Learn How to Relieve Stress & Anxiety and Live a Happy Life

Learn How to Relieve Stress & Anxiety and Live a Happy Life


Learn How to Relieve Stress & Anxiety and Live a Happy Life

Learn How to Relieve Stress & Anxiety and Live a Happy Life


If you’re suffering from anxiety and panic attacks I wish I could just click my fingers and make you better.  As with anything in life if you put the hard graft in, the benefits will be worth it.  Most anxiety sufferers really only get the urge to do something about their condition when they find it severely affects their job, relationships or quality of life.  Most people who I talk to have a goal in mind when they start seeking help.  There may have been some crisis which spurred them into action about seriously getting better.  These may include wanting to go abroad on holiday, lack of productivity at work, unable to drive, etc.

Let me tell you a story.........

bristol_clifton_suspension_bridgeJane was a middle aged woman who suffered from anxiety and panic attacks.  Her goal was to enjoy a holiday away with her family as it had been several years since she was able to leave her home town.  Her first obstacle was crossing over a bridge to join the motorway.  The bridge was a major obstacle for her.  Her thoughts crossing the bridge usually entailed ‘What if I get stuck?’ or ‘What if I can’t escape from the bridge?’  Her family very much wanted a holiday near the coast (another place where she thought she might panic) so she was determined to cross this long bridge. 

Beforehand Jane’s mind was being bombarded with negative thoughts.  Her problems were being exaggerated out of all proportion by an over exuberant imagination.  Jane was imagining the bridge was 100 miles long.  But after learning the tools stated in my program Jane set off in the car and went for it with her family.

They set off early in the morning.  Jane knew she had to act as if she could do it.  So Jane tried to be as relaxed as she could.  She had been practising relaxation techniques with music, so she concentrated on trying to feel waves of relaxation through her body.   This helped Jane stay fairly relaxed.  She was not as relaxed as if she was sitting at home, but neither was she losing control and close to having a panic attack.  

In her mind she kept thinking she was confident and relaxed.  She distracted herself as best she could, and used other tools to make her feel better.  As the bridge was drawing closer there was a nagging feeling of anxiety and thoughts related to the uncertainty of what would happen. 

When Jane finally reached the bridge she could see the structure of the suspension cables and the huge supports.  As the car entered the bridge and start to climb Jane had a thought………She was not panicking.  In fact she wasn’t feeling any panic at all.  She looked around at the river below and in wonderment of man’s ability to span such distances.   She took in the huge flowing water, boats in the distance and seagulls flying overhead.  A sense of excitement came over her as all the built up negativity was being released.  She was building up a new wonderful association with the bridge and releasing all those awful past experience she had felt - real and imaginary.  In seeing the bridge in a new light she could build up new thought patterns about crossing the bridge. 

Jane knew this was just one small step, but a very big one in today’s recovery plan.  She also knew she would have to cross the bridge again and again to really cure herself, and then try driving alone across it.  But today was a huge step in the right direction.

When Jane reached the coast she enjoyed the sound of the waves and the feeling of sand between her toes.  She told her husband what a really big hurdle she had jumped over today.  Before today travelling over bridges or doing activities outside would bring on dark and scary feelings.  But today she felt different.   Jane could see a tangible difference in her behaviour.  Coming back she felt just as good about crossing the bridge.  She admired the beauty of the bridge, and loved the excitement of crossing over something she was terrified of doing before.  When she arrived home a smile came over her face knowing progress was being made.

Jane is actually based on true story.   She applied the tools and put herself out there.  Her leap of faith was rewarded.  


How to be Happy in Life

You only feel as good as you look

Well it isn’t strictly true.  I’m not asking you to go out and pay for plastic surgery or the latest Armani clothes.  But the point I’m making is dress for success.  I have been lucky enough to go on a few cruises.  Some nights during the cruise they have formal nights where you dress up in dinner jacket.  It’s a bit of a money making thing for the cruise liners.  You’re encouraged to have your photo taken and then of course you will probably buy one or two photos to show the family when you return home.  Normally I am a tracksuit kind of guy, and like the feeling of jogging bottoms on when I watch TV or walk my dog.  However I have to admit I do like dressing up for special occasions.  When I do dress up a sense of confidence, importance and assertiveness comes over me.  It’s not as if I suddenly think I’m better than everyone else.  It just kind of gives your ego a boost as you feel better when you’re dressed up in ‘posh’ clothes.  

It’s in our genetics to find a mate.  Ladies like dressing up and men do as well.  I’ve been to lots of wedding where friends have a distance relationship with Scottish ancestry, but that’s the only excuse they need to dress up in a kilt.

When we suffer from anxiety our confidence takes a battering.  We tend to focus on how ill we feel, rather than what we look like.  This results in us wearing ‘any old thing’.  However when we look better, we feel better.  This makes our confidence grow.  We can all see this in nature when animals want to attract a mate they show off all kinds of colours, dances and rituals to attract one. 

So another tool you need to add to your list is DRESS UP.  Even if you not going somewhere.  Put that dress on that’s been hidden away for years in your wardrobe.  Do your hair and experiment with your make up.  You may say what’s the point if you’re not going anywhere.  But that is the point.  When you’re all dressed up and ready to go out, you will want to go out.  You will not want to stay at home sulking.    

Even if you don’t make it, it will give you a goal to want to go somewhere with nice clothes.  Just imagine yourself all dressed going to a theatre, horse racing or a meal at an exclusive restaurant. 

The other thing about being dressed up is you’re less self-conscious.  I have nipped to the shops after having a lazy weekend in old clothes and a few days stubble.  It’s suddenly come to me in the shop how I looked to other people and I’ve felt a bit self-conscious.  As I said before there is no need to worry about what other people think, but if you can do something to help yourself feel better and reduce negative thoughts then do it. 

18 Ways to Relieve Stress

I have listed below 18 ways to help you when your first start venturing out again -

“Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you're worthy of the trip.”

― Glenn Beck, The Christmas Sweater



  • Make your trip more enjoyable by giving up being a perfectionist.  Whatever happens let it happen.  You can’t plan every detail of your trip as there will be so many unknowns.  Just go with the flow and enjoy it as best you can.

  • Remember to let your body go as loose as possible.  Even if you feel quite relaxed just concentrate on letting you’re your muscles go loose. 

  • When you’re on a trip or walking do something enjoyable along the way that will help.   If you’re on a bus listen to music, read a book, solve a puzzle, play a game on your mobile phone.  If you walking admire the birds or architecture.  Stop and chat to someone about the weather.  It’s amazing just making small talk with a stranger can make the world such a friendly place.  The other day I was walking my dog and a lady jogger just stopped and said she had a dog like mine.  She went on to explain over Christmas it stole the ham from her kitchen table.  She said it could not walk that morning because its belly was so fat.  I smiled and laughed.  Just a small conversation but it meant a lot to me and it was nice touch from a stranger to just to brighten up my day.  If on the other hand I had just ignored her and walked away that wouldn’t have made me look good and that life energy just wouldn’t have been transferred.

“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.”
Albert Schweitzer


  • When you go out make sure you have a destination or goal in mind.  ‘Normal’ people don’t just go out for the sake of it.  Go and get something from a shop, visit a friend or go to the library.
  • If you have a friend who knows about your bad habit then invite them for a coffee in town.  Meet them in the coffee shop to tell them how your journey went and how you feel now.  A problem shared is a problem halved.   But don’t forget to ask them about how there doing as well!

  • It’s a fact that statistically speaking the chances of something bad happening to you on your trip are very, very low.  So why worry, just enjoy your trip.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Lao Tzu


  • Make the trip enjoyable by obtaining something you need.   If you’re going to the shop buy something, if you’re seeing someone take them a gift to make them feel good and yourself.  If you’re walking in the woods make the effort to take in the beautiful countryside.

  • When you see your neighbours greet them with cheerfulness and enthusiasm.   Even if you don’t feel like great, greet them anyway with a jovial social spirit.  Just act as if you’re happy and you want to have a natter to them.

  • Every time you go to work or enter a building smile or laugh and tell yourself that you’re going to enjoy your experiences inside.

  • Don’t feel embarrassed by carrying a photo of a loved one, having a good luck charm or listening to relaxation music when you’re out and about.  If it helps in your recovery then do it.  I use to place affirmation notes around places where I would see them every day to remind myself to think positively.  Even silly things like passwords for my computer would be positive like – innerstrength4me2.

  • The inspirational speaker Wayne Dyer said “wherever ever I go that’s where I am”.   Make yourself the centre of your little world by taking things along with you so you never feel like you’re away from home.  We can all remember the moon as a child seemingly following us along on a car journey.  Take things along for journey that will make you feel more secure.  But don’t hide behind things like umbrellas.  The idea is on your trip you have to face your fears. 

  • Break every journey into small steps.  You will feel less anxious this way.  Do you think when NASA were trying to put a man on the moon they would do it in one attempt.  On May 25, 1961 Kennedy made a famous speech to congress about landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" by the end of the 1960s.  You can read more about it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program

It wouldn’t be until 1969 and Apollo11 until this goal was achieved.  In other words the task was broken down into small steps and eventually accomplished by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin by landing their Lunar Module on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

  • Remember your breathing exercises and techniques.  When you feel yourself getting anxious remember to breathe properly.  The breathing exercises can be done quickly to help restore normality to your body.

  • Anxious people see themselves as if their detached from other humans and life itself.  I’m a great believer in feeling the power of energy that flows through other people and nature.  Get out there and get connected to living things.

  • Nervous energy can be so annoying and depilating when you make trips out.  If you think about it excitement and nervousness is practically the same thing.  They both produce the same adrenaline effects.  Nervousness has negative connotations where excitement has positive ones.  So why not see at as excitement rather than as negative nervousness.  Nearly everyone I know feels some sort of nervousness when they do things for the first time.  Some people actually get a buzz from doing things that other people would get anxious about.  If you think about people who undertake extreme sports they would be a prime example.  So as you can see it’s really your perception, rather than the event that makes the difference. 

  • Bring some food (complex carbohydrate and protein) on your trip as this will help stabilize your blood sugar level and make you feel better.  There will probably be lots of nerv…….excited energy on your trip so you need to replenish it.  Don’t rely on grabbling fast food or unhealthy snacks.

  • Dress to impress (as stated above). Think of yourself as a king or queen inspecting their grounds. Think you are in a position of power - which you are. 

  • If you wish to plan your journey that’s fine.  But take delight in unexpected twists and turns.  Things rarely go to plan in life (as you’ve learnt), just go with the flow and take delight in new experiences, colours sights, etc.

  • Imagine the trip your about to take and think of the good things that will happen.  Really go into detail of how this journey is going to give you immense pleasure.  The small flowers in the countryside, listening to the buzz of city life, etc.  Think of your chosen goal being achieved – perhaps buying a new item of clothing.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
Hunter S. Thompson

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