Help for Anxiety, Phobias, OCD and Depression


Anxiety Self Help

How to Deal with Anxiety Problems

Anxiety Self Help

Everyone has anxiety; it is a survival instinct that has evolved over millions of years and helps to protect us from being hurt. We all get anxious at times.

Anxiety prepares us to deal with anything that may harm us by fighting or running away. To fight or flee, the fight-or-flight response... it is this that makes us feel scared to keep us safe.

In the past, dangerous things that could harm us (and scared us) included the likes of: wild animals, poisonous snakes and insects, strangers, heights and confined spaces. Being confronted by any of these could have been life threatening.


Anxiety Definition:-

The Collins English Dictionary describes anxiety as "a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible misfortune, danger etc."

And to be anxious is to be "worried and tense."

Latin anxietas gave anxiety in English; the base is Latin anxius, from angere 'to choke'.


Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety Disorders
Deep Breathing
Positive Thinking


Help for Anxiety Books

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More Resources:
SelfHelpServices (UK)
Self Help Pubs. (US)
Moodjuice Guide


In the modern world we no longer face the direct threats of our ancestors. They still exist of course: wild animals, dangerous strangers etc., and could potentially kill us in certain circumstances, but they don't impact our lives as they did.

Today, the things that make us feel scared are more subtle and vague. Their effects build up slowly over time, and include such things as:-

•  Conflict with partners in relationships
•  Conflict with family members
•  Trouble with work colleagues or the job itself
•  Money, bills and fear of debt
•  Health, diet and the fear of illness
•  The violence in the world as reported daily on the news

All of these can make us feel bad, unhappy and miserable for a long time. They make us uncomfortable, generally discontented and in a very real way, insecure.


When problems in our life persist or get worse we start to feel bad and insecure more often.

Eventually anxiety (our self protection system) kicks in, mild at first, usually in form of nervousness and apprehension or some anxiety-related symptom may appear.

We may notice that we are more shaky, sweating more, experiencing heart palpitations, tightness across the chest or blushing – any symptom related to anxiety may develop. And worrying about these symptoms only makes them worse for it increases the anxiety.

This increased anxiousness reflects our mind and body warning us that something is not right in our life, something is making us insecure and we need to stop it or get away from it.

If the situation remains unresolved we can become more and more anxious, (with various anxiety symptoms getting worse), seemingly for no apparent reason.

Too Anxious...

Today, many people start to become too anxious for the reasons detailed above: unresolved life situations that cause continuous unhappiness and insecurity.

And the answer to short-term anxiety problems (that seems to have come on for no reason) involves three things:-

1. Establish a reason for the anxiety

Identify any situation in life that is regularly causing unnecessary stress and feelings of insecurity. Accept that such situations would cause anxiety in anyone and that your anxiety is justified and there for a reason.

This acceptance and giving a reason for the anxiety reduces much of its power. Seeing it as justified and with a reason rather than being a medical condition or due to "something wrong with us" is the first element of control ... now we can do something about it.

Stressful, negative life situations should be removed / avoided wherever possible. And when it's not possible to do this we need to adapt how we react to them to reduce the stress they cause us.

2. Relaxation.

Relaxation is the physiological opposite of tension; it's impossibe for a relaxed muscle to be tense or a calm mind to be anxious. Find a relaxation technique that is comfortable and effective and practice it regularly. (The 'Progressive Muscle Relaxation' technique developed by Jacobsen in the 1930's remains one of the most successful methods available).

3. Exercise.

Endorphines (natural morphine-like chemicals) released by the body during exercise to combat the stress of the excercise help to alleviate all stress. Physical exercise also provides a release for pent-up nervous energy and numerous studies show exercise to be better than anti-depressants at alleviating (not curing) depression.

Develop an exercise regime appropriate to age, fitness levels and health (consult medical and fitness professional before starting any exercise regime) and, again, do it regularly.

Identifying and dealing with any stressful life situation combined with counteracting the mental and physical effects of anxiety through relaxation and exercise can help to remedy any short-term problems relating to 'unexplained' anxiety.


Long-Term Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders and Depression

How Anxiety Can Lead to More Serious Problems

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), many phobias (particulary Social Phobia) and Panic Disorder are classed as anxiety disorders for they involve anxiety. Actually they are caused by anxiety. So is chronic depression.

There is no doubt that persistent anxiety, if unresolved, can lead to serious problems. Indeed, numerous research studies show that the first thing many people with long-term anxiety disorders remember about the start of their problem is "being too anxious" for a long time.

Over time, unresolved anxiety can lead to a whole host of problems as we start to internalize the problem and it begins to change from external causes to something within our self.

Our own thoughts begin to create anxiety.

Many people will live like this, in a state of heightened anxiety for much of the time. Generally too anxious, feeling apprehensive and 'on-edge' frequently or getting "over-scared" in many situations.

For others, increased anxiety leads to excessive and uncontrollable worrying.

Some people start to get severe anxiety attacks or panic attacks that come 'out of the blue'.

While others develop irrational fears and phobias (particularly social phobia) or obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

A few will become severely depressed.

These problems don't just happen to us. They start off slowly and grow stronger over time. Far from being a mystery, we can see how they develop every step of the way.

Help for Short-Term Anxiety Problems

blue arrow  If you're exeriencing short-term increased anxiety the answer lies in the three steps detailed earlier.

1. Identify and accept any stressful on-going life situations as the reason for your anxiety ... remove/avoid/minimise these situations wherever possible
2. Set aside regular time in your life to relax deeply
3. Exercise regularly

Taking real action in these three areas can resolve many short-term anxiety problems.

For more help, see:-

Calm Anxiety: Taking Back Control

A totally new way to understand and deal with the increased anxiety that plagues so many of us today, this book reveals why we become too anxious in the first place and shows how to stop it completely and naturally.


More Details | Read the First Chapter

Help for Long-Term Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders and Depression

blue arrow  If you have had feelings of insecurity or anxiety for a long time and are now beginning to experience:-

• Intrusive worrying thoughts that are getting harder to stop
• Obsessive thoughts that are becoming uncontrollable
• The need to do certain behaviours regularly or starting rituals
• Irrational fears and phobias (particularly over being seriously ill or doing things in front of others)
• Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness that nothing you do can make a difference


You suffer from full blown:-

- Panic Disorder
- Social Phobia
- Severe Depression

check out:-

Evolving Self Confidence:
How to Become Free From Anxiety Disorders and Depression

With groundbreaking insight into these awful problems, this book reveals the underlying cause of anxiety disorders (and severe depression) and shows you how to use this knowledge to become truly free.


More Details | How This Book Can Help | Read the First Chapter





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