Panic Attacks - Stop the bully
Anxiety, Fear, Panic Attacks, Toxic People

Panic Attacks: Stop The Bully

We’ve all faced a bully at some point.

School, work, college, home – they’re everywhere.

They exist because they can.

There are two sides to bullying. (1) the bully, and (2) the victim.

For a bully to do what they do, there needs to be a victim.

You might not have chosen to get bullied, but being a victim is a choice.

When it comes to being bullied by panic attacks, we can choose not to be a victim any longer.

The surprising connection between a bully and a panic attack

Panic attacks and bullies operate in the same way.

Panic attacks can only exist in a highly anxious, vulnerable state of mind. That is where they flourish. With all the ‘what if’s. . .’, there’s plenty of fuel to stoke the fire of panic.

When our minds are controlled and confident, there’s no victim – nothing for the panic attack to feed on.

What is a bully’s sole intention?

To inflict mental, emotional, and sometimes physical pain.

How does a bully achieve it?

Through intimidation, and by having the attention he craves. No attention means no fuel to stoke the fire.

Why does a bully, bully?

Who cares. Just know that a bully bullies because he can. Forget about understanding his twisted mentality and why he would want to inflict mental, emotional, and sometimes physical pain. Instead, focus on what matters. Focus on the choice you have.

The choice

When it comes to being bullied by panic attacks, you do have a choice. I want to make that choice clear to you.

Deal with the bully (panic attacks), or face them for the rest of your life.

Why do some people get bullied and others don’t? You might try and factor in physical presence, but you can guarantee there are examples of people with a bodybuilding physique who get bullied – just like there are examples of smaller people who don’t get bullied.

There will be lots of factors that dictate why some people get bullied and others don’t, but the overriding factor is being a victim.

When I say a bully bullies because he can, it’s because there has to be a victim for the bullying to take place.

Being a victim is a choice.

It’s not your fault if someone chooses to bully you, but it is your fault for letting it continue to happen.

Nobody said facing a bully is easy. But is it any harder than the prospect of dealing with panic attacks for the rest of your life?

Handing over your pocket money to the bully might prevent him from hitting you, but he’ll be back for more. The problem doesn’t go away.

Giving your pocket money away only compounds the problem and makes it worse. The more you do it and give in, the more the bully will expect you to do it.

You have to get to a place that says no more.

I don’t care how you get there, but you have to reach a level where you’re so pissed off with being pushed around, you’re not willing to take it any longer.

I found the best emotion to tap into for this is anger.


If you’re getting bullied by panic attacks, you should be angry.

Anger, when channelled in the right way, is an emotion that supersedes panic. It’s the quickest tool you can use to break the victim mentality.

Get frustrated. Get angry. Get however you need to get to create change.

Unlike your dad’s advice, I’m not telling you to punch the bully in the face. That’s the good thing about a panic attack. You don’t need to.

Anyway, punching yourself in the face won’t do you any good.

You are your own bully

When I say ‘you are your own bully’, I’m not suggesting you get a perverse pleasure in causing yourself mental pain. Of course you don’t. Nobody enjoys panicking and suffering a panic attack.

Your bully is born from habit.

Through patterns of habit and behaviour, your brain has associated things it shouldn’t with a threat to your survival. It’s this association that causes the panic (panic attacks). And it’s this way of thinking that makes you your own bully.

Everyday things like going to the supermarket and seeing friends become unachievable because of the state of mind you’ve created.

This state of mind gets unravelled and dealt with when you start seeing panic attacks for what they really are: bullies.

Confront the bully

The next time you feel the bully (panic attack) provoking you, I want you to say: ‘DO YOUR WORST!’. If you can, shout it. Get angry. You don’t have to verbally say it. Say it in your head. However you say it, mean it.

If there is one thing a bully doesn’t like, it’s confrontation.

That’s why, when you say ‘DO YOUR WORST!’, it won’t get worse – it will get better.

This is a trigger to remind yourself that you’re no longer willing to put up with panic attacks and the physical symptoms they cause any longer.

Like all bullies, pride might dictate that there is some initial retaliation. Pass through it. Keep getting angry, and keep confronting it.

It will soon get the message.

While you do this, please be comforted in the knowledge that a panic attack has NEVER caused anyone any physical harm, ever. Doesn’t this just go to prove that the fear we create is much worse than anything else we experience?

When we don’t fuel the fear (anxiety), there is nothing for the panic attack (bully) to work with.

I’ll repeat the choice that you have.

Deal with the bully (panic attacks), or face them for the rest of your life.

I used to have 4-5 severe panic attacks every day.

Since I’ve adopted this mentality, I’ve not had one since.

Does the bully try it on every now and again?

You bet it does.

While I’m facing new challenges and growing, I wouldn’t expect it any other way.

But now, when I ‘feel’ the sensations of a panic attack, I simply adopt the same physical and mental stance I always adopt.

‘PANIC. GO FUCK YOURSELF.’

Anxiety Rebalance
Alison Edgar
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Panic Attacks, Self-Confidence, Stress, Success & Wellbeing, Work-life Balance

The Surprising Connection Between Sales and Overcoming Anxiety With Alison Edgar

Alison Edgar, aka The Entrepreneur’s Godmother, started her own venture when she was 46. Since then, she’s been voted one of the UK’s top business advisors, with invitations to both Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

It turns out that sales (selling) is a surprising handy skill to have when it comes to overcoming anxiety.

We spoke about:
– The importance of asking for help.
– Making a change, even when it scares you.
– How to avoid regret.
– Why ‘real men’ do cry.
– Dealing with anxiety, stress and pressure at work, and as an entrepreneur.
– The pressures of money and debt.
– Staying motivated through challenges.

Anxiety Rebalance
Health Anxiety - Let Go of the Obsessive Thoughts
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Stress

Health Anxiety: My Experience, and What My Trip to A&E Taught Me

It feels like a constant and endless battle.

Those obsessive thoughts running through your mind about your health or the health of the people closest to you just don’t let up.

What else could I be talking about but health anxiety?

My experience with health anxiety

After a while, I became relatively immune to the obsessive thoughts about my health. I was having so many negative thoughts about my health throughout the day, I began to think they were normal.

With this said, the thing that got me, each and every time, were the exaggerated obsessive thoughts. You know the ones I mean.

‘Is this headache the brain tumour I’ve always thought it was?’

‘Is this bit of chest pain the heart attack I’ve been expecting?’

I could have three headaches a day over the process of a month, and no matter how irrational it was, I’d still be convinced the next headache was ‘the one’.

It was the fear about the exaggerated thoughts that created the obsession.

The fear became my absolute focus and it consumed me, day and night.

It led to the endless trips to the hospital for ECGs, tests and scans – all coming back with negative results.

I’m reluctant to say ‘positive results’ because, at the time, I just wanted a diagnosis so I could move on.

Surely all these symptoms can’t be related to anxiety?

They were, but that didn’t stop the trip to A&E.

The trip to A&E

In my early 20’s, I left work early because I was convinced I was going to die. I ended up driving straight to A&E in total panic.

I approached the lady at the desk, quietly informing her that I was experiencing chest pains, and it felt like there was a tight band around my heart. (I still wasn’t sure whether or not there was something seriously wrong, so I was hesitant and slightly embarrassed. At this point, I also had no idea I was suffering from anxiety. I didn’t know what anxiety was at the time.)

I was sat down and told to take some pills while I waited. I think they were painkillers. I didn’t ask what they were, I just took them and waited.

I sat in the waiting area with the people around me bleeding and coughing. Their very real ailments kept me wondering whether or not my symptoms were real. There was no doubt the chest pains I was experiencing were real – but were they bad enough for me to be here? It just added to the confusion.

After about an hour and a half (which seemed more like three days) I was called through to speak to a nurse. I explained my symptoms, including the chest pain, and she took me through to lie on a bed, where I was strapped up to a blood pressure monitor.

As the nurse put the pads over my chest, I looked over at the monitor with the bouncy line and numbers. Did they mean I was dying? The unknown was enough to increase my heart rate tenfold.

As I laid on the bed, about half an hour passed, and I began to calm down as I appreciated I was in a pretty good place if anything serious was wrong. With the new state of mind, the chest pain and tightness began to subside.

The nurse came over to look at the monitor results. She didn’t say anything, which was a little concerning. Does that mean it’s bad news? She didn’t seem too concerned, which added to the conflicting feelings. I was reluctant to say anything – I didn’t want to know if it were bad news.

She came back five minutes later and reassured me that everything was OK. The test results were fine.

Although grateful for the news, I didn’t jump off the bed in delight. I was still confused by the whole experience.

She mentioned something about stress and something called a ‘panic attack’, but it was brief with no real substance. The focus was on the test results, and those being OK. I was confirmed as a free man – free to leave whenever I wanted.

I got up and started walking out of the hospital back to my car.

It was true. I was a free man – free from the hospital, that is. But the same couldn’t be said for how I felt inside. I didn’t feel free. For a long time after that experience, I remained a prisoner to the fear that something similar could happen again.

But, as with everything in life, if you choose to, you can just about get a positive out of anything. The positives I draw on this experience is the ability to share it, along with some of the answers that have helped me.

Here are three of the standout things I learnt from the A&E experience – and the many other health anxiety-related experiences like it.

Your mind is very powerful

Never underestimate the power of your mind. It can concoct all sorts of anxiety-related symptoms. You name it, your mind can come up with it.

It’s incredibly difficult, but it’s worthwhile spending some time considering whether or not the symptoms you experience are anxiety-related.

Get in the habit of questioning your symptoms, and not just accepting them.

When you experience numbness, is that anxiety?

When you feel sick, is that anxiety?

When you feel dizzy, is that anxiety?

When you’re at their mercy, anxiety-related symptoms will dominate you. You can only start breaking that pattern when you’re willing to question them.

When you’re prepared to say: ‘Wait a minute. Is this symptom real, or is it anxiety tricking me again?’, you naturally and instinctively up your level of self-awareness.

The panic that health anxiety-related symptoms create isn’t as powerful and doesn’t last as long when your self-awareness is higher.

Health anxiety will have a pretty hard time dominating you when you’re self-aware. It won’t be able to trick you as often. It will still have a good go, and even with a surge of rational thinking, it will succeed at times.

But those times will be limited, as long as you keep questioning.

The doctor’s surgery is an addiction

(I’m also going to include Dr Google in this example. When we’re not in the doctor’s surgery, we’re usually asking Dr Google.)

I’ve made jokes about how much I visited the doctor in Anxiety Rebalance.

It’s the constant need of reassurance that does it. The ‘is it, isn’t it’ back-and-forth internal conversation we have about whether or not it is anxiety has us visiting the doctor (a lot).

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

And it’s hindsight that tells me, unless you have a genuine need to do so, visiting the doctor only fuels the anxiety further. Ultimately, you get nowhere. If your symptoms are anxiety-related, the diagnosis is always the same, no matter how many times you go. The visits only add to frustration and despair.

This is where rational thinking comes into play.

Rather than jump straight on the phone to make the doctor’s appointment, give yourself some space, sit down, and question whether or not it’s anxiety tricking you. If it is, it’s time to realign your focus.

(If you have any doubt, you should always speak to your doctor. Sometimes we need the reassurance to move on. Just remember that, if you’re seeking reassurance often, it is counterproductive.)

Focus is key

You have a couple of choices when anxiety-related symptoms are hitting you.

  1. Allow the symptoms to keep the fear cycle turning. Sit still and let all the anxiety-related ‘what if’ type thoughts attack you. Focus on the fear of death, and allow it to consume you – including all the things you can’t control.
  2. Realign your focus, and focus on what it is you can control.

If you feel like there is nothing in your life you can control, then I suggest you start there. There is always something existing or something you can create that can give you a higher level of control. Focus on that, and everything else, including your health anxiety, won’t play as big of a role in your life.

When I did #1, I stayed trapped. I focused on checking my body for imperfections and continued to worry about the headaches. I was obsessed with the ‘unknown’ and everything I didn’t have control of. The fear created was unbearable.

When I did #2 (which was more difficult), I regained a little more control each time. I focused on the things I could do something about, and that created a new mindset.

Health anxiety isn’t just about worrying about your health. It’s feeling out of control. The only way to balance that is to get some more control.

This creates the only question that matters:

What do you have, or what can you create, that will help you gain more control?

Can you get more control over your job? In a relationship? Doing a hobby?

Realign your focus, and with time and more control, you’ll deal with your health anxiety in an entirely different way.

Anxiety Rebalance
Morning Anxiety - Make Mornings Better
Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Happiness, Health & Diet, Health Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Stress, Success & Wellbeing, Work-life Balance

Morning Anxiety: Make Mornings Better

Is there anything worse than being hit with anxiety as soon as you wake up? What can you do to wake up calmer, happier and less anxious?

It feels like that churning feeling in the pit of your stomach is there waiting for you as soon as your eyes open in the morning, followed closely by the instant ‘what if…?’ negative type thoughts that set off a chain of more anxiety-inducing thoughts.

‘What if that email didn’t come through?’

‘Have I paid that water bill?’

‘I can’t send Jamie to school with that hole in his shoe.’

The outcome: bags of morning anxiety and instant stress.

I’m going to be honest from the outset and tell you that morning anxiety isn’t something you can fix overnight.

The reason we wake up and feel instantly anxious is a build up of things that have been going on in our lives for a while.

If you’ve not slept well for a while, you can’t expect to fix that overnight. If you hate your job, you can’t expect to change that in a day. If money is tight, it’s unlikely the money fairy is stopping by anything soon.

But, with all this said, you can start to immediately improve things, including how you feel when you first wake up.

Right now, you can make a conscious decision to do something different when you wake up tomorrow morning. If you do that, you can start to make the changes you’re looking for.

Here are seven handy and simple tips to help you make your mornings better and less anxious.

Give yourself time

Feeling rushed and frantic is marvellous for upping your anxiety levels. If you want to get those anxiety levels down to a better place of balance, you need to give yourself time – so you feel less rushed and frantic. If you set your alarm for 7am, and you’ve got to be out of the house by 7.30am, is 30 minutes enough time to complete your morning routine? If it is and you’ve perfected it down to the minute, I’ll suggest to you that it’s not enough time if you still feel anxious. Set your alarm a little earlier, and give yourself some more breathing space. How you start your day usually dictates the rest of it.

Snooze you lose

Snoozing and staying in bed is just prolonging the pain. Why? Because when you’re sleeping you’re not taking action. It’s as bad as sweeping your problems under the carpet. The problems don’t go away – they grow under that carpet and get worse. Ultimately, there is only one thing that is going to ease your morning anxiety: Taking action. Action is the one thing that will help you overcome any form of anxiety – morning anxiety included. Know that when you stay in bed, nothing is changing. Be prepared to get up and take action.

Up your energy

If you’re feeling extra frisky, jump up straight out of bed as soon as you wake up. Start stretching your body out. Even better, do some exercises, like push-ups and star jumps. This might sound crazy and like it just won’t happen, but if you want to feel radically different in the morning, you’ve got to do something radically different. Even if you do it for 30 seconds, it could make all the difference. We’re talking about realigning your focus here. By doing this, you could ‘forget’ to be anxious – and that will set you on a different course.

Put your phone down!

The alarm on your phone goes off, and if you don’t hit the snooze button and roll over to go back to sleep, you’re straight on your phone checking your social media or news feed. News is generally news because it’s bad news, and social media is proven to increase your anxiety. If you’re doing these things as soon as your eyes open, there are no prizes for guessing what you’ll get in return. (Remember what we said about how you start your day?)

Prepare the night before

How you feel when you wake up is directly affected by yesterday, the day before, and the day before that. Don’t worry about the big stuff for now – just focus on the small step you can take. One of those small steps is to prepare the night before. If you know you’ve got stuff coming up for work, school, or whatever, prepare for it the night before. Get your bag ready. Get your clothes ready. Without getting too OCD about it, do what you can to prepare for the next day. Your brain likes routine, and setting yourself up by getting rid of the unknown will drop those anxiety levels in the morning.

Swap the caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that will fuel your anxiety. If you’re using caffeine to keep you awake, you’re also indirectly using it to make your anxiety worse. Swap your tea and coffee for decaf options or herbal teas, like Green Tea and Chamomile Tea.

Get a better sleeping pattern

The reason I used to wake up feeling like a zombie had a lot to do with me only getting a few hours of sleep (if I were lucky). Getting your sleep pattern right is one of the most difficult things you can do, but if you can start to improve it, even just a little bit, it will go a hell of a long way towards you feeling less anxious in the morning. There are some myths when it comes to getting better sleep, and you’re best to check out my interview with Stephanie Romiszewski (Channel 4’s sleep expert) to get you going in the right direction.

Stay patient and give yourself time. Keep taking action, and with each small step, know that your mornings will continue to get better.

Here’s to calmer, happier, less anxious mornings!

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
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
Anxiety, Fear, Happiness, Panic Attacks, Stress, Success & Wellbeing

Why Do I Get Anxiety When Driving?

When high anxiety becomes a feature in our lives, driving anxiety is commonplace. Why do we get anxious when driving, and how can we overcome it?

For the everyday, ‘normal’ driver, bombing up and down the motorway at 70mph (70mph tops, of course) isn’t an issue.

But if you’re dealing with high anxiety it’s a different story – and it all comes down to the story we’re telling ourselves.

We’ve all got that little voice in our heads. That little voice sounds very different when anxiety is your focus.

When driving home from work, a balanced person’s little voice is saying things like ‘what shall I have for dinner tonight’, and ‘will I get back in time for my TV programme.’

When you’re highly anxious, that little voice is saying things like ‘I hope I don’t crash the car’, and ‘what if I get stuck on the motorway – what the hell am I going to do!’

When you’re balanced, thoughts are about everyday things. When you’re highly anxious, thoughts are connected to our survival instinct. (i.e. not dying.)

High anxiety makes us focus on our survival, and that creates a whole raft of irrational thoughts.

These irrational thoughts become our sole focus, continuously fuelling the fear cycle.

It’s exhausting!

The more we allow the cycle to continue, the worst the fear gets, until we might reach the point when we don’t want to get in the car.


What can we do about driving anxiety?

It all comes down to small steps.

One small step is all it takes to start something new - Carl Vernon

You’ve got to retrain your brain so it knows that driving is a normal everyday activity.

So the first step is to rationalise your thoughts.

Driving carries a risk, but so do all modes of transport.

You have to decide if you’re willing to take the risk of driving.

If you put your rational thinking cap on, it will tell you that millions of people drive every day without issue. In other words, when you’re thinking rationally, the right decision is to drive.

The second step is to have to look at where you are right now.

If you’ve just started to experience driving anxiety, you’re in a different place to someone who’s not been able to get in a car for the last year.

Based on where you are right now, you have to decide what the next small step of action is for you.

That step should take you a little further outside of your current comfort zone.

That might mean you:

  • Take a friend out to drive with you.
  • Drive a little further outside of your comfort zone.
  • Go on the motorway or an A road.
  • Drive past the place that makes you anxious.
  • Sit in a car.

Pick the option that is right for you based on your current situation.

For example, if you haven’t been able to get in a car for the past year, just sitting in a car might be the thing that expands your comfort zone.

Each small step that you take should push you a little further outside of your comfort zone.

Like a snowball, with each step you take, your confidence is growing. You’re telling your brain that the thing you’ve been too nervous to do is OK.

**VERY IMPORTANT**

The key to making this process work is appreciating two things:

  1. Like a snowball, you have to continue your momentum.
  2. Accept that you will be challenged by the feelings of fear and anxiety.

When we expand our comfort zones, anxiety hits back and tries to stop us. It’s easier for anxiety (your survival instinct) to keep you in a little box. The job of keeping you safe is easier.

But you and I know that is no way to live.

You have to first decide that you are willing to face up to the challenge, and accept that you will feel anxious and challenged.

It means that you might feel like you’re going backwards at times.

Sometimes you’ll feel like you want to give up.

Use your rational thinking, and don’t give up.

To help with the rational thinking here, when making the decision whether or not to give up I want you to consider the prospect of never driving again.

What does that mean to you?

A loss of a job?

Your independence – gone?

A feeling of being trapped?

Allow the fear of these things to drive you to make the right decision. (Pun intended.)

Allow the prospect of these things becoming a reality to push you that extra step when you need it.

Keep making those small steps, and with each step keep expanding your comfort zone – just a little each time.

When you’re brave enough to face up to the challenge, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you can change things.

In other words, the challenge is worth it.

Anxiety Rebalance