Clive Fogelman
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Self-Confidence, Social Anxiety, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

Yoga, Meditation and Inspiration For Overcoming Anxiety With Clive Fogelman

In his late 20’s, Clive Fogelman lost both his parents within six months. He was then diagnosed with bowel cancer a few years later.

Clive credits both yoga and meditation as significant tools for dealing with his anxiety through this challenging time and says that by using these things as a ‘toolkit’, everyone can benefit.

Whether it’s focusing on your breathing while waiting for the kettle to boil, or paying more attention to your surroundings when walking to work, everybody can put a little more mindfulness into their day.

We spoke about:

  • The importance of ‘inviting yourself’ to connect with your body and how you feel.
  • Breathing techniques to deal with anxiety and stress instantly.
  • Bringing yourself back to the present.
  • How becoming more self-aware can help you deal with everyday emotions.
  • Taking all experiences (good and bad) and seeing them as something to observe – without judgment or feeling like they’re going against you.
  • The power of the mind and belief.
  • How to use a mindfulness pause.
  • Letting the journey present itself, and dealing with whatever is part of it without fear dictating how you feel.

Clive has been a yoga and meditation teacher for nearly a decade. You can find out more about what Clive does at www.helloyoga.co.uk

Anxiety Rebalance
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.

#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 . . .

Anxiety Rebalance
Google Anxiety
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Stress

Why Am I Addicted to Searching My Anxiety Symptoms Online? (With Dr Google)

An anxiety-related symptom comes up that makes us panic. Panicking makes us jump online to ask Dr Google for reassurance. Why do we do it, even when we know it’s doing us no good, and what can we do about it?

Health anxiety is a real pain in the a**.

And that’s exactly what we’re talking about here – health anxiety.

It’s health anxiety (also know as hypochondria) that makes us hit the internet searching our anxiety-related symptoms.

The biggest issue with this is Dr Google.

He’s not the nicest or best-qualified doctor to ask.

It’s always the worst case scenario with Dr Google.

Dr Google

A headache is a brain tumour, and indigestion is a heart attack.

YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO LIVE AND SHOULD SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!

This isn’t the best thing to see when you’re already anxious and panicking.

It’s little wonder so many of us call for an ambulance when we’re dealing with health anxiety, only to be told there is nothing wrong with us.

The need for reassurance

I was an addict.

If I got a headache, or a bit of chest pain, or a mark on my body, I’d hit the internet asking Dr Google if I was OK.

9 times out of 10, he’d tell me I wasn’t OK. His advice was to seek immediate medical attention.

Talk about raising your anxiety and panic levels through the roof!

It was the constant need for reassurance that was the culprit.

When you’re dealing with health anxiety (hypochondria), you want constant reassurance.

It’s down to one of our primary fears (death).

In Anxiety Rebalance, I call it the DP rule.

It’s this primary fear that causes us to panic and search symptoms online.

When we deal with this fear, it stops the addiction of searching anxiety-related symptoms online with Dr Google.

The way we can deal with it is by realigning our focus.


Realign your focus

When an anxiety-related symptom comes up, it becomes our absolute focus.

Almost as though nothing else matters.

Intense focus

We get trapped in a cycle and keep doing the same thing over and over again.

The pattern looks a little like this:

ANXIETY-RELATED SYMPTOM > NEED FOR REASSURANCE > ASK DR GOOGLE > MORE PANIC & ANXIETY

…and the cycle continues.

That is until we break it. And we break it by realigning our focus.

We get more of whatever it is we focus on.

If you’re focusing on your anxiety-related symptoms, there are no prizes for guessing what you’ll get more of.

That cycle will keep going until we break the pattern using focus.

Breaking this pattern takes just one small step.

The next time an anxiety-related symptom comes up and you feel the urge to hit the internet asking Dr Google for advice and reassurance, ask yourself this question:

Is this anxiety tricking me?

Looking back, with the advantage of hindsight, I can say that most (if not all) of my anxiety-related symptoms were made up in my head.

Because I focused on my health and my symptoms, new ones would pop-up from nowhere.

The symptoms would cause me to panic and I’d follow the same pattern over and over again.

ANXIETY-RELATED SYMPTOM > NEED FOR REASSURANCE > ASK DR GOOGLE > MORE PANIC & ANXIETY

Nothing changed.

That was until the day I sat at my laptop and thought to myself, hang on! Is this anxiety tricking me again?

Rather than jump straight onto the internet, I paused.

The anxiety (the strong need for reassurance) was doing everything in its power to get me to ask Dr Google for advice and reassurance, but I held back.

It was this slight pause that made all the difference.

It gave me the little breathing space I needed to check reality and use rational thinking.

Overcoming health anxiety takes time & practice

Don’t expect overnight results when it comes to overcoming health anxiety.

It’s a habit you built up over time.

It needs time and practice to unravel the habit – just like how it formed.

Aim to keep building on that breathing space I just mentioned.

As you continue questioning your health anxiety with rational thought, that breathing space will get longer and longer.

With time and practice, you’ll eventually get to a point when an anxiety-symptom comes up and you know instantly that it’s anxiety tricking you.

You’ll then reach the point when Dr Google serves you no more purpose.

*Beats fist up to the air*

Yes!


Should I speak to my doctor about health anxiety?

It can be hard distinguishing between real symptoms and anxiety-related symptoms. But when we use our rational thinking, most of us know the difference.

We might not know immediately, but anxiety-related symptoms tend to subside.

If you’re in any doubt about any symptoms, you should always speak to your doctor.

You might need confirmation and reassurance to move forward.

Just be cautious not to keep visiting the doctor based on anxiety-related symptoms.

It can lead to the same frustrating cycle that asking Dr Google takes you on.

If you haven’t spoken to your doctor about anxiety or health anxiety, that’s always one of the first steps to overcoming anxiety you can take.

The most important thing is you get your thoughts out in the open and talk – so you can start dealing with the cause of anxiety, get past health anxiety, and stop searching your symptoms online.

Aim to close the door (or laptop) on Dr Google, stay focused on what it is you want, and keep moving forward.

Anxiety Rebalance