I always get lots of questions about panic attacks, which is understandable – they usually go hand-in-hand with anxiety.
I’ve recorded a quick message for anybody currently suffering from panic attacks.
Download and listen to it below, or watch and listen on YouTube here.
Put it on your phone (or any device you carry around with you), and when you feel the symptoms of panic attack, listen to it and use it to overcome them.
I hope, armed with the knowledge I give you, with a bit of time and practice panic attacks stop bullying you.
You CAN overcome panic attacks. I did it, and so can you.
It’s estimated that about 10% of us have a phobia about visiting the dentist.
Not surprising, when you consider we associate a trip to the dentist with needles, drills, and pain!
We can all relate to this, and most of us have had a problem with seeing the dentist at some point in our lives. But is it really as bad as we think? Should it provoke as much anxiety as it does, or are we just overreacting?
I spoke to one of the country’s leading dentists, Dr. James Russell, who you’ll probably know best from Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.
As one of the country’s leading specialists in restoration and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. James Russell has seen the most desperate and highly anxious patients – people who are so anxious about seeing the dentist they’ve avoided it for years – sometimes even decades.
I asked Dr. James Russell why he thought people were so scared of the dentist, and what you can do to overcome anxiety at the dentist.
If you’ve been avoiding the dentist I hope this interview offers you some words of encouragement, and gives you the strength to pick up the phone and make the appointment.
It’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be.
About Dr. James Russell
James Russell is a dentist with a special interest in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. He has been accredited by the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. This highly prestigious award is given in recognition of excellence in cosmetic dentistry. James is the youngest dentist to achieve this. In 2010 James was voted as the 5th most influential dentist in the UK and in 2011 was voted #1 in the Private Dentistry Elite 20.
His opinions and skills are regularly in magazines, on radio and since 2009 James has been the dental expert providing advice and treatment on Channel 4's highly popular, BAFTA winning, Embarrassing Bodies program. James is a UK opinion leader for Ivoclar Vivadent and when not working in clinic James regularly lectures in the UK and abroad.
They did with me, for sure.
Audiobooks have a way of elevating words, and if read by the author, they can give you a deeper understanding of the message.
My intention with Anxiety Rebalance was to give you another level of support you might not get from a book. With audio, you can carry me around with you on a device (like a mobile phone) in your pocket. If you’re struggling with anxiety or panic attacks you can put your headphones in and get instant support – from somebody you know that’s been there and understands. Most importantly, somebody who can talk you through it and help you overcome it.
We’re not all readers and some of us just don’t have time to sit down to read a book - audiobooks can offer the perfect solution. When I go to the gym I pop my headphones in and before I know I’m halfway through a book and ready for a shower (two birds, one stone). I’m not the quickest reader, and it can take me weeks to read one book. With audiobooks, I can do two or three a week – plenty more knowledge and personal growth.
If you’re a regular downloader of audiobooks I have no doubt you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t given them a go yet, I highly recommend you give them a try – you won’t regret it.
Thank you to everybody that has listened to the Anxiety Rebalance audiobook. It’s a bestseller on Audible, and you can find it here
Here’s my full interview with Audible on SoundCloud
It's been a manic few weeks.
Anxiety Rebalance has been signed up by world-leading publisher, Hachette (which is great news because it means we can spread the word internationally), and I've been busy in the studio recording the audio version, which is due for release on 5th May (thank you for all your audio requests!).
When I started writing the book it was my dream to help people across the world, and with your help, the dream is becoming reality.
You and I both know there are so many people out there that need help, and I thank you wholeheartedly for your support, including all the amazing feedback received - I couldn't do this without you.
Here's my recent BBC Radio Northampton interview with John Griff. We talk about my experience with anxiety, why we need to be speaking more about it, and my book, Anxiety Rebalance.
A big reason I searched for answers as long as I did is because of the rubbish I kept being told, mainly due to the fact they were after my money and more concerned about telling me what I wanted to hear, rather than giving me information that would help.
It became apparent, if I wanted change, I’d have to go and find the answers myself.
Along that journey I came across facts I didn't want to hear. But, I realised if I wanted to overcome anxiety and experience lifetime change, I had to accept the rough with the smooth, which sometimes meant dealing with things I didn’t want to.
Here are four things that others won’t tell you about anxiety.
1. You Have to Face Your Fears
I was once told that I’d never have to face my fears. I’m sure you agree, this sounds nice, but it’s complete rubbish. If you want to overcome anxiety one of the first things you need to do is face up to it, otherwise it will rule your life for however long you let it.
I go to college part-time and my Mum works full-time. Whenever she leaves the house I get separation anxiety and find it unbearable. I get panic attacks and I’m just waiting for her to come home.
I’m 16 and I know this isn’t normal for me to be feeling like this. I just feel so dependent on her. When she’s gone I think the worse and horrible thoughts race around in my head. I call my friends to keep me busy but I know I can’t keep doing that and I have to deal with the problem.
When we’re feeling anxious, to make ourselves feel better, we want to try and control things. When we feel like we can’t control the situation we worry that things will get worse, and that creates more anxiety.
Separation anxiety is caused by the ‘what if…’ thoughts, and when you’re anxious your excessive energy is used to create lots of these thoughts that make you worry. When you worry a lot you fear the worst, and your mind creates thoughts that you wouldn’t normally think.
When we sit still we allow our minds to wonder off to places we don’t want to go, so it’s great to hear you keep yourself active and go to college. You’re doing the right thing by keeping yourself busy, and all you need to do is expand on that.
Do you have a part-time job?
What are your hobbies?
Do you go out and see your friends often?
To break separation anxiety you have to change your environment, which will change your focus and the way you think about things. If you keep doing the same thing everyday you can’t expect it to change, right?
Keep yourself busy. Use your creative intelligence to do good. Break the pattern. Your life will move forward in a more positive way, and given a bit of time separation anxiety won’t be an issue for you any longer.
I’ve been lying to my family and pretending to go to work, but I’ve not been going for the past few weeks because I’m too anxious. I’m getting harassed and bullied and I’m having spells where I get dizzy which gives me panic attacks.
Things have never been this bad and I don’t know what’s going to happen, especially when my wages don’t come in as usual to pay the bills. I feel like I’m letting my family down. I want to be strong but I just feel depressed and want to stay in bed which is making things worse.
You need to get back to a level playing field so anxiety can’t dictate your thinking. When you’re feeling stressed and anxious it will cloud your judgement and make you believe there’s no way out. It’s very easy to get into a spiral, and although you might not think it right now, there is a way to change your situation as quickly as it happened.
Hiding the truth from your family isn’t doing you any good. The first step is to be honest. You might feel like you’re letting them down, but you’re not. You’re going through a challenging period that everybody at some time faces, and a supportive family will understand and recognise that. It takes bravery to open up and be honest, but no more bravery than having to face what you’re currently going through.
Once the truth is in the open you can move forward and deal with it. Including your family will help you appreciate you’re not dealing with the situation on your own. This will give you the strength and belief you need to move forward in a different direction.
If you feel like you need to talk to somebody outside of your family unit, find a good counsellor who will help talk through the things that need to be brought to surface. To deal with the panic attacks and anxiety at work there will be underlying fears that need to be tackled, and a good counsellor will help you do it.
Nobody deserves to be bullied, and bullies only do what they do because of the reaction they get. When you’re brave enough to get the truth out there and start speaking about whats really on your mind by exposing your fears, the bullying will stop - both internally (panic attacks) and externally (at work).
I couldn't leave my house for months. I'd get to the front door and fear would consume me.
'What if' irrational thoughts controlled by high anxiety prevented me from seeing the truth - that I was placing my chips in the wrong box.
Agoraphobia is driven by the fear of leaving your comfort zone (normally your home), and what will happen to you if you do.
99.99% of the time nothing happens.
If you knew you had a 99.99% chance of winning at the roulette table, my guess is you'd spend a lot of time at the casino!
If you're agoraphobic, you have to ask yourself why you're consistently backing the wrong horse. Those tiny odds are stacked heavily against you.
The safe bet is opening the door.
Anxiety is biting and you need a solution, fast.
You jump on the computer and start searching Google for a quick fix. It doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t stop websites offering you one.
Before you punch in your card details I want you to take a step back and ask yourself: Is this person / company / website wanting to help me, or just wanting to take my money?
The seduction of money means that there won’t ever be a shortage of cowboys waiting to prey on the vulnerable, and the only way we’re going to get rid of these unscrupulous companies is to stop giving them money.
Don’t waste your time or money
The easiest way to save your time and money when looking for a solution for anxiety is to avoid methods and websites that immediately sell to you, usually using hard or hidden sales techniques to get you to buy their product.
They’re not always obvious, but some of the things to look out for include:
- A method offering a quick fix, elimination, or cure (they don’t exist).
- Methods offering high-priced products such as CD’s and DVD’s (they’re more interested in your money than they are in helping you).
- Celebrity endorsements (usually they’ve been paid to endorse the product).
- Money back guarantees (you expect a money back guarantee on a dishwasher - not your state of mind!).
- Old and tired methods that don’t work (like Distraction).
The truth is, you don’t need any of the above. You just need answers.
Getting answers, allowing them to sink in, and putting them in to practice will take a little longer than you want, but it’s well worth the wait. Don’t allow the fear that made you jump on the computer control your actions - it’s allowing the cowboys to flourish, and your self-esteem to plummet.
Be strong and patient - it’s the difference between quick fixes that don’t work, and lifetime change.
The best way to connect with Carl and join the discussion is on his Facebook page