Anxiety Advice

Anxiety advice: ask your anxiety question or post your anxiety tip here. Find out what other visitors have said about coping with anxiety.

Anxiety is hard to deal with, but connecting with others and hearing about their challenges and successes can help. Read about others’ experiences or share your own.

Anxiety Questions and Answers From Other Visitors

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

The top question and answer post is about phobia taking blood pressure. Click the link to be taken to that specific page about those questions and answers.

Phobia taking blood pressure

I have this problem taking my blood pressure. It’s not just white coat syndrome, I have the phobia and fear when I am home and trying to take it. When …

Below is a table of contents showing all the anxiety advice Q & A’s.

Put some happiness in your relaxation routine


I think many people including myself suffer from both anxiety and some tendency to feel blue.
Anxious thoughts can be a distraction from sad thoughts.
I think in the past I have had a hard time with relaxation techniques because a quiet empty mind seems to me depressing place. The quietness of relaxation to me seemed like being stuck inside a house on a raining day with nothing to do.
I have seen with some sick friends that business can keep one’s mind off one’s problems.
For me, I think I have been more able to deal with my anxiety as I feel less blue. However, I also put something deliberate happy and upbeat in my relaxation. Much of guided imagery is more upbeat than straight meditation. In some of these imageries, they use images of healing lights, warmth and energy.
Sometimes when doing relaxations exercises I will use the words “serene” or “content” rather than “relaxed” because they are happier words.
Right now I use a combination of meditation and visualization. I will picture the sun in my mind when I meditate or warm healing light traveling through my body.

Advice for girlfriend of anxiety sufferer – HELP!

by RAA
(New Zealand)

Advice for girlfriend of anxiety sufferer – HELP! Anxiety is taking it’s tole on the relationship.

Anxiety of another person can make life difficult for yourself.


I’m a 25-year-old lesbian and have been with my girlfriend for about 11 months. She suffers from anxiety and it is taking a huge toll on our relationship. I am desperately in need of some advice, if not to improve our situation then to get out of the relationship once and for all. She and I got together not long after she and her ex had broken up. Right from the beginning it was one big drama after another other. It started with her deciding to give her ex another shot, despite claiming she loved me and wanted to be with me. She insisted she merely felt ‘obliged’ to do so because they had been together for two-and-a-half years. For the next few months, she went back and forth between her ex and me, breaking up with me a dozen or so times (but each time only ever lasting a day or two). Once her ex finally gave up, my girlfriend and I entered into an exclusive relationship. Since then I have become her sole support person. She has very few close friends and her relationship with her parents is strained; she more or less refuses to talk to them about her or our problems. The pressure on me to support her emotionally and be the one to build her confidence up and make her feel secure (on a daily basis) is mounting. I have my own, albeit minor, anxiety and depression, so I find it very difficult to tend to her needs all the time. Her mood swings are extreme; she’ll go from saying she loves me more than she’s ever loved anyone to accusing me of being a liar and a manipulator. She’s ultra suspicious of all of my friends, despite my efforts to convince her there is nothing to worry about. I’ve never given her any reason to be untrustworthy. About two months ago, she cheated on me with a man. Since then, things have gone downhill in a big way. Instead of her trying to make it up to me or proving her love for me (like she said she would when I agreed to give her another chance), she has become hypercritical of me and is emotionally abusing me more than ever. We fight constantly and she says really hurtful, abusive things that stick with me. She blames our fights on me because sometimes I take time out (she says I stonewall her), but she starts virtually all of them. We never seem to properly address the issues that trigger the fighting in the first place, only the issues she has with the ways I defend myself during the fight. For instance, she calls me names to the point where I cry, and then she gets angry at me for ‘manipulating’ her with my crying. She’s also very controlling. She gives me a hard time about how much I drink, but I barely drink now that I’m with her. Also about what I wear, how I talk to other people, etc. She even admitted she has a hard time enjoying herself while we’re out in public because she is so concerned about other people looking at me/checking me out. When I talk to her about her anxiety, she says she’s going to counselling and therefore doing something about it so I should stop worrying about it. But I swear it’s only getting worse. I should probably also mention that she constantly sets me up to fail. She has super high expectations and doesn’t express them to me until after it’s too late and I have ‘failed’ at something. I’ve told her I can’t live up to her expectations all of the time and she admits they are too high, but doesn’t do anything differently afterwards. If I don’t text/call/email her for a couple of hours, even if I’m cooking dinner or cleaning the house (we don’t live together), she will get angry. She accuses me of doing nothing for the relationship, putting in no effort, which makes me even more upset because I feel like I do SO MUCH to keep us going.

I’m scared

by Sarah


Recently my blood pressure has been high for me, I’ve been shaky, I get numbness in my face, nausea, sometimes vomiting, I feel like something is sitting on my chest. I’ve had some stress in my life and I do see a therapist. now once a week. but I don’t understand what’s going on. please help.


Anxiety can be terrifying. Please make sure to see your medical doctor to rule out physical causes. Then you can be assured that your symptoms are caused by anxiety. Once you know that these are anxiety symptoms, this page might help you understand why your body is reacting this way:

I’m sure my symptoms have a physical cause. How can THAT be caused by anxiety?!

I hope this helps!


Falling apart

55 year old female in first year of “retirement.” Worked same job, which I enjoyed over 24 years, raised two beautiful children, am happily a grandmother of 5, married to a loving man 34 years.

During this year of “retirement” life shifted greatly and I am falling apart. Leaving the job was the final straw to a year with huge stress, lots of addressing work issues with no positive results & strong opposition with supervisor.

Adjusting to the last year was tough and man did I feel the stress but I made it through it realizing a change had to be made, and I made it. I didn’t realize how emotional it would be to give up the working part of my personality and all of the special people that were attached. It was hard to hear the comparisons between myself and my replacement, and in this small town, you couldn’t help but hear. All the people that had been in my life so long suddenly disappeared with leaving the job…like I had the plague! For the most part, I was suddenly just alone and lonely.

Then husband diagnosed with sleep apnea and the last year with that has had huge changes and stresses. We are currently sleeping seperatly so he can acclimate to the cpap. His personality changes due to the apnea were difficult to deal with, the process of sleep is a nightly challenge, his health issues related to apnea flaired but only in my expanded concern that they may become a reality. My sleep diminished as I worried if he was sleeping, using the machine, was awake or asleep with situations that cropped up and on and on and on. He has made progress getting sleep time and I am somewhat relaxing with it all. Pretty emotional as I feel I am the awake person and so I have the responsibility to oversee success and comfort and find the answers.

There were pregnancy issues with the most recent two grandchildren and a lot of time away from home was the path that took. (With a lot of stress wondering how hubby was doing with new sleep machine and health.) Although there wasn’t huge medical issues medical facilities saw my daughter and I daily. Both babies and their families are doing great now.

Falling apart. I have always been able to get through tough times in my life, probably now always by the best methods. I don’t drink or do drugs but I do smoke, and that has greatly increased. I find myself with an entrapped neck nerve which of course I have worried to death may be something else. I am tense, sad some days, worried, appetite decreased, interests escape me for the most part, less interested in sex, have a different physical symptom almost everyday, worry more about that, get more tense, get more symptoms and continue the cycle.

I listen to a relaxation tape, take am hot baths, took naps, smoke, read online, do very little excercise for worry that it may irritate the nerve thing, constantly complain (although I call it discussing it) all with my friends, stress, read positive materials and try to practice what I’ve read. Concentration quickly is over-taken by worry and fears of failure.

I started taking a good multi-vitamin daily and L-theanine (amino acid supplement) to calm myself.

Any discussions, suggestions, guidance anyone can offer me to deal with this naturally and successfully? I am not interested in medications. It has been really hard on all levels to be falling apart. It is hard to have good days where I feel stronger and then crash again so unexpectedly.

Relaxation for Overcoming Procrastination

by Jonathan
(San Francisco, CA)

Candi- Your script on fidgeting has helped me tremendously. I’ve noticed a difference already. After reflecting on the session, I’ve realized that the root of the fidgeting is anxiety related to procrastination. I would be indebted if you could make a script on overcoming the anxiety of jumping on the chores that we all dread to tackle because of fear of failure, desire for perfection or fear of becoming vulnerable and opening oneself up for scrutiny. I’d be willing to pay for this as well. Will you procrastinate on getting back to me?:)

Again your website and services are awesome.

This would be an excellent topic for a podcast. I will do a podcast on overcoming procrastination…and I’ll try not to procrastinate too much getting it ready to go. 🙂

Thanks for the idea!


P.S. You won’t have to pay for it. I like requests and suggestions because then I have ideas for podcast topics. You’re helping me out by sending your ideas!

Depersonalization help?


I frequently experience symptoms of depersonalization or “backseat” living. Feeling completely disconnected from others, my own life, and occasionally, my own body. I know this sounds crazy, but I also know this is all going on ‘in my head’. I’ve heard depersonalization can occur with severe anxiety as well as depressive states. Can you recommend any relaxation scripts or episodes which might help with depersonalization?


You’re right that depersonalization is often caused by anxiety and/or depression.

I will do a relaxation script for an upcoming podcast specifically on helping with depersonalization. Meanwhile, the following scripts might be helpful:

Generalized Anxiety Relaxation (written script)

Relaxation to Relieve Anxiety (written script)

Coping with Panic (written script)

Listen to the audio here.


Does Caffeine Contribute to Anxiety?

by Anonymous

I am curious about how people experience caffeine as effecting their anxiety level. I like coffee but I am in the process of cutting it back. I drink coffee in the morning and I notice I am more restless and anxious in the morning. I tried giving up coffee about 17 years ago and went back to it after I got very tired. Coffee can also give me a pleasant high. I may try giving it up again.

However, regular Tea and chocolate DO give me the jitters. when I drink tea I feel like I am getting a full blown nervous attack. Coffee does not have this effect on me. I asked an MD about this and she said tea has some other stimulants that coffee does not that I may be sensitive to. Hot chocolate also give me the jitters. I have also noticed some jitters after what for me are large amounts of chocolate. However, small amounts chocolate have not effected me.

While coffee has not given me the obvious bad side effects tea and hot chocolate, I am beginning to wonder whether some anxiety I feel in the morning is due to coffee and I am slowly tapering it. I almost also restless in the morning and I wonder if could be the caffeine.

I am curious what other people experience has been with caffeine.

The way I experience Anxiety

I suffer from the Generalized Anxiety Disorder and have probably been anxious all my life. My parents both suffer from anxiety and depression and are on the SSRI. I have a very hard time recognizing symptoms of anxiety in myself and others because I have grown up around it.

I went to see my medication physician today. I will be upping my Paxil dosage (an anti-depressant). (Incidentally Paxil has been a wonder drug with social anxiety-I have been on it for about twelve years). However, the way I experience my anxiety is someone telling me you seem very anxious. If enough people tell me that I accept it but I am not myself aware of feeling anxious.

My form of anxiety is feeling under too much pressure-too much to do, too little time. I feel like a hamster on a treadmill-constantly going and going. My physician says (I don’t like it but I have accepted it) while there is a reality component of this feeling my GAD makes it worse. Probably without the GAD, I would just say I don’t have time do certain things but my anxiety makes me panicky about it. However, on my own, without professional help, I would probably not say I was feeling anxious but just say I was too busy.

My husband has OCD. He also complains of too much too with do too little time. However, I think in his case because of his OCD he makes the things he has to do more complicated than has to be.

I have found autogenics helpful

by Cellia

I just thought I would let people know that of all the physical relaxation techniques(i.e. passive muscle relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, autogenics) I have found autogenics the most effective. I have used the autogenics training on this website:

At first, I think it functioned as a list for learning what calm is like and learning that the relaxed state feels warm and heavy. Sometimes when I would tense up I would think “my heart beat is regular, my breathing is regular-I am completely calm”.

However, after practicing it for about nine months, it has been successful in generating a pleasant feeling of relaxation and warmth.

driving anxiety

by Tula

Question: I have been having issues while driving with anxiety. My mother has the same problems, but has let it control her life to the point where she doesn’t drive anymore. I do not want the problem to control my life as well. When I drive I feel like I can’t see, I get dizzy, and sometimes I feel like I am not in control like I am out of my body. It is a very uncomfortable feeling what do you suggest that I do?

Answer: First of all, it is very important to see your doctor for a medical checkup to rule out medical conditions that could be contributing to your symptoms, and to get medical clearance to drive.

Once you have completed any necessary medical tests and are certain that anxiety is the cause of your symptoms, there are many techniques for dealing with anxiety that can help you overcome the feelings you are experiencing.

If anxiety is the cause of your symptoms, remember that the anxiety is not going to hurt you. Fighting the anxiety and trying to make it go away causes the anxiety to get stronger. Accepting that you are feeling anxious and simply waiting for the anxiety to pass will help it more quickly disappear.

It sounds like one of your troublesome symptoms is depersonalization (feeling like you are outside your body). Here is a Relaxation for Depersonalization script.

For more techniques for dealing with anxiety, check out these pages:

Five Quick Ways to Relieve Anxiety

Anxiety Treatment

Hope this helps!



by Celia

I think people who are anxious have a harder time getting to that relaxed state meditation provides.

I know when I meditate I can block thoughts but I think it indicates that I am tense. If I were relaxed thoughts should be going through my mind.

I think what has made meditating difficult for me is that it means sitting still for a period of time when you are tense.

Now when I meditate I start it with stretching and breathing exercises to get me relaxed. I start it off with an autogenic relaxation because autogenics does make me feel more relaxed. Then I meditate. I find my preferred method changes from breath counting to mantra-I do whatever feels good to me. I also do it for as long as it feels good. Usually, it is still only about five minutes.

I do the meditation when I most alert which is for me in the morning so I don’t fall asleep.

Obsessive Thoughts

by Karina
(United Kingdom)


I am constantly worrying that I have a heart problem because I get out of breath easily and my chest feels tight. Although I have had numerous cardiology tests and they have all been normal and I have been told my heart is fine, I can not seem to get it out of my head that there is something wrong and experience all the anxiety symptoms that make it feel like my heart.

Please can you advise me, is this just purely an obsessive disorder and can this problem be cured?


This sounds like an anxiety disorder. Many people who experience panic attacks find that one of the most troubling symptoms is the fear of having a heart attack. Panic attacks really do feel like there is something wrong with your heart, so it makes sense that you are concerned.

Anxiety causes (among other symptoms) chest pain, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, racing heart and heart palpitations. These frightening symptoms increase the anxiety…and the symptoms get worse…and you get even more anxious…it is a vicious cycle.

Panic and anxiety cause these symptoms because the body is in fight-or-flight mode. The heart rate increases, breathing becomes rapid, muscles tighten…all in preparation to fight or flee. The tense chest muscles initially cause feelings of tightness. Muscles then start to fatigue, leading to feelings of pain in the chest.

Read more about the symptoms of anxiety here:

How can THAT be caused by anxiety?!

The Fight-or-Flight Response

In answer to your question, YES, the problem can be cured.

I believe that the most effective way to get rid of this kind of anxiety is an exercise called the experimental technique. I learned about this technique from David Burns, author of “When Panic Attacks.”

Here’s how it works. You devise an experiment to test whether your negative thoughts are true. In this case, your thoughts might look something like this:

I’m having a heart attack.

I’m going to die.

There is something wrong with my heart.

I can’t breathe.

This chest pain means I have a dangerous illness.

You feel anxious because during a panic attack, these thoughts seem true and are frightening. If you know the thoughts are not true, they are no longer scary, and the anxiety goes away.

How could you do an experiment to find out if these thoughts are true?

In his book “When Panic Attacks,” David Burns describes an experiment where a patient with these types of thoughts does vigorous exercise. By doing exercise during a panic attack, the patient proves that she is not having a heart attack, does not die, and can breathe. After repeating this experiment a few times, the patient is no longer afraid of symptoms of chest tightness or a racing heart, and the anxiety is gone.

Perhaps an experiment like this one would work for you. If not, there are a variety of other techniques that can help to get rid of anxiety and panic, and there is sure to be a technique that will help. Find more information on anxiety on this overcoming anxiety page.

Good luck!


I had very disturbing news about my wife two and half weeks ago and have had anxiety ever since. Doctor gave me Zoloft but not interested in taking long term medicine. Any thing I can do without medicine, hard to sleep and focus at work. Exhaust myself with anxiety.

Anxiety is exhausting, and it is understandable that you are having trouble focusing. Medication won’t take away the disturbing news and it probably will not help you focus, though it might numb the anxiety a bit.

It would probably be very helpful right now to give yourself a break, even if all you can fit in is a short one. An hour or two of time to yourself where you just relax and be kind to yourself can be very healing. For example, go for a walk, read a book, go visit a friend, go swimming…find something you enjoy and set aside some time specifically for that activity.

Some relaxation techniques specific to anxiety relief may help with mental focus. You can find several different relaxation scripts here: Anxiety Relief Relaxation Scripts.

I hope you’re feeling better soon.


School Anxiety

by Stephanie, 14
(Beaverton, Or)

What are some ways that I can help control my school anxiety. I have not been able to attend school very often. Just about once a week, maybe if that. It started about a month ago, during the last half of finals week. I failed all my classes last term as well. To add to that, I didn’t go to school the following week, and only one day the next week, and only one day last week. I didn’t go to school today either. I need some ways I can get past my anxiety over going to school and be able to function regularly. On the days that I did go, I had severe panic attacks littered throughout my school day and on the bus home.


It sounds like your anxiety is getting very severe and making it difficult to function. I suggest trying the following:

– First, see your medical doctor for a complete checkup (make sure to mention the anxiety symptoms you are having).

– Talk to your school counsellor about the difficulty attending school and about the panic attacks.

– Use relaxation exercises for short sessions several times throughout the day and one longer relaxation session every day.

Some relaxation scripts that may help can be found on the Anxiety Relief Scripts page and the Guided Imagery Scripts page. It can be helpful to record yourself reading the script out loud and then listen to the recording and follow the instructions. People often respond best to their own voice. Listen to the audio recording every day.

I hope this helps.



Worksheets Request

i am writing to you i work in an hospital setting and look after females with mental health problems i am going to run a relaxation group i have been looking at your site and your work sheets which are good i dont have a printer would you be able to send some work sheets out to me my address is ******* thankyou michelle

Hi Michelle,
Please contact me via the confidential contact form on this page: regarding your request, and I will be glad to help you out. I will mail you a package with all the worksheets for a small fee to cover the cost of photocopying and postage, approximately $5 USD. Once you contact me I will send you an invoice via Paypal and then mail you the worksheets.


Calm Energy

by Celia
(Boston, MA)

One problems that I have is that I associate anxiety with energy and relaxation with slowness/sleepiness.

I was reading on the WebMD website about tense energy vs. calm energy. Tense energy (which I think I experience alot of) gets you going but in the end you crash and get tired. In general, I have becoming more aware that anxiety makes one tired.

Calm energy is what is sounds like-calm energy. It is more sustainable than tense energy. I have started Yoga and alot of their positions are supposed to give you a calm energy.
Deep breathing I find energizing (not relaxing per se) but perhaps on some psychological level I associate calm as being sleepy not energized.

I recently went up on anti-anxiety medicine. At first it made me tired. However, when I adjusted to the medication I stated to feel more energized and like doing more things. (The medication still is being adjusted-so the final result is still unclear). At first I thought I might be suffering from some slight depression (which lowers energy) which is why the increased dosage of medication might be energizing. However, the physician thought I might have more energy from being more relaxed.

It helps me in my search for relaxation to focus on calm energy because I think on some levels I think of my anxiety as being “helpful” because it is energizing (my mother who is anxious sees anxiety as energizing rather than counterproductive).

Mindful eating

by Celia
(Boston, MA)

I weigh about 10-12 pounds over what I would like to weigh. I also eat very fast. I have read several places that to eat slowly makes be feel more satisfied with what they eat.. Below are directions for eating that makes eating like a form of meditation. I do this for my lunch half hour and my lunch eating now takes the full half hour. I feel like I am killing two birds with one stone-dieting and meditating. (FYI-I have read multi-tasking is stressful. However, I have found it sometimes helps with time management to try to use one activity to accomplish several goals).

by Sara
(Victoria, B.C)

I don’t really have a question yet, but I am 19 years old and have been suffering immensely from panic attacks to the point where I cant hang out with people anymore. I have been on numerous medications, have done acupuncture, Emotional freedom technique, and Therapy. Three days ago I decided that I did not want to be put on anti-psychotics which have long term effects and have now been searching for a way to treat this without drugs. Your website has been the most informative place I HAVE EVER FOUND. I do not know if it will work, but my intuition is telling me that there is something very special about what you have to share. I hope this will change my life!

I hope so too! I think it’s great that you are so motivated to make changes. This motivation gives you the ability to be successful in managing anxiety and feeling better.

You would probably do very well with a combination of relaxation techniques, such as the anxiety relief audio, and self help exercises, such as Panic Attack Worksheets and David Burns’ book “When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life.”

Keep me posted on how you are doing, and feel free to ask any questions you may have as you work through this.

Best wishes!


Decrease Fidgeting

by Jonathan
(San Francisco, CA)

What is a good resource to help me learn to stop fidgeting with my fingers? Is there a script or something similar like the jaw clenching script that can help me learn to stop this habit?

Good idea! I’ll do a script about fidgeting for an upcoming podcast. Thanks for the suggestion!

Relaxation to Decrease Fidgeting script

What should I do??

i have had anxiety for 3 years,and i have took paxil 40mg a day for 2 years, well about 3 months ago i started getting really bad dizziness,so i thought it was the paxil so i drop down to 20 mg a day,and a about a week later i felt fine,well about 2 months went by and about a week ago i started getting the dizziness again.should i start back taking 40 mg paxil a day or what should i do?????

need help?

so im 15 and i have only just be informed that i have 4 different types of anxiety and have a very mild case of bipolar. I have tried the 5 easy steps to calm down from axiety but it doesnt seem to work, my mum doesnt believe in medication and says that i will just grow out of it, but it seems to be getting worse. Before my anxiety would come but then pass in a few minutes but now its constant and wont go away. I just want it to go away, can someone please help me?

Relaxation…one year later

by Celia
(Boston, MA)

I am going to write something short about this matter because I don’t have much time. I have been using different relaxations techniques for about a year and people do say I am seem calmer and I managing stress better. For all my life I have suffered from anxiety.

I do find time management a very important issue and I have learned to take the attitude that doing some relaxation techniques is better then none. In the beginning I was looking for a correct breathing technique to reduce anxiety but I have found that this has given way to a times simply focussing on breath and yoga where breathing is combined with streching.

I have often felt put off by Yoga because I thought I was not limber enough but some poses are simpler and if you find the right instructor they can simplify the poses for you.

Listed below are the techniques I have found most helpful
1) breath focus
2) mindfullness(focusing on the present moment-making in depth observations of what is going on around you.
3) stretching
4) autogenics
5) Relizaing on some intellectual level extreme stress and anxiety is counterproductive.
I have found that I have liked Yoga where it combines breathing, mindfullness and stretching.

Least helpful techniques (note some of them are the common ones)
1) mantra meditation
2) progressive muscle relaxation

by StuDal

Audio downloads like meditation, breathing techniques, self esteem are of great interest to me.

Used to work in the city (London) and was very sociable and outgoing. loved to meet people and dealt with worry very well.
Following 2 years of depression, then redundancy, failed interviews and asking for financial help from family (who have been loving, understanding, compassionate and strong by the way!), I have been lost all self confidence, avoid any social situations, cancel interviews and won’t go out of the house without my security blanket (wife!) or my focus (kids!). With funds non existant can anyone suggest any audio that has worked well for them? Don’t mind if they aren’t free, just don’t want to buy if not recommended.

Thanks :0)


by Jonathan
(San Francisco, CA)

Hi Candi- Since you are so helpful, I would be grateful if you could prepare a script to help me deal with squeamishness. I would imagine that this could be helpful to members of your audience as well. This has been an issue with me that is rooted with some other anxieties and to be able to practice to live with the feeling could be very helpful in minimizing anxiety to future doctors visits or even to help an injured loved one as well as give me confidence to help tackle other phobias or things I’m scared of at some other point in my life.

Certainly! I can do a script about squeamishness. I’m sure that’s an issue that will be relevant to many people. Thanks for the idea!


Deal with Squeamishness Squeamishness is a feeling of discomfort, disgust, and anxiety. This guided imagery script will help you in your mind to face phobias or anxiety-provoking situations and deal with squeamishness.

need some advice

by brett

Question: I have been struggling with anxiety for a couple of weeks now. I was prescribed Celexa, I want some advice, I have been having an agoraphobic feeling when I ride my bike and I wonder why. Just getting up the courage to go knowing how I will feel when I get back is tough enough, Thanks.

Answer:Sometimes anxiety can start randomly, with no apparent reason or trigger. In other cases, there may be a reason for the anxiety – something that is bothering you, a stressful event, an important decision, a change in routine, etc.

It sounds like you are aren’t sure why the feelings of agoraphobia have come up, and you are wondering if there is a reason. I suggest you talk it through with someone face-to-face (a trusted friend, a counselor, a pastor, or someone else you feel comfortable talking to) and just see if you are able to identify any potential causes. Think about any changes that have happened in your life over the last while, any events that upset or worried you (especially ones that you didn’t discuss at the time and kept your feelings to yourself), or anything that has been bothering or worrying you.

You may find David Burns’ book “When Panic Attacks” helpful. The book discusses the “hidden emotion technique,” which is a technique that involves identifying any underlying (hidden) emotions that could be at the root of anxiety. I suggest this technique because it sounds like your anxiety came on fairly suddenly over the past couple of weeks and you aren’t sure why. Anxiety that starts suddenly with no apparent cause could be an indicator that unexpressed emotions are involved. There is no guarantee this will help, because maybe your anxiety symptoms are unrelated to any hidden emotions, but it’s worth a try!

“When Panic Attacks” has a number of other helpful techniques for dealing with anxiety, and I highly recommend this book.

You may also find the following relaxation scripts helpful:

Generalized Anxiety Relaxation

A Relaxing Walk

Emotional Awareness Sensory Relaxation

I will be recording a new podcast for Overcoming Agoraphobia, which might be relevant for your situation, and it will be available soon. You can subscribe to my podcast for free and get this episode automatically when it becomes available, or just keep checking back on the podcast page to play new episodes right from there.

I hope this helps!


Inner panic

by Lori
(Scotland uk)

I’m totally blind and have a fear of going outside the house, of being sick at night and am also unable to sleep at night.

Can anyone tell me what to do? I’ve tried relaxation techniques like breathing deeply but they don’t always work, and the panic feelings are really getting me frightened and depressed.

It’s like one fear leads to another and I don’t know where to turn now. I’d be grateful for any advice.

Thanks from Lori

Reading is relaxing

by Panda Bear, Celia

By Panda Bear, Celia

I have started a book club at work. As part of the book club, I found out that reading was considered to be a top form of relaxation-much better than TV and other forms of relaxation.

I personally find reading very relaxing. I like the eReaders (I have a Nook). What many people like about reading is that it gets you away from technology-I find the Nook does keep to a large extent the “feel” of a book.

In addition, what I like about reading is that it is self-paced.

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