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
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.

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.

Anxiety Rebalance
Anxiety, Depression, Happiness, Self-Confidence, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

3 Steps That Will INSTANTLY Improve Your Mood

We usually take the longest and hardest route when trying to change our mood. What is the easiest and fastest route, and how can you change your mood instantly?

We all get anxious, stressed and feel low at times – perfectly normal.

But do you find yourself getting trapped in a mood?

Maybe you wake up feeling instantly anxious?

Maybe a particular setting (like your office) causes a constant feeling of stress?

Maybe you feel so low you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning?

I hear you.

I’ve been through the lot myself.

Sometimes it feels like no matter what you try and do, you just can’t shake off the mood that keeps you feeling stressed, anxious and depressed.

If this sounds familiar to you, I’ve got a suggestion and a three-step process that might be useful to you.

How can we instantly change our mood?

Let’s use anxiety and stress as the two examples here, seeing as it’s these two things that tend to dominate how we feel.

What do we usually do when we get anxious?

I used to do one of two things.

  1. Stay rooted to the same spot (a chair that I would sit in) and let all the worrying and anxious thoughts consume me – to the point of overthinking every last possible detail.
  2. If I weren’t frozen in the same spot, I’d pace up and down from one spot to the next, back and forth.

And what do we usually do when we get stressed?

If I were in the office at work, I’d sit at my desk hiding behind my computer, put my face in my hands and start rubbing my temples – wishing away all the crap that was causing me the stress.

Being frozen to the spot or pacing up and down is a natural reaction to anxiety. Just like putting your face in your hands and rubbing your temples is a natural reaction to stress. But what do you think these natural reactions are doing?

My point here will make total sense in just a second.

But before we move on, I want to highlight one more thing with a quick exercise.

Quick exercise:

Imagine someone who is depressed.

You can’t see this person. They’re behind a door or wall.

What do they look like?

Their head is down to the ground. Their eyes are looking down. Their shoulders are slumped. Pretty much everything is facing downwards, right?

That’s because the natural reaction to depression (feeling low) is to do all these things with our body.

When we feel like crap, the last thing we want to do is jump for joy.

Our mind (how we feel mentally) tells our body to portray how we’re feeling (the physical reaction). It’s a natural process.

Here’s where it all gets interesting . . .


Your body speaks volumes

By doing all these natural bodily reactions, we’re fuelling the negative mood. We’re reinforcing why we should be feeling that way.

When we stay rooted to the same spot we stay anxious.

When we put our heads in our hands we stay stressed.

When we stay in bed we stay depressed.

If we want to instantly improve our mood, we have to look at our physicality – what we’re doing with our body.

In other words, changing our mental state starts with changing our physical state.

It’s a big misconception – the idea that we have to change our thoughts to change how we feel. It’s not entirely accurate.

There’s no doubt that you get a better outcome when you think more positively compared to thinking negatively, but changing your physical state is a much quicker and easier way to change your mood compared to positive thinking.

Trying to override your negative thoughts with positive affirmations is usually a waste of time. 

It’s incredibly difficult. Almost impossible.

Try telling yourself you’re not stressed when you’re in the middle of a shit storm. Ain’t gonna happen!

The best way to manage your state of mind (your mood) is to first concentrate on what you’re doing with your body.

The 3-step process to improve your mood

To simplify the process of improving our mood, let’s look at it as three steps.

1. STATE OF MIND =

2. ACTION =

3. RESULT

Your state of mind (your mood) dictates what you’re going to do next (your action), and that produces the outcome (the result).

When you have a negative state of mind (including negative body language) it creates a negative action, and that will always give out a negative result.

(Put shit in, get shit out.)

By becoming more aware of this simple process and making just a small change in our physical state, we can change the entire process so it looks like this.

CHANGE IN PHYSICAL STATE = DIFFERENT ACTION = BETTER RESULT

The better result in this instance is an instant improvement in mood.

(Put good stuff in, get good stuff out.)

Choose your mood - Carl Vernon

Try it for yourself.

The next time you find yourself getting trapped in an anxious, stressed or depressed mood, remember that it’s your physical state that will make the difference.

Rather than allow your thoughts (your mind) to control what your body does, do something completely different.

For example, when you get stressed or anxious, don’t stay rooted to the same spot. Get up and go do something. Completely change your focus. That ‘something’ could be a hobby. It doesn’t matter. It can be anything – as long as you don’t stay trapped in the body that an anxious/stressed mind wants to keep you in.

When you can break free from this natural pattern dictated by our minds, you can break the pattern of your mood.

Put your chin up, keep your eyes up, put your shoulders back, lift your chest, breathe confidently and deeply, and smile.

You might not feel like doing these things, but that is exactly the point.

It takes time to override what our mind wants us to do naturally, but the more you become aware of this process and the more you practise, the better you’ll get.

Remember that you hold the cards. You hold the power over your mood – everyone does. It’s you who gets to choose your mood.

Choose your mood by changing what you do with your body. The rest will follow.

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