Barry McDonagh is a best selling author of several books on overcoming anxiety.
His first book ‘Panic Away’ was based on his personal struggle with anxiety and panic disorder, and has sold in over 32 countries.
Here is one of his articles to help relieve anxiety and panic:
The 20 Second Countdown to Defuse Panic
By Barry McDonagh
Why everywhere you look are top psychologists and doctors still teaching outdated methods for treating general anxiety and panic attacks?
It seems every time I do a search online there is yet another anxiety “expert” rehashing the same old ideas.
Brown Paper bags, think happy thoughts, do your breathing etc. I am sure you have come across them a million times before already.
How are people supposed to solve their anxiety issue if they are continuously exposed to these techniques and methods that only teach people to cope with anxiety.
Just coping is not good enough. Real solutions are needed.
I want to share with you something that does work. It is a very simple way to help end the fear of a PANIC ATTACK.
This is a very good exercise for people who want something practical to focus their attention on when they feel the pressure of a panic attack building.
Its very simple and easy to remember. Here goes…
The 20 Second Countdown
When you feel the sensations of a panic attack building do the following.
Tell the panic that it has 20 seconds to initiate the full panic attack.
20 seconds and no more.
After the 20 seconds are complete it must stop making empty threats.
You are allowing 20 seconds for it to fully manifest but not a second more.
Whatever the bodily sensation is that you fear, it must happen within that 20 second time frame.
-If you heart is going to explode then it has 20 seconds to do so.
-If you are going to lose control, then your mind has 20 seconds to do so.
-If you are going to faint – 20 seconds! But absolutely no more time than that.
You get the picture.
By setting a specific time frame you establish boundaries of control. You turn it into a game where you call fear’s bluff. If it were a poker game, you are asking anxiety to show its hand.
This works because it establishes a sense of control within your mind and body.
You think to yourself “I am not prepared to spend my time worrying about this. I’ve had enough. I am going to be generous and give it 20 seconds but after 20 seconds and nothing has happened then the opportunity has officially passed and I am going to go back to what I was doing.”
Then start counting -but nice and slowly, don’t rattle it off as fast as you can. Really tease it out like you did when you were a child and you never wanted to reach zero. Teasing it out is the key because it allows you to feel generous and that you are giving anxiety every chance possible.
Deep down you know there is really nothing to fear.
To really help tease it out, break the last few numbers into fractions.
2…and three quarters…
1…and three quarters… (last chance anxiety)
1…and half……………… (I really cant wait any longer)
Sorry too late we’ve reached the end.
By not rushing through the countdown you will feel your confidence soar because you are demonstrating real control and authority over your anxious thoughts and bodily sensations.
You are saying “look, I am really trying to give you all the time I can to unleash X,Y, and Z, I am being very generous here with this countdown.
Count your way to freedom. Count your way to confidence.
If you find this type of exercise useful then go to the site to learn more.
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Barry McDonagh is an international panic disorder coach.
Also see article, with videos: How to Reduce Anxiety – The Panic Away Program
Learn more about the Panic Away program, and get free audio program at the site: