Table of Contents
Introduction … 7
Chapter 1 – You and Your Anxiety: How to Overcome Your Stuck Points …10
The Multifaceted You …. 11
Worksheet 1 – What Do You See? . 11
Understanding Your Anxiety and What It Is Doing to You 12
Worksheet 2 – What Does Your Behavior Say of You? …. 13
Reflecting upon Your Triggers and Identifying Beliefs That are Standing in Your Way … 14
Worksheet 3 – Imagery Exposure 15
Mindfully Moving Beyond the Beliefs Blocking Your Path 17
Worksheet 4 – Recognizing Your Challenges . 18
Where to Next? . 19
Chapter 2 – Your Mind, Your Body: How to Face Your Inner Demons …. 21
Putting Events, Emotions, and Vibrations Together …. 21
Imagining the Worst …. 23
Self-Blame. Self Loathe. All of it. …. 24
Connecting Them with Your Mind and Body … 27
Worksheet 7 – Talking Yourself Out of Anxiety .. 28
Chapter 3 – Overcoming Resistance to Change ….. 31
Recognizing Any Resistance to Change 31
Worksheet 8 – The Fear of Change Quiz . 32
Belief-Systems That Stop You from Acting on a Change …. 33
Self-Sympathy. Self-Loathe. Anxiety. Depression. . 33
What Do You See? .. 34
Worksheet 9 – Acting on Your Change -Blocking Systems …. 35
Re-writing Your Life – One Change at a Time .. 35
Chapter 4 – Reflection: How to Arrive at Acceptance and Move on From There . 40
Understanding Your Body Signals . 41
Worksheet 10 – Tracking Your Body’s Signals ….. 42
Minding Your Moods …. 43
Worksheet 11 – Mood Tracker 44
Finding Acceptance 46
What Are Distorted Thought Patterns? … 46
Worksheet 12 – Distorted Thoughts Tracker . 49
Assessing Your Present and Preparing a Plan for the Future …50
Connect with Now .. 51
Worksheet 13 – Setting Goals . 51
Chapter 5 – Acting against Angst: How to Act on Your Fears and Achieve Your Goals .. 53
Evading Avoidance . 53
Worksheet 14 – Identifying Your Fears …. 54
Acting against Your Fears … 55
Worksheet 15 – Taking the Step-Up Approach …. 56
Begin the Process…. 57
Create and Execute Your Plan ….. 57
Consider Every Aspect That Might Influence, Conflict or Jeopardize Your Plan . 58
Be Mindful of Any possible Setbacks, But Don’t Let Them Wear You Down.. 59
No Need to Hurry 59
Know When You’ve Tried Too Long . 60
It’s Okay to Fall. Fail Too 60
Realign Your Plan. Improvise Too …. 60
Complete What You’ve Taken 61
Become a Better Version of You .. 62
Chapter 6 – Navigating Self-Imposed Obstacles: How to Stop Being a Hard Task Master ….. 64
Moving Ahead of Any past Pain Memories 65
Moving Away from the Past You Need to Leave Behind …. 67
Worksheet 17 – Letting Go ….. 67
Overcoming Obsessions …. 68
Worksheet 18 – Recognizing Any Obsessions 69
New Beginnings 71
Worksheet 20 – Creating Tomorrow . 72
Chapter 7 – Preventing Burnout: How to Overcome Your Anxiety without Getting Tied-Down by the Idea of Perfection 75
Setting Real Expectations … 75
Worksheet 21 – Expectation Tracker 76
Perfectionism and Borrowed Expectations 78
Leaving No Room to Pause. Falter Too 78
Avoiding Comparisons . 79
Worksheet 22 – Becoming the Change You Want to See . 79
Change Everything If You Have To, but Change Them One Thing at a Time ….. 80
Fear of Feedback … 80
Worksheet 23 – Overcoming Feedback Fears 81
Reward Yourself. You’ve Made Great Progress ….. 82
Chapter 8 – You’ve Got This: How to Banish Worry and Live Panic-Free ….. 85
Simplify ….. 86
Breathe … 86
Express Yourself. Talk It Out or Journal Your Thoughts ….. 88
Listen to Music … 89
Spend Time with Pets ….. 90
Give Your Mind Something More Productive to Chew On … 90
Stay in the Present ….. 91
You Decide. Ready or Not? . 92
Worksheet 24 – Gathering Your Tools ….. 92
Conclusion …. 93
Sample Content Preview
Imagining the Worst
Life can be rough sometimes. Bad things can happen without a plan and then can leave behind a sense of lasting pain and fear. But sometimes, our mind can fantasize about things that never happened and probably might never happen too. These things can be our biggest fears. We can imagine catastrophic events and jump to the worst possible conclusions with no reason or logic. And so, by doing that repeatedly, you live the experience that many times (because your mind and body might not be able to differentiate real from the imaginary world).
Self-Blame. Self Loathe. All of it.
Rachel suffers from constant worry and anxiety. Some she says are the result of the busy life she leads. She wakes up at 5 am every day, travels an hour to reach work, is constantly rushing through meetings and deadlines, takes another hour to reach home at 8 pm, cooks and finishes her dinner, prepares for the next day before she can go to sleep at 11 pm.
Sometimes things get rough, her anxiety kicks in as a result of her worst imagination. Here’s how she says her mind plays out events when that happens: As a result, she blames and hates herself.
My throat hurts. I think I can feel a bump. What if it’s cancer? Am I going to die? What will happen to my family once I’m gone? Will they miss me?
I remember a bad/traumatic experience and replay that event repeatedly, imagining it is happening again. Sometimes, I imagine it being worse too and my responses are very real.
I see a group of people giggling in front of me. Are they laughing at me? Is it my dress? Do I look okay? Did I do something odd or funny? I need to get out of here. Why do people always make fun of me? I don’t deserve this. Nobody likes me. I’m hopeless.
My manager didn’t greet me as usual. I wonder if he/she is upset about my work. What if I get fired? What about my bills? Why can’t I do anything right? Why am I never good enough? I hate myself.
Worksheet 6 – Living Your Biggest Fears – This Time with Reason
Decide to live your biggest fears once again-this time more mindfully. Take one fear at a time and if there are many, then move over to the next fear only after you’ve completely made peace with the previous one. Sure, this might take time, but the positive effects can last a lifetime. So, don’t rush. Again, decide whether you want to have someone around to watch your back.
Sit with yourself when you’re feeling most secure and comfortable. Remind yourself that what you are going to experience isn’t real. Remind yourself to disconnect from emotional trauma you are knowingly going to put yourself through. Remind yourself of the purpose of this exercise. You want to dig deeper into your fears and understand what you are learning from it is. Once you recognize this, you can work on the learning and the suffering will gradually decrease.
And when you’re ready, go through the experience, your biggest fears, the worse possible situations, your inner demons so to speak. What is it that keeps troubling you? Why do you keep inviting this experience into your life? Is there a lesson?
What’s the worst possible? Okay that happened. Can it get worse? Imagine that too. Live the experience all the time telling yourself that this isn’t real and isn’t happening now.
Again, when you’re ready, bring yourself back to the present and reflect on your thoughts and emotions. Write them down when you are ready.
Repeat this exercise whenever you are ready for it and until the time you’ve made peace with the fear and can move on.
The best way to gain perspective is to mindfully talk to yourself as you experience the rush of fantasized images. Now that you know that that can happen, the next time you catch yourself doing something like that, tell yourself:
– This isn’t real and it’s not happening now
– Whatever happens, I can cope
– I am going to stop causing my suffering
– I am doing great. I’ve got this
– I love myself. I feel great.
Connecting Them with Your Mind and Body
Remember, you can manage and even overcome your anxiety by learning to feel better with introspection. Ask yourself as many questions about your anxiety. Persist because deep down, you have and know the answers. Observe your relationship with your feelings, thoughts and your body’s responses to them. Track them and talk yourself to a better, calmer, and panic-free state of mind. Yes, you can!
Worksheet 7 – Talking Yourself Out of Anxiety
– Each day, record events that made you anxious. Elaborate and specify the event as well as your thoughts and bodily reactions to it.
– Use feeling words to describe your emotions.
– Go through the experience and decide to make peace with it. Keep telling yourself that the present is great, and the future will be even better.
– Work on your feelings. Talk to yourself. Gather support from others if you want to.
– At the end of every week, look back on your tracker and evaluate your progress.
– How are you feeling?
As you work through the exercises presented this book, you should become more aware of your anxiety, the reasons for it as well as how your body reacts to events in your life. The more knowledge you gain, the better you can understand and manage your anxiety. So, keep at it.
Chapter 3 – Overcoming Resistance to Change
Being watchful, precautious and reflective while taking your time to do important things might have their advantages, but if your habit is inching more towards procrastination, then it could be that you are resistant to change. And frankly speaking, you are not alone. Most people, in some way or the other, are resistant to change because of the level of uncertainty it brings with it.
Recognizing Any Resistance to Change
Truth is, most people hold many assumptions about change. They resist it because it is unknown and therefore frightening. It takes effort to act on changes and some aren’t so keen on putting in that effort. Some don’t believe they can see the results they seek and so why try? Others think they don’t deserve to be happy and so don’t change to improve their situations. Some get so lost and stuck up in the cycle of anxiety that they fail to recognize the scope for change, for a better life. While most of these thoughts are indeed assumptions, they can become the very beliefs that stand in the way of what you want to achieve.Other Details
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