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Before reading this please note I am not a doctor. You don't have to take my advice and should seek medical help if you genuinely believe your life is at risk. I want to give "my two cents" and shed some light on anxiety and what it can do and YOU can treat it.

I am posting this to give something back to the community and hopefully reach out to people with anxiety problems. If, like me you have been searching the Internet in vain for answers or resolution, then hopefully this thread will help you.

At first I didn't understand anxiety. I thought it was something invented by hypochondriacs. Then one day it hit me like a steam train and literally knocked me off my feet. I didn't see it coming, all I know is it grabbed hold of me like a bad habit.

I have had anxiety disorder for 18 months now. I'm pretty sure I know how it started as well which can help in fixing things later. For me it started with panic attacks leading to sleep deprivation, then came the obsessive thoughts about my general health and pretty soon I found I was adjusting my lifestyle around my anxiety disorder.

I now know, anxiety is serious people! Not in a detrimental effect on your health kind of way but as a damaging impact on what makes you who you are. Panic attacks/anxiety can completely strip you of your personality. It can make you feel tired/lethargic and CREATE pain that shouldn't be there. So...what the hell do we do about it!

You need to remember that your brain is a very sophisticated logic engine. It makes decisions based on past experiences which in essence is how we learn, and ultimately what makes us the dominant species of the planet. But here is its downside, sometimes a trigger can flick a switch which can lead us wondering, are we in control of our brains? Or are our brains in control of us?

A point to consider, you can look at a cut finger, see the blood and then feel the pain which wasn't there to begin with. Why is that? Because your mind was pre-occupied on something else and had not drawn awareness to it but now it hurts like hell. This is anxiety in its opposite form.

Itís time to start taking control of your anxiety before it ruins your life. It's a mindset. An accident. A misunderstanding. All of which can be put right with the right push. I am a huge believer in mind over muscle because, lets face it, it was your mind that started this happening in the first place. I'm hoping that last sentence caused a little relief smile because of the realization that, "hey, this guy may be on to something".

Back to the finger analogy, if you become aware of your heart, itís beats, its feelings, itís twinges, its mistakes then congratulations you have what my doctor called ďA talent to listen to your heartĒ. You find your checking your pulse, trying to detect some irregularity that could help diagnose you later. STOP IT NOW. There is one undeniable truth that must first be addressed, if your heart was in trouble you would be in a hospital bed or 6 feet under. Anxiety can generate a fear of dying, most commonly around your heart because itís our life source, and we sure as hell donít want it going out.

My advice is, go to the doctor, go to hospital for checks and whatever tests you deem necessary. If the results come back clear this is your first step. Now, the tricky bit. The tests that were just done to you ARE conclusive. They can tell if you have had a heart attack days after you have actually had one. Odds are you have gone there because of a recent ďpanic attackĒ thinking your heart was in trouble. If anything was untoward, they would tell you there and then. ACCEPT the results. DO NOT dwell on what could have been missed, what if, or yeah but. Go home and learn how to relax.

I read a book about the brain discussing some of the principles about why we do what we do. An interesting topic talked about Automatic Negative Thinking. The clever bit, make an acronym and you get ANTS. SQUASH THOSE ANTS! When an obsessive thought takes over, stamp on it. Visualize the destruction of your well being mentality marching in and taking back control. With enough practice, well being WILL dominate and be on the lookout for their return.

Hereís a little exercise for you, lye down and get comfy. Get some inspiration music, you, know the goose bump feeling. Close your eyes, and then go on the war path. How many times have you had hiccups, and got to a point where you anticipate the next one and it didnít happen? Search your mind for negative thoughts. Find what I call the ďpanic roomĒ in your mind and destroy everything in it. Nothing sharp needed, itís all metaphorical but equally as powerful.

Get hold of that negative thought, imagine casting a net over it, take in a deep breath and imagine with your slow exhale a vacuum sucking it out of your mind being blown into the air. Visualize it dying in the air and celebrate its departure. You are now on the road to recovery!

Just like alcoholics anonymous, by accepting you have a problem is half the battle. Doing something about it is the other half.

Another concept for you to think about. Is anxiety a conscious or subconscious event? You wake up in the morning and for a few minutes everything is fine, then you properly wake up and think when will I see anxiety today? You have just invited anxiety in. My point is your conscious thought provoked anxiety. Generally we canít control our subconscious, but the rest is under our command.

Hopefully someone will have read all this and taken something positive away from it. I have loads more advice but I get the feeling this post is already big enough.

Good luck, take back control!

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