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
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.

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.

Anxiety Rebalance
The Top 5 Books That Helped Me With Stress & Anxiety
Anxiety, Happiness, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Self-Confidence, Social Anxiety, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

The Top 5 Books That Helped Me Deal With Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress will always be two of the most sort after categories when it comes to self-help. With lots of books to choose from, which are the top books that will help you?

On my mission to find the answers for anxiety and stress, books were both a big source of guidance and inspiration.

I read hundreds of them, but there were just a few standout books that made the difference.

Here are the top five books that helped me with anxiety and stress the most. (The best thing about all these books is you don’t need to be an avid reader to enjoy them.)

#1: The Power of Now

The Power of Now

By Eckhart Tolle.

Without a doubt the most profound book on the list. Probably the most profound book I’ve ever read. I read The Power of Now with the understanding that it is a spiritual book (about spiritual enlightenment), and although I’m not particularly spiritual myself, it delivered a powerful message: The only thing that is real is this moment, right now. So much of our anxiety and stress is about worrying about the past and the future, and learning to live more in the present moment (the ‘now’) can make all the difference.

Grab your copy of The Power of Now here.


#2: Anxiety Rebalance

Anxiety Rebalance - Carl Vernon

By Carl Vernon.

I know. It seems a little narcissistic to include my own book on this list, but the truth is, it’s the book that helped me the most. There is something about writing things down that offers a powerful form of release. That’s why I’d have put it top of the list. A lot of the feedback from readers (including people who don’t read much) is they enjoyed reading Anxiety Rebalance because they can relate to my personal experience. I don’t mind admitting, I’ve been back to read it a few times myself – and I still get something new from it every time!

Grab your copy of Anxiety Rebalance here.

 

#3: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

By Robin Sharma.

This beautifully written book opens the door to anyone interested in the more spiritual side of life. As I mentioned above, I’m not necessarily the most spiritual person on the planet, but this book is great for opening your eyes to the bigger picture of what life is about. It struck a chord with me when I was working sixteen-hour days and running myself into the ground. The question: ‘Why am I doing it?’ was milling around in my head, but I never took the time to answer it. I’m glad I picked up The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari because it helped me appreciate how important the answer is, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing.

Grab your copy of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari here.


#4: Awaken The Giant Within

Awaken The Giant Within

By Anthony Robbins.

Self-help has a bit of stigma attached to it. It’s one of those things you tend to love or hate. With Tony Robbins being the king of self-help, he definitely fits into this category. I’ve always made an effort not to come across as too ‘self-helpy’ (if that’s a word?) because I know it can put a lot of people off. The title Awaken The Giant Within sounds very self-helpy, but when you give it go, the book is filled with lots of sound advice – a lot of it that relates to managing anxiety and stress.

Grab your copy of Awaken The Giant Within here.


#5: Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dad Poor Dad

By Robert Kiyosaki.

You might be wondering why I’ve included a financially related book in my top five, but when it came to my stress levels, Rich Dad Poor Dad was a big influence in helping me out. There are three things that stress us out the most. People, work & money. Rich Dad Poor Dad will help you out with the latter because it’s arguably one of the most important financial books ever written. It will teach you everything you need to know about the importance of investing – in the right way – through passive income. Whatever we think about the green stuff, when we become more financially literate, it goes a long way toward reducing our anxiety and stress levels.

Grab your copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad here.

Anxiety Rebalance
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
Will I ever overcome anxiety
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

Will I Ever Overcome Anxiety?

Anxiety has a great way of making us feel stuck. It manipulates us into believing all sorts – mostly the negative stuff that keeps us trapped. How do we get out of this trap so we can stop asking questions like will I ever overcome anxiety?

Belief is a powerful thing. Very powerful.

Your life is shaped by what you believe.

How you feel tomorrow will be dictated by what it is you believe right now.

Your belief system is based on what has happened to you in the past. For example, if you’ve experienced panic attacks in a supermarket, it’s likely you won’t like supermarkets and you’ll avoid them.

You’re following habits that you’ve developed over years, sometimes decades.

Some of these habits will be serving you well. Some not so well – particularly the ones that keep you stuck and trapped – like the beliefs built around anxiety.

But that’s not to say you can’t change your habits, and therefore change how you think about anxiety – including the belief that you’ll never overcome anxiety.


The power of belief

What is a belief, and why is it so important when it comes to anxiety?

A belief is something you’re certain about.

When you think about it (whatever ‘it’ is), you come to a quick conclusion about what it means to you.

You can believe anything you like.

‘I’m the most beautiful person on the planet’, for example.

You’ve probably got a friend who believes this to be true? Maybe it’s far from reality. But to the person who believes it to be true, other people’s opinions rarely matter.

That is the power of belief.

And the good news is you have this power. You can believe what you want.

That includes your belief about anxiety, and whether or not you’ll overcome it.

4 minute mile belief

Beliefs are funny old things. They tend to catch on.

Most people won’t believe in something until it’s reality.

Like the four-minute mile that Roger Bannister broke in 1954. Before then, it was considered impossible to do. Nobody had done it, and nobody thought it was worthwhile attempting it.

That was until Roger broke it. As soon as he did, lots of others started breaking the four-minute barrier.

Other people started to achieve it because they thought if he can do it, I can too.

And that’s how I want you to think about overcoming anxiety.

There are lots of people who have been in your position (me included) and changed for the better. They’ve overcome all sorts – high anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, agoraphobia, social anxiety, health anxiety, depression – you name it.

This knowledge should give you the belief that you can do the same.


Change the way you think

You can’t change an outcome without first changing the way you think about it.

If you don’t believe you can win the race, you won’t.

Believe you can win the race and you will

If you don’t believe you can overcome anxiety, you can’t.

Fundamentally, whatever it is you’re telling yourself and whatever it is you’re choosing to believe, is true.

That is the power you hold.

Nobody else holds this power – only you.

Let’s simplify this with two possible beliefs.

Belief #1: I will never overcome anxiety.

Belief #2: Anxiety is normal. It will always be part of my life, and that’s not a bad thing. I’ll continue to face the challenges it brings knowing that I can handle anything that comes my way. There is nothing that I can’t deal with.

Two very different belief systems, each as powerful as the other.

Which one will you choose to believe? Because whichever one you choose to believe is true.

Maybe you’ll choose to believe one of your own?

Whatever it is you choose to believe, remember it’s that belief that is defining your future. It’s dictating how you feel now, tomorrow, and next year.

With this in mind, it pays to be selective about what it is you choose to believe.


Anxiety is normal

One of the most powerful beliefs you can possess is that anxiety is normal.

Knowing anxiety is normal is the first step you can take to changing the way you think about it.

Remember that you don’t need a cure for anxiety, and you don’t need to get rid of it.

Anxiety is normal.

When you’re dealing with anxiety, it’s higher than normal levels of anxiety – that’s it.

When you’ve stopped the pointless battle against anxiety, the second step in dealing with negative thoughts connected with anxiety is identifying which ones are no good for.

The typical negative thoughts associated with anxiety look a little like this:

‘I’m going to have a panic attack when I go to the supermarket.’

‘There is no way I can go to that party.’

‘I’m going to feel anxious tomorrow.’

Remember – these thoughts aren’t real.

They’re only real when you want them to be real – when you choose to believe them.

When you become more conscious about these types of negative thoughts that are fuelled by anxiety, you can do something about them. You can stop them before they get out of control and start influencing your belief system.

If you keep going to the supermarket and experiencing panic attacks, for example, you’re approaching the situation with the wrong belief system. You’re being led by thoughts like ‘I’m going to have a panic attack if I go to the supermarket.’ That’s the type of thought keeping you trapped.

You’ve told yourself you’re going to lose before you’ve started.

The steps you take before going to the supermarket are more important than the ones you take when you’re there.

The outcome is done before you’ve left your house.

In other words, if you approach a situation with negative anxiety-related thoughts dictating your actions, it will lead to the outcome you don’t want. In the instance of going to the supermarket, a panic attack.

If you want to overcome panic attacks, high anxiety, or any negative beliefs about your life, you have to consciously change the way you think – change your belief system.

Go back to the two beliefs, and pick a statement similar to #2.

Reinforce that belief in your mind.

It may not be the truth right now, but that’s not the point.

What we believe now will manifest as reality in the future – even if it’s not true right now.

Remember to be choosy about what thoughts you believe. They are dictating your life.

Anxiety Rebalance
Why do I feel anxious all the time?
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress

Why Do I Feel Anxious All the Time?

The cause of our anxiety can be obvious, but it’s not always clear why we feel anxious. Why does it sometimes feel like we’re anxious all the time, and what can we do to stop it?

It can sometimes feel like we’re constantly anxious.

Anxiety hits us as soon as we wake up in the morning.

Anxiety is there when we’re struggling to go to sleep at night.

No rest or respite.

In the medical field, it’s called Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Rather than focus on the diagnosis and symptoms of GAD, let’s focus on the cause and solution – the two things that will help you break the cycle of consistent anxiety so you can go back to normal levels of anxiety.

The cause of constant anxiety (GAD)

If you’re feeling consistently anxious, it’s down to two things.

  1. There is an issue with something (or someone) in your life you haven’t dealt with.
  2. There is something (or someone) making you feel out of control.

‘Something’ usually relates to work or money – these are the two big causes of our stress and anxiety.

‘Someone’ refers to a relationship, like a partner, friend or family member – another big cause of our stress and anxiety.

All these examples highlight external problems, but the truth is, our anxiety comes from ourselves.

Money troubles

Getting fired at work, having piles of debt we’re struggling to repay, and having a partner cheat on us, will all cause us stress and anxiety – there is no doubt about that.

How much anxiety? is the question.

Life has a habit of throwing all sorts of stuff at us, so it’s normal for us to expect to experience anxiety on a daily basis.

It’s when anxiety becomes constant that we need to start paying attention to it.

When anxiety feels like it’s sticking to us – like we can’t shake it off.

When it’s stuck to us and anxiety feels constant, it has a strong grip, making us believe and think we don’t have a choice – but we do.

We always have a choice.

It’s up to us how long we allow our feelings of anxiety to last.

If anxiety comes from us, and we have a choice, why does anxiety feel constant?

There is a fear (worry) that is hounding you – a fear that is likely been buried or swept under the carpet (on purpose) – and it’s that fear that is causing the anxiety.

This fear will be based on something that has happened in the past or something we think might happen in the future.


The solution to constant anxiety (GAD)

We create our stories.

These stories we tell ourselves are based on the past (what has already happened) and the future (what might happen).

We live our lives based on this story.

If this story is filled with fear (the what ifs and mights), we’ll feel anxious – all the time.

If you want to shake the constant feeling of anxiety, it’s time to change the story.

The solution to constant anxiety (GAD) is to live more in the present moment.

Live in the present moment

There is little point in worrying about the past. It’s gone. There is nothing we can do about it.

There’s also no point in worrying about the future. It hasn’t happened yet. We can’t control it or predict it accurately.

The only thing that is real is this moment, right now.

There’s a lot of anxiety-relief and comfort to be had from knowing this.

You can draw immense power and mental strength from living more in the moment.

Living in the present moment

The next time you feel your anxiety and stress levels rise, or you find yourself worrying about the past or future, STOP YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY.

Become consciously aware that you’re allowing your thoughts to get out of control.

Find a quiet space (if possible), and close your eyes (if you feel comfortable).

Take the opportunity to breathe calmly, and just appreciate the moment.

Appreciate that this moment is the only thing that is real.

With time and practice, the more you do this, the easier it will get.

The more you allow yourself to go into the present moment, the more you’ll break the pattern of feeling constantly anxious.

The past and the future, including what has already happened and what might happen, will have a lesser hold on.

As you continue breaking the pattern of feeling constantly anxious, your anxiety levels will continue to reduce, and you’ll get back into healthier habits.

The constant feeling of being anxious will go, and your mental strength will flourish.

You’ll get back to being you.

Anxiety Rebalance