7 Horrible Symptoms of Anxiety Summed Up and Simplified - Carl Vernon
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress

7 Horrible Symptoms of Anxiety Summed Up and Simplified

Headache. Neck ache. Sore throat. Fever. Fatigue. Sleeping problems. An itchy toe. You name it – any symptom can be related to anxiety.

I was in and out of the doctor’s surgery.

I didn’t have a clue if I were coming or going – and I don’t think the doctor did either.

The constant need for reassurance was the overriding issue.

If you’re stuck in a cycle of anxiety (fear), it’s likely you’ll be visiting the doctor often. It’s also very likely you’ll be hitting the internet to see Dr Google for answers.

You might stay stuck in the cycle because you’re not finding the answers you’re looking for.

Because I know how deep the need for answers and constant reassurance goes, I want to give you some quick answers to typical anxiety-related symptoms and disorders that you won’t hear from the doctor.

Health Anxiety

Getting straight to the point, health anxiety is the fear of death. If you’re familiar with my DP Rule from Anxiety Rebalance, you’ll know that our two primary fears are Death and People. When you start dealing with these fears, health anxiety becomes much less of an issue.

Social Anxiety

At its very basic level, social anxiety is caring too much about what people think. When we feel like crap, we prefer to do it in the comfort of our own homes. Longer-term issues with social anxiety arise because avoidance feels good (at first). As time goes by, social anxiety gets worse when we appreciate a reclusive lifestyle isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. When we get comfortable with the fact that EVERYONE deals with the same issues, including social anxiety, we stop feeling so isolated. We also improve relationships with others – and in turn, drop the social anxiety.

You Care Too Much Book

Panic attacks

In short, panic attacks are bullies that we create when we’re dealing with high anxiety. We become hypersensitive to all our bodily feelings, and when something is off kilter, even slightly, it can cause us to panic (have a panic attack). When you start managing high anxiety better by implementing all the proper lifestyle and mindset changes, panic attacks move on – like all bullies who don’t get attention.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Summed up, OCD is created because we feel out of control in at least one area of our lives. OCD is a way for us to try and get that control back – even if it means coming up with pointless routines that don’t mean anything. So if you hate your job, for example, and feel like there is nothing you can do about it, you might develop OCD as a way of coping with it. Getting back in control (or at least feel like you’re in control) will stop the need for compulsive behaviour.

Constant Worrying Thoughts (Overthinking)

In a nutshell, constant worrying thoughts are brought about by the ‘what if’ type thoughts we produce when we’re anxious and stressed. ‘What if this. . . What if that. . .’.  One thought leads to the next and, before you know it, a small problem has turned into a monster. Learning to control our thoughts will stop the monster from getting out of control.

Depression (Depressive thoughts & low mood)

Very simplified, depression and low mood is a lack of energy and willpower. Being highly anxious and stressed zaps our energy. Energy gives you the get-up-and-go you need for the things you want (and need) to do in life – even the basic everyday things take energy. You can’t do anything without energy. When you’re ready to start working on upping your energy levels through various methods, like good diet and exercise, it helps combat the negative and depressive thoughts.

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia put briefly, is when you play with the wrong odds. When you’re agoraphobic, the fear of leaving your comfort zone (usually your house) becomes the overwhelming fear and prevents you from living a normal life. The fear is based on bad odds. When you appreciate that the odds are heavily favoured towards leaving your house and going to live your life as you want to, the door gets opened and a new comfort zone is built.

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
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
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