Anxiety Unravelled Blog

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A build up of stress at work - a reader's story

I'm a newly qualified teacher and have got a year into my first year of teaching. I knew that teaching is a high pressured and stressful job before I

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Mixture of chronic and acute stress; bottling things up and trying to carry on regardless - A reader's story

Like others who have posted, I have a bad habit of bottling things up and forgetting to be assertive as well. Also, I have had difficulties that have

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How do I stop getting caught up in thought? - a reader's question...

So, all through my life I have been quite anxious of vey irrational things. My first really big fear was being gay- I’m now aware this is referred to as

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I want to know if i really suffer from any anxiety related disorders or ami i overthinking about it. Do I have to go visit a doctor?

I am a masters student in special ed. and I am also doing an online bachelors on religion. I also work as a part-time English speaking instructor in university.

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Smell of Marijuana was the trigger - A reader's story

In my teens, I tried marijuana on a few occasions. On a couple of these occasions it caused me to have a panic attack, at the time I didn’t know what this

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Undiagnosed PTSD - A reader's story

I had a very traumatic birth 3 years ago in which I lost half of my blood volume and the medical staff just kept telling us all was normal. Anyways they

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I'm not sure if I have anxiety and when I bring it up to my mom she just says I'm being dramatic... advice?

I'm currently in 8th grade but I started to feel like I had anxiety in the 7th grade, at first it wasn't bad I would just have a small feeling about worry

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Social Anxiety Hacks

It's my belief that all anxiety stems from the same mind and physiological patterns and all will be relieved by the same basic approach. If social anxiety is your main issue, check out these hacks from Barbara Milavec at - as you will see, hacks 1 and 3 are standard for all anxiety! But, sometimes there are nuances between approaches that can be helpful...

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Does 'anxiety disorder' need a different name?

A rose by any other name would certainly smell as sweet (to quote old Will Shakespeare) but would anxiety disorder by another name make it easier to understand by the people in the suffering person’s life?

Experience suggests to me that this name makes the condition hard to understand for those who haven’t suffered from it...

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Anxiety a way of life for Gen Y?

The usual estimate of people suffering from anxiety disorders is about 1 in 6, which although staggeringly high, I have long thought is probably a bit on the low side of the actual figure. Within my daughters' friendship groups the incidence seems to be at least twice that. And you have to factor in that many people are reluctant to admit to suffering from a mental health issue for fear of appearing weak or inadequate in some way. This interesting article from Gen Y writer Simon Copland, appearing on The Guardian website, seems to confirm that the person who doesn't experience an anxiety disorder these days is the one who belongs to the minority.

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Vacation unease

Holidays are when we can relax and chill, right? That’s the usual expectation. But for many of us it’s far from the reality we experience. Interestingly, holidays are often when people feel most anxious. This can also manifest as feelings of disquiet, edginess, agitation, restlessness, inability to relax … For some, it’s so uncomfortable that they would rather be back at work.

So, what’s going on!?

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Handling holiday anxiety

From street decorations, to presents under the tree, to spectacular festive meals, the pleasure we experience at Christmas is often due to the hard work of others who are the ‘event planners’ of the holiday season.

The creation of a fabulous Christmas event can be enormously stressful. And if you are already experiencing anxiety problems, this stress can turn the joy of the season into a nightmare. So, how can we still have a Christmas celebration without sending stress levels into the stratosphere?

Here are my 7 essential tips for reducing holiday anxiety...

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Hypersensitivity - a reader's experience

I seem to remember a time when I heard someone retelling their experiences with panic attacks. Later that night, I started to experience a higher degree

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Election anxiety...?

Anxiety spiked for a lot of people, not just in the US but around the world, following the recent election.

Of course, for some it's probably been followed by a sense of relief.

But for those whom it has just increased anxiety levels even higher, this post from Wait But Why's Tim Urban reminds us that it is always helpful to see the bigger picture...



Years of no panic attacks and all of a sudden - a reader's story

I had a panic attack in my sleep for the first time in almost a decade. I woke up with my heart racing, hands tingling and mind racing. I had to get

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I got spooked - a reader's story

I've been trying to lose weight and I took diet pills. About 30 min after taking them my heart started racing, my hands got cold and I thought I was going

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Tried and true anxiety hacks

For years you get through life with its ups and downs but always settle back into what feels normal … and then, all of a sudden, it seems like anxiety hangs around even when there’s nothing stressful going on. How did that happen!? It’s an unpleasant surprise that life isn’t as straightforward as it seemed when you were a child. It looks like everyone else is coping, so why, you ask yourself, aren’t you?

Well, I’ll let you in on something – they’re not doing any better than you are. We all have our weak point – for some it’s depression, others it’s anger problems and for the rest it’s usually anxiety. Human beings are actually all remarkably similar and none of us is perfect. But we all have the potential to feel calmer and more peaceful.

These 5 anxiety hacks are tried and true – nothing gimmicky, just logical, straightforward and effective. They will start to make a difference straightaway...

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Stress accumulates

Stress is a bit like water dripping into a bucket. A bucket will slowly fill up with water, drop by drop. But there comes a point when one last drop will make the water overflow.

Your nervous system is similar - it can take a fair bit of stress. But, if you don't have strategies in place to release it, it will continue to accumulate and eventually symptoms may start to develop, very often seemingly out of the blue.

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Simple breathing exercises for anxiety

Breathing exercises for anxiety management are an important part of any treatment plan. Here are three simple practices that can really help.

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Three aspects of every anxiety attack you need to deal with

Anxiety and panic attacks are diabolical and tricky and frequently overwhelming. They are easier to handle if you break them down into their three components and understand and deal with each of them one by one. It’s when you can’t see these three aspects that the experience can become overwhelming and you can feel out of control.

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Stress - a reader's story

A lot going on for a long time, then a sudden shock finally triggered them off.. Now I'm in fear of getting another one, which almost brings on one.. I'm

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Life is unpredictable and that's OK ...

… or at least, we need to find a way of feeling OK about that if we’re to be free of anxiety.

Here’s a true story that illustrates this perfectly. It happened in just the last few weeks to someone who I’ll call Sam.

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Laid Off from Job

I first experienced panic attacks when I was laid off 2.5 years ago. At first I thought I was having a heart attack, but after googling and reading, I

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Sesame oil - soothes the skin and the nervous system too!

A self-administered sesame oil massage is very settling for all body types (or if you're lucky of course it's also great to have someone perform the massage for you!). It's said to be the only oil that can penetrate all seven layers of the skin and also that it is able to nourish all the organs and tissues...

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Essential oils for anxiety

Can essential oils help anxiety?

The effects of aromas may seem to be subtle. Billy Connolly once joked about how, at the scene of a terrible road accident, someone pushed their way through a crowd saying “stand back, I’m an aroma therapist!” … obviously, there’s a limit to their effectiveness :)

Smells, however, do have a remarkable effect on our consciousness and physiology...

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'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof '- huh??

When I was a kid, if I was worried about something, my grandmother would often say, “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” and that would be the end of discussion.

I didn’t have a clue what this grammatically weird jumble of words meant. But hey, grandmothers! Then, just the other day, they popped into my head for no particular reason and I suddenly got it! ...


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Nurture your soul too ...

Help soothe your anxiety by filling your life this year as much as possible with things that nourish and uplift you – uplifting books, poetry, films and perhaps most powerful of all … music….

The first words of this stirring piece can be translated as:

"Joy, beautiful, divine spark, daughter from Elysium (the celestial realm in Greek mythology), we enter your sanctuary burning with fervour. Oh heavenly being, (joy) your magic brings together what custom has sternly divided, reunites what has been separated. All humans will become brothers (and sisters) where your gentle wings hover."

Even when anxiety is severe it is possible to experience flashes of joy - maybe just a second or two at first. So seek out the inspirational as part of your recovery plan. Happy New Year to you all!

Chilling out at Christmas

Christmas can be a very stressful time for many.

Even on the busiest day though, it should be possible to find 5 minutes from time to time to breathe out and relax … your car or the bathroom are often good places to take a little time out for yourself!

Try our 5 Minute Free Relaxation on a regular basis throughout the days to come to help you let go of any build up of tension. If you can practise this simple exercise several times a day it can really make a difference.

I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a New Year filled with all you wish of it.


Starting a new business, worried I won't make enough money to support myself initially then worried I'm getting too busy and will be working through the

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Eckhart Tolle experienced severe anxiety as a young man















View Eckhart speaking about dealing with fear here.