. Just sit and observe. Take in your surroundings and get out of your head.

#6: Put your headphones on

Silence is a breeding ground for worrying thoughts. Listen to some music – any music. Let it influence your mood. 

#7: Get away from negativity

Is someone (a toxic person) increasing your anxiety and panic? Get away from them. Distance yourself from them until you feel you’re in a better mental place to deal with them (if you have to).

#8: Talk

When you internalise your anxiety and panic, it makes it ten times worse than it actually is. Talk about how you’re feeling. Speak to a friend or family member. If you need someone impartial, speak to a counsellor.

#9: Watch some comedy

You might not feel like laughing, but that’s the point. You’ve got to make an effort to change your state of mind if you want a different state of mind. Put your favourite funny film or comedian on, and let the laughter in.

#10: Get angry

Anger is an emotion that will supersede anxiety and panic. Get angry. Tell the internal bully you’re no longer willing to put up with the BS.

#11: Get grateful

Like anger, gratitude is an emotion that supersedes anxiety and panic. When you’re grateful for what you have, rather than worrying about what you haven’t got, that is a powerful state of mind.

#12: Let go

Immediately embrace the fact that you don’t have 100% control. Let go of that need to control. Set it free.

#13: K.I.S.S

Keep It Simple, Stupid. Anxiety has a habit of overcomplicating everything. Have you taken a second to really appreciate what you’re getting anxious and panicky about? Is it worth it?

#14: Lower your expectations

You’re a perfectionist. You want things to be perfect. Yet, they never will be. Let go of the perfectionism and accept that what you do and who you are is good enough.

#15: Stay away from Dr Google

Doctors come in all shapes and sizes, good and bad. There is no worse doctor than Dr Google. He has the worst case scenario and diagnosis for any anxiety-related symptom you can type. Stay away from his surgery.

#16: Don’t care as much

Sounds a little cold, but being highly anxious and panicky means you’re caring too much about something. Try not caring as much.

#17: Remember who you are

You’ve got through 100% of your problems. It’s why you’re here. Don’t let anxiety or panic convince you that you’re weak. You’re not. You’re strong. Stronger than you give yourself credit for. Remember that the next time anxiety and panic tries to mess with you.

Anxiety Rebalance
Panic Attacks - Stop the bully
Anxiety, Fear, Panic Attacks, Toxic People

Panic Attacks: Stop The Bully

We’ve all faced a bully at some point.

School, work, college, home – they’re everywhere.

They exist because they can.

There are two sides to bullying. (1) the bully, and (2) the victim.

For a bully to do what they do, there needs to be a victim.

You might not have chosen to get bullied, but being a victim is a choice.

When it comes to being bullied by panic attacks, we can choose not to be a victim any longer.

The surprising connection between a bully and a panic attack

Panic attacks and bullies operate in the same way.

Panic attacks can only exist in a highly anxious, vulnerable state of mind. That is where they flourish. With all the ‘what if’s. . .’, there’s plenty of fuel to stoke the fire of panic.

When our minds are controlled and confident, there’s no victim – nothing for the panic attack to feed on.

What is a bully’s sole intention?

To inflict mental, emotional, and sometimes physical pain.

How does a bully achieve it?

Through intimidation, and by having the attention he craves. No attention means no fuel to stoke the fire.

Why does a bully, bully?

Who cares. Just know that a bully bullies because he can. Forget about understanding his twisted mentality and why he would want to inflict mental, emotional, and sometimes physical pain. Instead, focus on what matters. Focus on the choice you have.

The choice

When it comes to being bullied by panic attacks, you do have a choice. I want to make that choice clear to you.

Deal with the bully (panic attacks), or face them for the rest of your life.

Why do some people get bullied and others don’t? You might try and factor in physical presence, but you can guarantee there are examples of people with a bodybuilding physique who get bullied – just like there are examples of smaller people who don’t get bullied.

There will be lots of factors that dictate why some people get bullied and others don’t, but the overriding factor is being a victim.

When I say a bully bullies because he can, it’s because there has to be a victim for the bullying to take place.

Being a victim is a choice.

It’s not your fault if someone chooses to bully you, but it is your fault for letting it continue to happen.

Nobody said facing a bully is easy. But is it any harder than the prospect of dealing with panic attacks for the rest of your life?

Handing over your pocket money to the bully might prevent him from hitting you, but he’ll be back for more. The problem doesn’t go away.

Giving your pocket money away only compounds the problem and makes it worse. The more you do it and give in, the more the bully will expect you to do it.

You have to get to a place that says no more.

I don’t care how you get there, but you have to reach a level where you’re so pissed off with being pushed around, you’re not willing to take it any longer.

I found the best emotion to tap into for this is anger.


If you’re getting bullied by panic attacks, you should be angry.

Anger, when channelled in the right way, is an emotion that supersedes panic. It’s the quickest tool you can use to break the victim mentality.

Get frustrated. Get angry. Get however you need to get to create change.

Unlike your dad’s advice, I’m not telling you to punch the bully in the face. That’s the good thing about a panic attack. You don’t need to.

Anyway, punching yourself in the face won’t do you any good.

You are your own bully

When I say ‘you are your own bully’, I’m not suggesting you get a perverse pleasure in causing yourself mental pain. Of course you don’t. Nobody enjoys panicking and suffering a panic attack.

Your bully is born from habit.

Through patterns of habit and behaviour, your brain has associated things it shouldn’t with a threat to your survival. It’s this association that causes the panic (panic attacks). And it’s this way of thinking that makes you your own bully.

Everyday things like going to the supermarket and seeing friends become unachievable because of the state of mind you’ve created.

This state of mind gets unravelled and dealt with when you start seeing panic attacks for what they really are: bullies.

Confront the bully

The next time you feel the bully (panic attack) provoking you, I want you to say: ‘DO YOUR WORST!’. If you can, shout it. Get angry. You don’t have to verbally say it. Say it in your head. However you say it, mean it.

If there is one thing a bully doesn’t like, it’s confrontation.

That’s why, when you say ‘DO YOUR WORST!’, it won’t get worse – it will get better.

This is a trigger to remind yourself that you’re no longer willing to put up with panic attacks and the physical symptoms they cause any longer.

Like all bullies, pride might dictate that there is some initial retaliation. Pass through it. Keep getting angry, and keep confronting it.

It will soon get the message.

While you do this, please be comforted in the knowledge that a panic attack has NEVER caused anyone any physical harm, ever. Doesn’t this just go to prove that the fear we create is much worse than anything else we experience?

When we don’t fuel the fear (anxiety), there is nothing for the panic attack (bully) to work with.

I’ll repeat the choice that you have.

Deal with the bully (panic attacks), or face them for the rest of your life.

I used to have 4-5 severe panic attacks every day.

Since I’ve adopted this mentality, I’ve not had one since.

Does the bully try it on every now and again?

You bet it does.

While I’m facing new challenges and growing, I wouldn’t expect it any other way.

But now, when I ‘feel’ the sensations of a panic attack, I simply adopt the same physical and mental stance I always adopt.

‘PANIC. GO FUCK YOURSELF.’

Anxiety Rebalance
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.

Was this blog helpful?

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.

Anxiety Rebalance
How to say without feeling guilty - Carl Vernon
Anxiety, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Self-Confidence, Stress, Success & Wellbeing, Toxic People

How To Say ‘No’ Without Feeling Guilty

Saying no usually comes with a feeling of guilt. But saying yes too often is detrimental to our own mental and physical health. How can we say no without feeling guilty?

You’re a good human being.

You want to help people out, and when you’re asked for favours, you’re quick to say yes.

The problem with all this is the people lining up to abuse your good nature. Not everyone is like that – but we have to face the fact that the more you give, the more will be taken.

All the leaders say how important it is to say no.

Steve Jobs Saying No

Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world says:

The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.

Saying no more often makes a lot of sense.

When we say yes too often, we’re not only allowing our good nature to be compromised, but we’re also running around like headless chickens making everyone else happy, and in turn, seriously jeopardising our own needs.

We forget what we need.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to help and serve others, but if it’s at the cost of your own mental and physical health, there should be no guilt in saying no more often.

Here’s how to say no more often without the guilt.

Step One: The Direct Approach

There is a thin balance between being aggressive and being assertive.

Getting the balance right is in the ability to say no without coming across like a selfish arsehole. It can be tricky, and it does take practice, especially if saying no hasn’t come naturally to you before.

Plus, there is no beating around the bush when it comes to saying no.

No means no – however you say it.

But if we put our common sense caps on, we know there are good and bad ways to deliver a ‘no’.

‘No, go fuck yourself’ is quite different to ‘No, I’m sorry, I don’t have the time for that right now.’

One will get you fired, and the other will get you a promotion for your communication skills and assertiveness.

We don’t need to be aggressive when saying no, but we do need to be assertive. However you try to fluff it up – when you say no it’s likely you’re not doing something someone wants you to do.

If you don’t take the direct approach, you won’t be taken seriously.

Whoever it is asking you to do things outside of what is acceptable to you needs to know they can’t keep hassling you.

Have you noticed it’s always the people willing to say yes more often that are the ones who get picked on? They’re the ones being abused, working more overtime than is feasible, and lending more money to friends they can’t afford.

You have to make a choice whether or not you’re one of these people – because it is your choice to make.

Step Two: Understanding Your Boundaries

The term ‘draw a line’ applies here.

You’ve got to establish where your line is.

Do you know where your line is? If you don’t, that’s the issue.

If you don’t know what your limits are you’re leaving it up to your subconscious to tell you when you’re pissed off. When we reach that point we eventually explode! That’s when we do things we regret.

We can prevent ourselves from reaching this point when we know what our boundaries are.

What are you willing to accept?

That’s the only question that needs answering.

If the boss is asking you to do overtime you know is excessive – and you know it breaches what is acceptable (your boundaries) – you need to say no.

If your mate asks you for another tenner, on top of the two they haven’t paid you back yet, is that beyond your limit? If it is, you need to say no.

Understanding your boundaries will help you manage the whole process of saying no better than you ever have.

If something makes you angry or feel resentment, it’s a sure sign you’ve surpassed your limit.

Do yourself a favour and say no more often – so you don’t get close to reaching this level of pissedoffness. (If that’s a term?)


Listen to the Podcast: Saying ‘No’ Without the Guilt.


Step Three: Be OK With Being a Bit More Selfish

Part of what gets us into the mess of saying yes too often is how selfless we are.

Being in touch with other people’s needs is a beautiful human trait. There is no doubt we need more humans like you!

But as we’ve just said, we can’t keep giving and giving without expecting it to eventually breach our health and wellbeing.

You can’t give what you haven’t got.

You can't give what you haven't got - Carl Vernon

You have to put your needs first.

In the short-term, being more selfish is hard. That feeling of guilt is extra heavy, so you’ll find it harder to break. If you’re not used to saying no, people will be shocked when you start doing it more often.

But in the long-term, appreciating our own needs (being a bit more selfish) is better for everyone.

By being a bit more selfish, you’ll break the pattern that saying yes too often has got you in – whether that’s doing all the housework, working too much overtime or lending money you haven’t got.

When you stop doing these things you’ll be happier and less angry, and when you feel like that, the people around you will benefit too. Your boss will get a productive worker. You and your partner won’t have the same argument you have every evening. You’ll have a better relationship with your mates because you won’t resent them.

As I mentioned, you can’t give what you haven’t got. If saying yes all the time is bringing you down mentally, physically and emotionally, eventually you won’t have anything left to give.

By giving yourself that extra ‘me’ time and space (that everyone needs and deserves), you have more to give when it really counts.

So the next time you feel guilty for saying no, remember that you’re not only doing it for your own sake but for everyone else’s.

You Care Too Much Book
Making a mistake
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

The 5 Biggest Mistakes I Made When Suffering From Anxiety

I made some big mistakes when I was suffering from anxiety. Are you making the same mistakes, and can you dodge them to save yourself bags of time and frustration?

We have to go through our own experiences and mistakes to really appreciate them as a learning curve, but if I can save you some time and frustration, then there’s no harm in that.

I made some BIG mistakes when I was suffering from anxiety.

It was rectifying these mistakes that made all the difference for me.

Here are the top five mistakes I made when suffering from anxiety. See if you can relate.

Mistake #1: I thought I needed a cure

The biggest mistake of them all.

I spent years looking for a cure and wondered why I couldn’t find one.

I couldn’t find one because a cure for anxiety doesn’t exist!

Looking for a cure for anxiety was as useless as looking for a cure for getting upset or angry. These emotions might come with unwanted feelings, but they are part of life – just like getting anxious is.

The answer to overcoming high anxiety is appreciating that there is no cure needed.

The answer to overcoming high anxiety is to manage it better – to get it back to a better level of balance.

Mistake #2: I didn’t talk about my anxiety

Bottling things inside gets you nowhere. In fact, it makes things seem 100 times bigger than they are – anxiety included.

I used to think I was weak if I said what was on my mind, so I kept it all in.

With time, I learnt that true strength comes from the ability to talk.

You’ve got to talk about what’s on your mind.

It’s not always possible with the people closest to you, and someone impartial like a counsellor can be a good option.

The most important thing is you get talking, and don’t stop talking about how you feel.

Mistake #3: I thought I was abnormal

That first trip to Dr Google was a shocker.

All those years believing I was the only person on the planet suffering from high anxiety gone in a second of googling ‘anxiety’.

It’s a nice relief to know you’re not alone – mostly because the thought of being ‘abnormal’ just increases the anxiety levels.

About 1 in 4 of us will deal with higher than normal levels of anxiety at any one time.

You’re definitely not alone.

Mistake #4: I didn’t give myself enough ‘me’ time

Sixteen-hour work days took their toll.

To cope, I’d drink copious amounts of coffee throughout the day, only give myself time to eat junk food, drink a bottle of wine a night, and be lucky if I got a few hours sleep at night.

Ummmm.

No wonder I suffered from high anxiety and uncontrollable stress! My lifestyle was shocking.

Anxiety and stress are controlling you or you're managing them - Carl Vernon

At the time, when I was in the thick of it, it seemed normal. I just got on with it – that was until the anxiety and stress got so bad I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

Looking back, it is clear I needed more balance in my life.

We can’t keep running at 100mph and expect not to hit a slump.

There is a better balance to be had, and that includes more time for the stuff that puts a smile on your face.

Mistake #5: I didn’t take the small steps needed to change

Along with mistake #1, this was the biggest mistake I made.

I thought if I just got on with it, things would fix themselves and get better with time.

They didn’t.

In other words, I wasn’t doing any of the steps that would have put me on a different course. I just expected things to change without changing them.

It’s the old classic (the old ones are always the best): If you want something different, you’ve got to do something different.

I always had an excuse to be anxious or stressed, which is why I could have also called this Mistake #5: I always had an excuse for being anxious and stressed.

It’s time to ditch the excuses and take the small steps needed to create the change you want.

What small step can you take to put yourself on a different course?

What something different are you going to do?

Because ultimately, that’s all it takes.

Anxiety Rebalance