“Stinking Thinking” – the tragedy of having vicious self talk.

When we feel held back by our own inner voice telling us ‘I can’t’, ‘I’m going to come across stupid’, ‘they don’t like me’, it’s like we have a mental coach forever criticising us and putting us down. And we listen and believe that voice – it seems full of authority and true. How can we get on and enjoy life with an inner mean tyrant abusing us like that?
A while back I watched a ‘Would you believe’ interview with the world class opera singer Celine Byrne. I remember her story of how she could go from a standing ovation in La Scala opera house – attended by people who know what they are listening to and who consider her the best in the world right now – to crying in her room with feelings of depression and worthlessness.
The interview moved me and once again I was reminded of how torturous the inner critic can be. It doesn’t take into account all of the evidence of how good, accomplished or deserving of a night off of self loathing we are and instead just keeps berating us with negative comparisons and put downs.
I was privileged to go see Andrea Bocelli in the 3Arena in Dublin and for the first time got to hear Celine Byrne – his guest soprano – in person. We use terms like ‘amazing’, ‘world class’, ‘transcendent’, ‘unbelievable’ when we witness excellence and a human being expressing themselves at the top of their game and yet those terms can’t ever fully describe how we’ve been transported by a performance. She was all of those things.
If I didn’t understand psychology I would be dumbfounded to comprehend how someone that effortlessly competent, and instantly likeable, could complete a performance like that and end up in tears of self doubt.
Our “stinking thinking” is relentless, ever on the look out for danger, ever fearful of our capacity to make it. It can ruin our experience of life.
It saddens me that this is the case. I was saddened that someone who gives so much and is so appreciated would not be able to feel good about herself and saddened that all of the various techniques and practices that are helpful in stopping ‘stinking thinking’ are not more widely known and available to the people who most need and most deserve the release for the inner prison of abusive self talk.
So yet again I’m inspired to let it be known – we don’t have to keep suffering, to keep battling demons, to keep struggling to have a good day. And if your ‘stinking thinking’ is saying ‘well I’m not world class – I’m not that good at anything’ it just is an indicator that you are unnecessarily holding yourself back and limiting yourself by listening to such thoughts. There are ways out and those ways can be thought, learned, applied and you can get results. Anyone can. World class performers and people with more ordinary lives, all of us can silence the inner critic.
I’m always happy to discuss how life can be experienced with more ease and happiness.
If you’d like to have a chat you can get me on
at 087 2201 543
Have a great week,

Magnesium: Natures aid to Stress

If you have ever had a panic attack you know it is one of the most terrible experiences you can have. This information may help you from having to experience the awful dread, fear of losing of control, racing thoughts, and overwhelming emotions associated with panic/anxiety attacks.

Anxiety attacks are intense moments of an extreme chemical imbalance in the body and mind that can cause physical symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, abdominal distress, shortness of breath and emotional symptoms such as panic, fear of dying, and dread.

This post is not about the psychological issues behind anxiety. Instead, it references the occurrence of anxiety as an effect of magnesium deficiency and/or an exacerbation of stress-induced anxiety because you don’t have enough magnesium to keep your body relaxed in the face of overwhelming stress.
Dr. Carolyn Dean has written about the biochemical cause of anxiety as it relates to magnesium deficiency and the adrenal glands in The Magnesium Miracle. The following excerpt is from Chapter One:

When the adrenals are no longer protected by sufficient magnesium, the fight-or-flight hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline become more easily triggered. When they surge erratically, they cause a rapid pulse, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations. The more magnesium-deficient you are, the more exaggerated is the adrenaline release. Magnesium calms the nervous system and relaxes muscle tension, helping reduce anxiety and panic attacks.


When the body is stressed – and it can be for a dozen different reasons, our magnesium reserves dump this crucial mineral into our blood stream and we immediately become one of those people blessed with the ability to cope. We are both calm and alert.

If the stress continues and we don’t rest or replace our magnesium between episodes, our magnesium stores become depleted. Then, when you are faced with a stressor, the stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) do not elicit a magnesium response with its calming effect. In its place, adrenalin revs up your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and tenses your muscles in a fight or flight reaction.
You’re stressed out, not sleeping, tense and irritable and you don’t know that simply taking a good magnesium supplement could pull you out of that downward spiral.

Chances are you can alleviate your anxiety and panic related symptoms with therapeutic doses of magnesium.
The most important fact in magnesium therapy for anxiety is to use a form of magnesium that is non-laxative so you can take enough to make a difference in your health. That form of magnesium that we recommend is ReMag – a picometer, stabilized ionic magnesium at the highest concentration available – 60,000ppm.
The next most important fact is that you have to be committed to your protocol and stick with it long enough to achieve your desired results. Magnesium is not a drug that will suppress your symptoms; it is a necessary cofactor that makes the body function properly. You need enough magnesium to make all your enzyme processes perform smoothly, and to have sufficient magnesium tucked away in reserve. That does not happen overnight. However, within days or weeks most people start to feel somewhat better and that improvement builds over time.
Hope this information is helpful to you.
Have a good week,

087 2201 453

How to stop going red for ‘no reason’.

“My face burns hot anytime they ask me anything. It’s so embarrassing and for no reason. It could be just a simple request to pass something over to them or a comment on what I did at the weekend and that’s enough.”

People who don’t blush often find blushing “endearing” or “cute” and generally feel people who blush to be non-threatening and relax around them; but for the people who blush it can be a daily torture.
They tend to hate it. And as a result often times hate any situation that is gives rise to them blushing. They’ll avoid presenting, speaking up in meetings, asking for assistance, telling a story, chatting someone up. It’s so challenging for them to fell judged and exposed they try to minimise the amounts of time during the day that they have to endure it.
And many blushers go through life preoccupied with when and if they will blush and how to set it up so they suffer the least. It can be very restrictive and hold blushers back from achieving what they are (otherwise) capable of.
In the extreme there is an operation that some blushers undergo to help stop the blushing, but before it gets that invasive there are other approaches that work very well.
Hypnotherapy to resolve the emotional causes works wondrously well. As does an application of EFT (emotional freedom technique) and EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing).
Most people who find blushing an issue can remember it becoming so – normally during school years – being asked to read in class or being singled out in some uncomfortable way. Some relate that it got to be an issue around puberty when we naturally become more self conscious. And others feel it’s been a problem from even earlier.
In any case it’s a learned response to a perceived threat and because of that it can be unlearned. Those ‘triggers’ can be neutralised.
I’m happy to chat about how being the centre of attention can become more comfortable for you.
You can get me on 087 2201 453 or by email info@DublinMindTraining.com
Wishing you a lovely week.
With Love,

Top 5 fears of presentation (& top ways to resolve them)…

This is how someone described a work presentation to me. “I can feel my heart beat out of my chest, to the point I feel dizzy. I can hear my heart beat in my ears – and it’s making me unable to hear or concentrate on what they are asking me. I can’t think of what I’m saying so I rehearse the talk and hope I’m repeating it properly as I’m not sure of what’s happening – other than I’m terrified. I just want to get through it. It passes – somehow I do it and I can’t remember any of it – it’s a blur. People tell me it went well enough but I don’t believe them, I think they are just being nice. “
Many people experience presenting with this degree of nervousness. It’s one of the most common fears I work with in my practice.

What most presenters fear is:

1) Looking stupid. Making and learning from mistakes as we grow and mature is part of normal human development. Some of us were laughed at and ridiculed when we made mistakes and that resulted in feelings of stupidity. We fear we could be laughed at again. Presenting in front of others often triggers the fear of looking stupid or being laughed at.

2) Looking nervous. Most nervous presenters dread that others can see that they are nervous. They hate that their skin glows red, that their hands shake as they point to information, that their voice has a higher pitch than normal or is also shaky. They hate that the nervousness is visible – otherwise they could handle the feelings –if only they could keep them hidden.

3) Being judged as inadequate. Some nervous presenters don’t believe in their abilities, have perfectionist tendencies and have huge fear of coming across as ‘not good enough’. The fear of being exposed puts pressure on the person and results in a lot of fear.
4) Being compared negatively to other work colleagues. Competitiveness is a natural part of our animal make-up. There is healthy competition. There are also competition fears: that we won’t ‘win’, that others are better, that we won’t be picked, that we don’t have what it takes and that we will miss out. We compare or are compared to others – implicitly and explicitly and if we feel we are lacking that brings with it much fear.

5) Making a mistake or not knowing the answer. Some people feel a lot of internal pressure about having to know the answer to anything asked. This can be compounded by external expectation that they know the answers also. With high expectation and an intolerance towards making mistakes or not knowing there can be a lot of fear – fear of losing the job or promotion or reputation.

To reduce the fear of presentations there are many helpful approaches:

1) Positive visualization, positive self talk and mental rehearsal for an enjoyable experience.
2) Breathing practices that help calm the body.
3) Inner child work to resolve the fear of negative attention, authority figures and of looking silly or making mistakes.
4) Self esteem work to build a better relationship with ourselves.
5) Skills development to become more competent and therefore more confident in our work.
6) Practice! E.g joining a speaking group or chairing meetings etc
Many surveys put presentation fear in the number 1 position. Most jobs require some presentation and many people are held back because of the fear. Please be reassured that it is fully resolvable.
I’m available to discuss how what I do can be of assistance to you, so feel free to give me a call.
I’m contactable at 01 207 9615
Or you can get me by email info@dublinmindtraining.com
Have a lovely week,

PHOBIAS: How to 1) identify 2) understand the origins and 3) resolve phobias.

Feeling intense feelings of fear, dread and overwhelm around a person (boss, attractive people, successful people, audiences), place (planes, heights, lifts), animals/insects (dogs, spiders, wasps) or things that are not directly threatening is considered to be a phobic response.
We want to avoid the fear inducing situation and the idea of it is enough to make our stomach churn and the body to quiver.
We ‘know’ we can’t face it and don’t unless we absolutely have to (e.g travel for work, go to dentist, give a best-man speech, go to a crowded seminar).
And when we do confront the phobia we hate every minute of it, feel more scared than even and vow to avoid it at all costs in the future.
Yet, part of us wants to be done with it, we want to get over it, we want to get on. Usually this part doesn’t feel ‘strong’ enough and we revert back to dodging what we’re afraid of.
Sometimes we don’t know that there is something we can do to resolve phobias.
My hope is that this post informs and reassures that phobias can be sorted out – very often quickly and easily.


1) Direct fearful experience that was overwhelming…
If, for example, we were attacked and bit by a dog when we were younger and did not get the chance to de-brief the experience emotionally i.e get over it. It can result in us developing a phobic response to dogs that is reinforced by feeling fear and thinking fearful thoughts every time we see a dog.
By releasing the original fear and changing our thoughts, feelings and attitude towards dogs we will resolve these types of simple phobias.
2) Conditioned and learned response…
We pick up many of our beliefs from listening to and mirroring those around us. If our mother screamed and ran out of the room afraid of a spider then we can – through feeling her fear and mimicking her behaviour – develop a phobic response to spiders.
We can watch frightening movies (read scary books, watch a documentary etc) and be hypnotised into being fearful of the dark, people in masks, being alone, sharks and so on.
We learn thinking styles from our family and people around us. We can learn to think catastrophically – imagining in full HD drama what could go wrong. In this way we misuse our powerful imagination and frighten ourselves with our imagination.
We can learn to think negatively and powerlessly and develop a relationship to the object we’re afraid of in which we believe ourselves to be less than or smaller than it (in terms of our ability to remain calm around it).
We learn to listen to a negative voice in our head and internalise the fears of those around us.
Sorting out our true voice from our parents, teachers, authority figures etc and making choices about how we think and use our imagination can help hugely with this kind of phobic response.
Develop the habit of asking yourself “who’s voice is talking right now?” or “who does this feeing belong to?”. It’s very simple yet also very helpful. We begin to realise how little of our thinking is our own true thoughts.
By becoming aware we can make different choices of thoughts and therefore get different feelings. This small yet powerful question – constantly applied brings big results over time.
If you are afraid of flying (or whatever you are phobic of) play a fantasy in your mind of you happy, relaxed and at ease on the plane. Listen to a hypnotic visualisation of positive suggestions and entertain it going well for you.
We can retrain our thinking styles and improve the suggestions we give ourselves through thinking and imagining in better ways.
3) Symbol / trigger for fear associated to something else..
Sometimes we have had traumatic fearful experiences that we haven’t fully resolved. We may not even consciously remember them. Yet our minds can project the unresolved fear into a symbol and it then triggers the original fear. We aren’t normally aware that this is happening so it can seem odd to us that we feel phobic of certain things.
‘Sponges’ for example: I remember a client who as a young girl in the bathroom overheard a particularly violent row between her parents outside. She froze in fear and found herself staring at a bathroom sponge. Afterwards she developed a phobic response to being washed with sponges and never understood why or resolved it until the memory was worked through.
Many of the more complex phobias like social phobia (intense fear of being judged, being the centre of attention, looking foolish, making a mistake), fear of public speaking, commitment phobia etc fall into this category.
We have past hurtful experiences of being made fun of, being ridiculed, singled out and embarrassed, being put down, abandoned, betrayed and / or abused and these hurtful unresolved memories are triggered when we are in front of others (in the ‘firing’ line).
By releasing the blocked and unresolved hurt emotions and getting a chance to de-brief our painful experiences much of what we are phobic of can be resolved.
Doing emotional resolution work, facing our fears or looking at our hurt can seem daunting and most of us would prefer ‘not to go there’. We have a tendency to minimize the impact fear has on our lives ‘it’s not that bad that I can’t fly – I like staying in Ireland for holidays’, ‘I’m sure I’ll meet someone naturally – why put myself through dating’ and so on. It’s understandable that we’d be resistant to change work. However for many there comes a time when it really is important and necessary to do something about the phobia – the cost of managing the fear becomes too great. Please be reassured that it’s never as hard or as painful as we might expect and often it’s surprisingly enjoyable to be released from life long bondage to fears.
If a phobia is causing you undue distress it can become something you got over. Many hypnotic and NLP (neuro linguistic programming) processes help as does positive visualizations, EFT (emotional freedom technique), EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) & coherence psychotherapy.
I’m happy to discuss how phobias can be fully resolved.
You can reach me at 01 207 9615 or drop me a line to
Have a great week,

Q: Best way to Quit?

A: 1) Be Proactive and 2) Hire Expert Assistance.

Smoking is considered one of the toughest things to quit. Even very successful people found it a challenge, and like most successful people when they come up against a problem they seek advice from someone able to help.
One of the major differences between people who do exceptionally well and those who don’t is that high achievers hire coaches, mentors and advisor’s to guide them through life’s difficulties.

Celebs who quit with hypnosis:

There are many famous people who have sought the help of a hypnotist to help them stop smoking.
celebs who quit
Matt Damon quit smoking using hypnosis after filming ‘The Ocean’s Twelve’. He said afterwards: “It’s amazing I didn’t even want cigarettes any more” and told America on Jay Leno’s show “I should have done it years ago, using hypnosis was one of the greatest decisions of my life!”
Ben Affleck tells Oprah he used Hypnosis to stop smoking: “I finally decided to quit smoking when I found out I was going to have a child. That was the thing that sort of put it over the top for me. I decided to go to a hypnotist. You sit in a chair and the hypnotist sips water and just talks to you for an hour, and explains how nicotine is poison.”
“All of a sudden, I thought, ‘This is asinine that I’ve been doing this to myself for all these years.’ My last cigarette was on November 10th, 2005, and I feel a huge difference in my health now that I don’t smoke. I feel like I’m in better shape than I was five years ago.”
Ellen DeGeneres spoke on her TV show about how she quit smoking with hypnosis. Ellen was so grateful that she told Paul McKenna: “You’ve helped me tremendously and probably saved my life. Quitting definitely changed my life.”
Courteney Cox used hypnosis to quit smoking when she was 34 years old.
David Arquette used hypnosis to help him quit smoking.
Drew Barrymore managed to kick a two to three pack a day habit that she’d had since her teens with the help of hypnosis, and so did Kevin Stone, Bill Joel, Brittany Spears and many others.

“Be Proactive” is the 1st habit of ‘the 7 habits of highly effective people’.

This is a book that details the habits people who achieve in their endeavors cultivate. In order to bring about change we need to be proactive. Doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome is frustratingly pointless.
Making promises to quit, lasting a day (week, month) by will power, encountering some circumstances that result in us smoking and going back on them, just to make the same declaration to quit again and attempting it the same way as we did the last time is a common pattern smokers get into to.
But if we learn the two lessons of very successful people of 1) be proactive and 2) seek expert advice we can give ourselves a real chance of succeeding at quitting.

Hypnosis is a proven way to help a person quit:

Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. A meta-analysis, statistically combining results of more than 600 studies of 72,000 people from America and Europe to compare various methods on quitting. On average, hypnosis was over three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone. Reference:University of Iowa, Journal of Applied Psychology, How One in Five Give Up Smoking. October 1992.
90.6% Success Rate for Smoking Cessation Using Hypnosis
Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent from tobacco use at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post-treatment). This represents a 90.6% success rate using hypnosis. University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J.
Hypnosis Patients Twice As Likely To Remain Smoke-Free After Two Years
Study of 71 smokers showed that after a two-year follow up, patients that quit with hypnosis were twice as likely to remain smoke-free than those who quit on their own. Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. Wynd, CA. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2005; 37:3, pages 245-250.
Knowing that hypnosis is an effective route to take to stop smoking it requires only that a person be proactive and take the step to have the session done so that it’s not only celebrities that get to enjoy the benefits of being a non-smoker.
One session (€250 / 90 minutes) is all that’s required to quit for good so feel free to get in touch.
You can reach me at 01 207 9615 or drop me a line to
Have a great week,

Anxiety – Defined!

Define ‘ANXIETY’

a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
synonyms: worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, consternation, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude, perturbation, fretfulness, agitation, angst, nervousness, nerves, edginess, tension, tenseness, stress, misgiving, trepidation, foreboding, suspense;
strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.
synonyms: eagerness, keenness, desire, impatience, longing, yearning
anxiety def

We can all relate to the definition of anxiety and have all felt those fretful feelings at some stage. We commonly feel anxious 1) starting something new (e.g job, house move, relationship, becoming a parent) 2) performing in a way we aren’t used to (speech making, love making) 3) when we are going outside our comfort zone (e.g confronting someone, risking vulnerability) or 4) around people, animals or situations we’re intimidated by.
It’s such a common feeling yet is one that is experienced in an uncomfortable way physically – the adrenaline surge causes our heart to race, palms to sweat, mouth to dry, mind to go blank, eyes to cry. We can feel out of control and mistrustful of our abilities to deal with the situation.
As a general rule we don’t like the sensations and contract into a ball when we feel them – although there are those who embrace the feelings – call them ‘excitement’ rather than ‘anxiety’ and step into the expansive ‘trilling’ energy – but many don’t.
The extra energy is felt as ‘too much’ and we can feel overwhelmed by the amount of nervous energy produced when we are anxious. We’re designed to use up and therefore dissipate the energy by running away or fighting. However in our modern world we’re not feeling threatened in response to a physical threat but rather in social situations where there are no enemies to fight or flee from.
Logically the solution to feeling anxious is to stop feeling threatened. And the solution to stop feeling threatened is to feel more secure. Many people who feel anxious attempt to do this through external means. They often limit who they talk to only to those they know and feel comfortable with (avoiding the external trigger of unknown people), they find jobs that are predicable and limit where they go so as to prevent any surprises or situations that would cause them to be anxious.
However, this way of maintaining security can be quite limiting and in itself stressful. It can cause problems in relationships. It can result in the anxious person underachieving and being worse off financially. Always it results in the anxious person feeling insecure in themselves.
It is much better to develop inner security and stability within our self than it is to try to make our world ‘secure’. With inner security and a stable sense of worth, resourcefulness and confidence the amount of daily anxiety that is felt greatly reduces.
There are many beneficial ways to accomplish this inner security and safety. Positive psychology, encouraging self talk, getting out of self judgement, inquiring into and releasing learned limitations, resolving fearful past experiences, building confidence and becoming self aware all help.
We cannot control the world and everyone in it. Attempting to will be futile, stressful and result in us living a limited life. We can however do something about changing our beliefs and therefore our feelings – including the feeling of anxiety.
It only takes a little willingness to participate and to give something else a chance to work for you.
If anxiety is troubling you feel free to get in touch. I’m always happy to chat about how life can improve.
You can reach me at 01 207 9615 or drop me a line to
Have a great week,

5 ways we try deal with ANXIETY…


If talking in front of others fills us with dread, if our bowels loosen and we need the toilet, if we sweat or blush or feel ‘on the spot’, then we can get jobs that don’t require chairing meetings or giving presentations. If we feel awkward mixing with people we can find someone more confident to play ‘wing man’ to and hang out with them. We can develop strategies like asking questions to take the attention off of us as soon as possible.
If taking a flight sends us into panic we can avoid flying and holiday at home.
If the idea of confrontation makes us want to cry we can become very adept at people pleasing and placating others or work with children or animals or on our own so as not to have to say anything to an authority figure.
Most of the time when we feel afraid or anxious around a person or in a particular situation we are likely to want to spare ourselves those uncomfortable feelings so we work out a way to avoid meeting the person or going to the place. This can be relatively easy to do and result in minimising our distress.
Rarely does avoiding solve the anxiety, but it can give us a way of not having to face the fear.
However, sometimes avoiding is holding us back from opportunities (in work, in romance, in travel and so on). Sometimes the cost of not feeling able to confront and get over a fear is too high; we can end up lonely, or unfulfilled or develop low self-esteem.
By avoiding we don’t get the chance of feeling the triumph of going beyond a fear and the positive energy that brings.
By avoiding we reinforce the idea that we are small and weak relative to what it is we fear – including the fearful feelings themselves.
There are more effective ways of dealing with anxiety and fear that trump ‘avoiding’. Though I would council against facing fears until we feel emotionally equipped to do so. With the right support and effective tools all fears can be faced and transformed.


Sometimes when we feel anxious we seek to excuse why we’re feeling anxious.
Examples: “Of course I feel intimidated – he’s the CEO.”…. “Anyone who knows the number of road deaths would be nervous on the motorway.” ….“Everyone feels scared alone in the house – particularly in this neighbourhood.”
While this is an attempt to understand or explain why we feel anxious it doesn’t result in a resolution of the anxiety. In fact explaining most commonly keeps the anxiety in place because it looks like it ‘should’ be there. That the anxiety is inevitable, caused by someone or something else and therefore unavoidable.
While certain threatening situations do indeed warrant a fearful response. If a person is attempting to hit you, anxiety and fear is a normal and likely reaction. However most of the time when we’re feeling anxious we are not being threatened and do not require the anxiety.
If we look at the above examples we can see CEO’s are just people, equal to all other people and do not cause anxiety. Road death statistics don’t cause anxiety. Being alone doesn’t cause anxiety. If anxiety is felt in these situations then it’s how we’re thinking about them that’s causing it.
Explaining, excusing and rationalising our fears can bring us temporary relief, but these strategies don’t relieve us of the fear.


sometimes a way we try to handle anxiety is by acting out. Perhaps we get drunk to ‘take the edge off’, perhaps we start a row because at least anger feels a bit more powerful that fear, perhaps we munch through a giant size portion of crisps. We might go shopping, watch TV, play a bit more aggressively in a match. We might go home and take it out on the spouse, kids or dog. We act out of anxiety in a variety of ways.
We try to make ourselves seem ‘bigger’ (puffed up ‘fight’ response) or perhaps we cower in a corner to make ourselves seem ‘smaller’ (‘freeze’ response) or we get out of the situation and away from the person (‘flee’ response).
Instead of indulging or acting out of the anxiety we can feel it, accept it, experience the sensations, tell ourselves something supportive and let go of the energy. We can understand where the anxiety is coming from and re-educate ourselves if limiting beliefs and memories are behind the anxious response.


Often when we feel fearful or anxious we will condemn ourselves for those feelings. We tell ourselves we’re ‘stupid’, ‘weak’, ‘wrong’, ‘silly’, ’bad’, ‘broken’, ‘less than’ for feeling feelings. By going into blame and self criticism we don’t give ourselves the chance to understand our reactions and feelings. And we don’t give ourselves a chance to correct our thoughts and feelings. Instead we just put ourselves down and continue to feel not only scared and anxious but also guilty.
Blaming others is another strategy when we feel anxious. We can blame our parents, teachers, siblings, governments, criminals, men, women and so on. While this can help us to feel less blameworthy and we can feel that we’re right (and can actually be right) never does it help with the actual anxiety.
‘Blaming’ ultimately just adds another layer onto the problem.
Understanding, changing our mind-sets, and letting go are far better approaches.

5) DENY:

burying our head in the sand. One of the most common ways we try and deal – or not deal – with a problem is to deny it exists. We can become defensive and try to control anyone who points out what we don’t want to look at.
Usually we deny and defend when we feel powerless to a problem or feel useless about being able to change it.
Sometimes denying and defending works and we can also avoid so as not to have to face the anxious feelings. But again this doesn’t resolve anything – it just buys us some time. We can use that time to effectively resolve and transform the fear, but that does mean we’ve to be willing to let our defences down a little so that the resolution of the fear can be made.
If you would like to chat about how life can get easier for you then feel free to drop in for a chat.
I’m always happy to talk about how things can turnaround. You can get me on
207 9615
Or drop a line to
Have a good week,

5 WRONG CONCLUSIONS we reach when we’re ANXIOUS…

worry jumps to untrue assumptions

1) “THERE’s SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME – I’m not the same as others”

When we feel anxious and in that ‘survival – threat mode’ it can seem like we are the only ones who are struggling. We compare ourselves negatively to others. We ‘know’ we’re a failure. We ‘know’ we are stupid. We ‘know’ we aren’t measuring up. And we don’t pause to question this ‘knowing’ because our feelings (‘gloomy’, ‘out of control’, ‘not normal’, ‘insecure’ and ‘inferior’ feelings) confirm that it’s ‘true’ or a simple ‘fact’.
We feel separate from others. We are on high alert for what’s wrong with us (uneasiness, panic and fear feelings, churning stomach and so on) and wrong with our life (the state of our relationships, if we’re ‘behind’ others in work or life circumstances). We notice and pay attention to our faults and failings and put little regard or attention on our good points. We get ‘tunnel vision’.
Our friends and family might point out that it’s not true but that just feels like an annoyance, like they don’t understand, like they are lying and we’re ‘sure’ they would think differently if they really knew us.
We wonder what is wrong with us that we can’t be happy or do ordinary things like drive or take a flight or chat to people or get over a break up or get on in life.
We conclude there’s something wrong with us.
This is an error, and though someone who feels anxious will not believe it’s an error it’s good to be introduced to the fact that it is an error. That allows for the possibility of doubt to enter the mind of the anxious person so that they can begin to ask: What if there isn’t anything wrong with me? What if my system is going into anxious mode for a reason? What if that reason can be understood and helped to change? What if my system learned that it no longer needs this anxiety? What if it’s not ‘me’ and is just a mental process that I’m doing and is changeable?
Questions open the mind up to the potential of change. Sometimes a small crack is all that is needed to start the ball rolling and once it gathers momentum positive change is inevitable.

2) IF ‘he’, ’she’, ‘they’ or ‘it’ CHANGED ….THEN I’D BE OK.

Because we often feel the source of our anxiety is outside us (e.g “my boss intimidates me”, “my partner angers me”, “lifts scare me”, “the future terrifies me”, “the past upsets me”), we wrongly conclude that the solution is outside us also.
e.g “If he was nicer then I wouldn’t be so intimidated around him.”….” If she would just stop nagging then I’d calm down.”….”If there was a stairs I could take then I’d be fine”….” If I lived in France then I’d be happy.”….”If dad hadn’t left mam then I would have been ok” and so on.
We want circumstances to change or them to change; assuming if they did then the anxiety (or the fear, anger, upset, disappointment, unhappiness) would go away.
The truth is that all of our feelings are ‘inside jobs’. Our thoughts about our circumstances (or people, places, our bodies, life) are stressful so we feel stressed. Our thoughts about the solution are pleasant so we feel relief thinking about the (external) solution.
We’re largely not in control of what happens (especially when it comes to other people or external things); but we can gain control over and resolution with our reaction to what happens.
The ultimate freedom lies in gaining insight into and release from what it is in us that causes excessive anxiety. And then ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’, ‘it’ can do whatever they do and we’re in a position to have a choice about how much it affects us.


When we feel bad it’s common to project out into the future from the state we are in and to assume and fear that it will always be this way. This is especially the case when a pattern has been established. Every time we get anxious (heart racing, shaky voice, shaking limbs and fingers, cold sweats, racing thoughts, fearful and panicked) in a situation it becomes more believed that we will feel similarly the next time – and we commonly do. It doesn’t feel or look like positive change is likely or even possible.
Yet when we get a clear moment or are feeling better we project from that happy state and the future looks optimistic – in that moment.
Then we feel bad again and once more it seems like we can’t change and that circumstances won’t change.
If we continue to think and feel and act the way we always do then we recreate the same outcomes. But if any one of those change then so too will our outcomes. Think differently, feel differently or act differently and different outcomes become possible, then probable, then likely, then a reality.
This is something anyone can be guided to learn.
Change is the only constant. Feelings – even long standing ones – come and go. Circumstances – even ‘stuck’ ones or those in established patterns can and do change. And they have changed for people who once proclaimed that they couldn’t or wouldn’t change for them. We all know people like this, and we’re no different. Emotional healing and stability is always possible – either in part or fully (depending on all the factors).
Entertain the possibility of positive change and be ready for a string of encounters and events that can make that a lived reality.

4) NOTHING WORKS FOR ME – “It’s just the way I am – there’s nothing I can do about it.”

If we have tried in vain to change before; perhaps we have read books (but it’s difficult to keep up momentum and apply what’s in books when we’re anxious), been on various medication (which can give much needed breathing room to face a problem – but sometimes it masks a problem and doesn’t truly resolve it), done some form of therapy or intervention and yet don’t feel any different it’s common to conclude (wrongly) that there is something wrong with us or that we are ‘unfixable’.
This is not the case – but it can feel that way.
There are many approaches to creating positive change, and one that works well exists for everyone. Not everyone gets the same benefit from the same practice. Some swear by going for a run to clear their head – other’s feel stressed and annoyed on a run.
Any approach to positive change requires a number of variables to line up: 1) the person who wants change must be willing to engage in whatever process or program they decide to do 2) the process or program must be effective and one that the person can apply or work with someone to apply 3) the process or program must suit the person doing it (and be effective for them) and 4) if there is a therapist or coach involved they must be skilled in the process and able to adapt it effectively for the person. Once all of those requirements are aligned there must then be commitment to the program until the change has been made.
It takes effort and energy to give a program a chance (but not any more than most anxious people have). When the right mix of help gets together real and lasting benefits are gained.


When we feel anxious we often think we’re ‘inferior’, ’failing’, ‘weak’, ‘wrong’, and because we find ourselves unacceptable we assume (wrongly) that others will reject us for it also. We often hide how we feel and don’t admit the full extent of it to loved ones.
By hiding it we don’t get a chance to ‘reality check’ our assumptions so we go on believing we’d be rejected and continue to feel rejectable.
It’s beneficial to learn that everyone has felt insecure, worried and anxious at various ages and stages of life. Many feel those feelings on a daily basis – and they are ordinary, every day people, and there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with them.
The anxious reaction, its causes and triggers are widely understood. How to resolve those reactions and beliefs are also well known and understood by plenty of professionals. And everyone has friends and family who have got through something similar who can assist. It’s amazing when a person dares to admit what’s going on for them how often they find out that other people around them went through the same thing and often how those people have tips and supports that can be a huge help.
The thought that ‘no one will understand this’ is a trap that keeps us isolated and feeling on our own. Give someone a chance to understand and they commonly will surprise us with their depth of understanding, acceptance and insight.
If you relate to this post and would like to chat about how life can get easier for you then feel free to drop in for a chat.
I’m always happy to talk about how things can turnaround. You can get me on
207 9615
Or drop a line to
Have a good week,

Perfectionism and Panic

One woman’s story. Do you relate?

“Back in 2007, I had it all: A loving husband, a ‘solid’ job in the bank, good friends and a family I like to share time with. I was living in a lovely area – not long having moved in – close to all the amenities we need and not far from my folks.
I went out almost every weekend to trendy restaurants and many weeks hooked up with the girls for a show or a bite to eat. In my spare time, I volunteered and I got a swim in every other day. Perfectionistic and ever so organised, I could’ve won a prize for ‘best in show’.

Constant Fear and Anxiety

Behind the show was a different story: I was a worrier. My logical brain said it was foolish to worry so much but that didn’t stop me stressing.
Any time I was a bit bloated or had an unusual feeling in my tummy I worried I was dying of cancer, if my husband was a bit late home I imagined he was ‘dead in the ditch’, if my boss requested a meeting I panicked thinking I was going to be fired.
The knot in my tummy was frequent and regular tension shoulder pain was normal for me.
Then my ‘solid’ job wasn’t so solid anymore and I was made redundant. Up to that point life have gone petty much to plan. I’m good at planning and work hard to achieve my goals. So this was my first real set back – and I folded. The ‘worry’ went into overdrive. I listened to all the gloomy predictions on radio and TV and became convinced that I’d never be employed again. I couldn’t face the fear I was feeling and started to have angry outbursts. There was no reasoning with me and people were walking on egg shells around me. Sometimes I was calm enough to know I was losing perspective, but mostly I felt constant fear and 2 months later had my first panic attack.
I began to resent my friends who were still employed and doing well and spent more time with those who were in the same boat – complaining about our situation. I stopped volunteering (even though I’d more time than ever) and couldn’t be bothered swimming. I didn’t see my friends as much – I blamed it on not having the money – but really it was because I didn’t want to be ‘cheered up’ and was going more into myself.
I was turned down for what jobs I applied for and began to lose what hope I had.
It became more difficult in my marriage and my husband got frustrated with me as it went on.
He encouraged me to go for help, then pleaded and eventually demanded that I do something about my foul mood.
He got me the name of a therapist and even though I resented going, and hated admitting that I needed to, I went.
I’m glad I did.
Together we looked at how I was thinking and how it was making the situation seem much worse than it actually was. I could let go of the fear I was feeling and the anger. I regained a sense of control and was more clear headed.
I started back swimming and was able to meet up with friends and be happy in their company. Thankfully they stuck with me through this spell. And that was what it was – a ‘spell’.
I did get a job and things got back to normal. But it’s a new ‘normal’. I don’t worry almost at all and am able to question my fears now if they arise. I sleep better and am generally more relaxed. I’ve learned about myself and have grown more resilient.”

A way out:

This is a typical story in my work. Anyone of us can be prone to anxiety getting out of control. When we are in ‘danger mode’ we are focused on what is wrong and what can go wrong. We miss opportunities and can become insular. There are ways and means to address this tendency however – so it doesn’t have to be so stressful going through set-backs.
If you relate to it and would like to chat about how life can get easier for you then feel free to drop in for a chat.
I’m always happy to assist. You can get me on
207 9615
Or drop a line to
Have a good week,