All of us struggle with anxiety at one time or another. It’s easy to think that you have some unique set of genes or were the only one who has lived your wildlife. So somehow, you have a condition that no one else has ever had, or could even imagine.
You’re not that special. Well, you are special. Your problems just aren’t that unique. You are not alone. Millions struggle with anxiety in many forms. Whether it be the fear of public places, driving, crowds, meetings or public speaking.
The instinctual approach is to run away or try to block the feelings of anxiety, which only gives the fear more strength. The interesting thing about anxiety is that it really turns into the fear of the fear. It starts as a fear but then grows as you began to fear the fear. This is the vicious cycle you can learn how to break.
You fear what might happen when you’re at the line in the bank and the panic attack ensues. Or while driving, what will happen when someone cuts in front of you and you don’t have time to slow down.
What Causes Anxiety
When this uncomfortable feeling kicks in, it’s normal to want to run away. It’s our primitive fight or flight system kicking in, sending blood away from our brain into muscles and limbs to increase speed for running or agility and strength for the fight. It’s a survival mechanism designed to keep us alive when a tiger approaches.
We’re (usually) no longer in that type of life-threatening danger, but our fight or flight mechanism is still in us. Certain situations can appear new and scary, which trigger this primitive response.
If you can relate, then the following book is for you. It explains a unique approach to managing severe anxiety, panic attacks, and fear in general. As of now, it has 4.8 stars on Amazon with just over 100 reviews.
Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks –
A counterintuitive approach to recover and regain control of your life.
It provides a handful of mental exercises to rewire the brain. Instead of developing techniques to stop panic attacks and anxiety from happening, it teaches you to accept and allow anxiety to happen.
Does this Book Help With Panic Attacks & Anxiety?
It provides a handful of mental exercises to rewire the brain. Instead of developing techniques to stop panic attacks and anxiety from happening, it teaches you to accept and allow anxiety to happen. This book arms you with approaches such as using humor, a go-for-it attitude, and extreme exaggeration to break the fear cycle.
One approach teaches you to make light of your most feared, anxiety driven scenario. Humor is the opposite of anxiety. If you are laughing, you can’t also be in the middle of a panic attack. Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks has you picture a feared scenario that triggers anxiety.
Picture this as you normally would. Your heart rate will start to elevate and all the other anxiety symptoms will kick in. Once you get to the peak of the anxiety and reach your scary moment, take it 5 steps further to an overly exaggerated comical state. This may seem counterintuitive, but it works. For example, if you fear is being in meetings you could picture the following scenario.
The turn for you to speak in the meeting approaches and the anxiety awakens. Your heart starts beating fast, your stomach tightens, throat closes, and your body starts to shake. You worry you’ll make a fool of yourself by not being able to articulate your point. Everyone will think your dumb and you’ll never get a promotion. You want to escape by running out of the room to avoid this scary situation.
This is the fight-or-flight instinct kicking in. The brain thinks you are in danger, but you aren’t. There isn’t a lion or a tiger hiding in the other conference room waiting to pounce on you. But the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for anxiety, thinks it’s go-time. This part of the brain can increase in size and become more active, the more you use it. As fear of the fear cycle continues, it trains the amygdala that this is a scenario that requires a fight or flight.
But it’s wrong, we need to help it understand that.
This is where the humor and/or exaggeration comes in. Again picture the same scenario in the meeting that triggers the anxious thoughts. This time, take the imagination to the next level. Once your heart starts to beat fast, try picturing it beating so fast it thumps in and out of your chest like you’d see in a cartoon. Maybe it stretches so far it starts bumping the person across from you in the face. Then it keeps going any punches holes in the walls and breaks a window. Everyone runs away screaming. That’s kinda funny.
Don’t worry if you fear isn’t related to meetings or speaking. This process works, no matter what form of anxiety you have.
Thinking this way will feel counterintuitive at first, but it’s what your brain needs to break the cycle of fearing the fear. Start this exercise when you’re in a place where you feel safe and run through the thought experiment a few times. It will take practice but each time you go through the comical scenario, you’ll notice the anxiety symptoms lighten.
Once you have the thought exercise down, try it in the next real-world situation. Again, you aren’t trying to prevent the anxiety feeling from happening. Instead, you accept it’s presence and take control by shifting your thoughts to the exaggerated scenario.
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