Anxiety - The Solution
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress

Anxiety: The Solution | What To Do When Everything Else Fails

Anxiety is subjective. At least, it’s meant to be. It’s too big of a subject not to be.

The way you’re affected by anxiety will be very different to someone else. That means that a one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming anxiety is flawed. And yet, when anxiety gets out of control and we need help, we have very few options available to us.

We tend to turn to the same things.

What do you do when you need help for anxiety?

There are the two steps most of us take:

  1. Go to your doctor
  2. Go to Dr Google

These were my usual stomping grounds. If I weren’t in and out of the doctor’s surgery, I was on Google looking for the next quick fix and cure. 

‘Maybe the next thing I try will be the thing that works?’

Go to your doctor, and the NHS will dictate what course of action you take. That’s usually in the form of medication or a long waiting list for counselling, involving CBT and/or hypnotherapy treatment.

Google, or Dr Google, is sold to the highest bidder. That means the medicines, programmes, methods, and any other product offering a cure for anxiety, dominate the market – if they have the largest budget to do so. A large budget doesn’t make the product good or effective. It could be as insidious as meaning they are skilled at taking money from vulnerable, highly anxious people.

If these few options are so effective, why is anxiety still rampant in our society in epidemic proportions?

It’s because these options – the ones given to us in a controlled way – might not be that good. If they were, we wouldn’t have the big problem we’ve got with anxiety in our society today. We would all be ‘cured’. You only need to have a conversation with a friend or look at social media to see and hear how far from reality that is.

The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Anxiety Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again.

If you’re trapped in a cycle of anxiety, one you’re finding hard to break free from, it might be time to look outside the box – outside of these usual options.

What’s in the box isn’t helping you.

Those solutions we tend to jump to first might be the very things keeping you trapped and disallouisoned.

Stopping the search for your next quick fix or cure could be the thing that liberates you and ends the continuous struggle.

Overcoming anxiety is a journey

The anxiety solution is a journey that requires a series of answers that fit you at the right time in your life. In other words, what worked for you and your anxiety when you were twelve year’s old is very different to what will comfort you and work for you today.

We get trapped in the notion that there should be one solution for anxiety because it makes it simpler. We pin all our hopes on that thing (the thing we’re trying at that time), only to get disillusioned and disappointed when we fail – or when the effects wear off.

Overcoming anxiety should be simple, and if you’re familiar with my bestselling book Anxiety Rebalance, you’ll know that simplicity is very much my preference. But getting trapped in this notion of ‘one solution for anxiety’ will keep you in a neverending cycle of despair. It will keep you jumping from one thing to the next, never satisfied or at peace with yourself.

The healthy approach to overcoming anxiety is to appreciate that anxiety is a normal part of life, and always will be. Appreciate that anxiety isn’t something you can switch off or cure. When you keep looking for that illusive cure, you’ll continue looking for answers that don’t exist.

When anxiety is getting out of control over a sustained period of time, don’t let that panic continue taking you down a route of despair and disappointment.

Anxiety not having a cure shouldn’t concern you – let it take you in a new direction. A direction that doesn’t see you get trapped in the box. If you keep turning to the same things that never worked or made a difference for you, you’ll keep getting the same result. As Albert suggests, that is the definition of insanity. You’ll stay trapped in a cycle created by the very same institutes that promised to help.

You’re not a failure if you’ve tried all the ‘usual’ stuff and it hasn’t worked. That mainstream stuff offered to the masses (the society still deeply affected by anxiety) might not be right for you.

What is right for you?

It would be controlling and cult-like of me to suggest that I know the precise answer to that. It would also be unrealistic for me to suggest one solution because, as I’ve suggested, there isn’t just one answer. The anxiety solution comes back to the fact that overcoming anxiety is a journey. It’s not about one specific answer.

That journey – your journey – is based on the anxieties (fears) you experience at different times in your life. The answer that works as a solution for you today could be very different to the answer that creates action and change for you tomorrow.

The balanced approach

I like to adopt a holistic, balanced approach to overcoming anxiety.

That involves shifts and changes in both my mindset and lifestyle to adapt to what is right for me at any given time.

When I feel highly anxious, or like I have no energy (depressed), my automatic reaction isn’t to call the doctor or jump on Dr Google, like it used to be. When I did that, I stayed trapped in an endless cycle that got me nowhere.

Now, I search within, and the answer that comes back is always the same: take action.

This approach keeps me away from the mainstream trap.

It helps me appreciate, as I grow and evolve, the answers I need, change.

It stops me from beating myself when I experience a challenging time – because I know that everyone goes through challenging times. That doesn’t make me a failure – it makes me human.

This approach reinforces the habit of taking action – the only thing needed to make significant change.

Taking action could mean something as small as getting up off my seat and changing my environment, rather than sitting and staying rooted to the same spot allowing all the worrying thoughts to take over.

Small steps are all it takes.

Whatever approach you decide is right for you, try not to get stuck in the mainstream cycle. Try not to pin all your hopes on one solution. Try to keep taking action and making small steps towards where it is you want to be.

If you’re fed up with the same results, ditch the insanity, and do something different.

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

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.

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?

You Care Too Much Book
Calm state of mind
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

3 of the Best Ways to Control Your Anxious Thoughts

High anxiety makes our mind race out of control. Negative thoughts consume us, and we just want them to stop. What can we do to control these anxiety-related thoughts?

Let’s cut to the chase.

You can’t control all your thoughts.

You have about 60,000 thoughts a day. (You can easily add another 10k to that when you’re anxious.) How are we supposed to control all of them?

It’s impossible.

BUT – and there is a BIG but – there are things we can do to manage them.

Here are three of the best ways you can control and manage your anxious thoughts.

#1: Stop the seed from growing

Although we don’t have complete control over the thoughts that enter our minds, we do have control over what we do with them.

A thought isn't real until you make it real by taking action - Carl Vernon

Think of each of your thoughts like a seed in a pot.

Like a seed, a thought has the potential to grow, or not grow at all.

Rather than allow your thoughts to run riot, start becoming consciously aware of all your thoughts – especially the negative ones.

With each thought you have that grabs your attention, decide at that moment whether you want it to grow or whether you want to stump it.

The easiest and quickest way to do this is to filter your thoughts between two categories:

Category 1: The thoughts that are destructive and lead to further anxiety (panic).

Category 2: The thoughts that are constructive and worth your time and focus.

If you decide your thought is in category one and is destructive, aim to stump it. Keep it buried in the soil. Proactively decide to think of something else and shift your focus (see #2 below).

For example: ‘I’ll never overcome anxiety.’

That’s the type of destructive thought that will get you nowhere and one you want to stump from growing.

If you decide your thought is in category two and is constructive, aim to water it. Just like a seed, water it with further constructive thoughts and allow it to grow and flourish.

For example: ‘I know it’s going to challenge me, but I’m going to do it anyway.’

That’s the type of constructive thought that is going to take you places – a thought you should water and allow to grow that will produce offshoots like ‘I can handle the challenge. I’ve already faced lots of challenges and I’ve proved I can do it’.

The more destructive thoughts you can stump and the more constructive thoughts you can water, the better the level of control you’ll have.

#2: Shift your focus

Have you noticed, the more you focus on your problems, the bigger they seem?

Have you also noticed how when you focus on your problems they continue to duplicate? Like when Mogwai from the film Gremlins gets wet – they just keep popping up uncontrollably and end up becoming gremlins!

Although most of these gremlins (problems) aren’t real, they surround us, suffocate us, and cause us bags of stress and anxiety.

This is all down to our focus and the fact that: whatever you focus on, you get more of.

When we choose to focus on the ‘what ifs…’ we go looking for things to worry about. And when we look for things to worry about we create things that aren’t real!

If we want more control over our thoughts and less stress and anxiety, we need to start dealing with facts and reality.

We need to focus on what is real.

Stressing and worrying about the things out of your control and things that aren’t real is a waste of your valuable time and effort.

When you pay attention to your daily thoughts, you’ll appreciate how much you worry about things that don’t actually exist. If you think about most of the thoughts you have related to the future (particularly the negative ones), how many actually come true?

It really does pay to focus on the things that count, not on things that don’t exist.

If a thought doesn’t allow you to grow and its only purpose is to stump your growth, ignore it – move on.

Out of those 60,000+ thoughts a day, it’s inevitable some will be negative. You can’t prevent these thoughts from entering your head, but it’s up to you what you do with them.

It’s up to you whether they become real, or don’t exist at all. That is something you have 100% power over.

#3: Don’t try to control your anxious thoughts

Probably the most effective of the three.

When we try to control something (or someone) we usually end up worse off – especially when it comes to anxiety-related thoughts.

It’s easier to come to the conclusion that life is unpredictable and, because of such, trying to control everything in our lives only leads to frustration and despair.

Just let your thoughts be.

Don’t hold on to them. Get skilled at letting them go.

Better still, get skilled at letting the negative ones go and allowing the good ones to flourish.

Your thoughts don't own you - Carl Vernon

If you’re going through a hard time, know that it will pass. It always does.

It’s not a question of if, it’s when.

Until you reach that point of strength (because you will), keep letting those negative anxiety-related thoughts pass through.

A little like a visitor passing by. They might stay for a little while – maybe even outstay their welcome – but eventually, they will go.

Overcoming anxiety and the thoughts around it is about timing as much as anything else.

Be patient and know that you will reach a better level of strength. When you do, those negative anxiety-related thoughts will get less invasive.

Continue to shift your focus to the thoughts that need a good watering, and let go of the ones that are no good for you.

You’ll reach that level of strength much quicker.

Anxiety Rebalance