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Conquering Fear

For me, October 2016 brings with it a great sense of satisfaction:  the new, fully revised and updated edition of my book In Stillness Conquer Fear will shortly be released and my hope is that it will help bring comfort and healing to many.  This achievement is very exciting because I now offer not only a personal recovery story, but over 30 years’ professional experience in working to assist others with stress and anxiety.

So here’s a little ‘teaser’ from Chapter 18 to capture your interest and to spread the word – anxiety does not have to be a lifelong companion.



Extract from Chapter 18: Oops – surely this isn’t meant to happen?

You have successfully reduced your anxiety and symptoms have left you. In the middle of happily moving on with your life, bang! There they are again, those nasty reminders of former times!

When asked about these occasional unpleasant shifts in progress, the metaphor I use is that of getting a cold or the ‘flu’. We recognise discomfort in the sore throat, headache, fever and so on, and what do we usually do? For starters we probably increase our Vitamin C, take some aspirin, have an early night and so on, and we know that the cold will run its course as we withstand our temporary misery.

So, in the case of the appearance of anxiety symptoms, what could we do? Maybe increase the practice of our stillness!  Use that as our strongest support and very soon we’ll be back to equilibrium.

Remember, too, it is normal to experience anxiety, especially in times of stress. These symptoms are your way of expressing anxiety; therefore they are of value to you. Others may express their anxiety in physical illness where suddenly the ‘flu’ hits and it can’t be shaken. Or perhaps something more significant than the ‘flu’ will arise. And so illness will move people to take a holiday, get more rest, re‑think the workload and so on.

Heeding those remarks, this could be a good time to ask yourself: what is the message that my expression of anxiety is giving me? Am I too tired? Is my relationship not compatible? Do I need a holiday? Have I neglected or abandoned my practice of stillness?  Obviously many factors can be reason for the temporary reappearance of symptoms. These are merely little echoes of an old melody, a part of your life that has made you who you are today, so please do not be alarmed.

The appearance of those reminders does not mean that you are on a slippery slope back to high anxiety. While you are committed to stillness and practise with consistency you never can slip right back.    Stillness, when practised correctly, is the antidote to anxiety.  This will also have opened your mind to create a different person, wiser for it all with skills to prevent recurrence.

What you can take from this, though, is that self‑care is of fundamental importance for all your life. What you can also learn is that anxiety is a messenger, serving a purpose. Listen to its message and know that anxiety can never hold you in awe again.

And now another hint: anxiety is meant to protect us. But too much anxiety means we’re living in a constant state of emergency and that is not a healthy way to live.

So, if and when those ‘reminder symptoms’ drop into your life, take a moment to reflect on what you really need to be reminded of – and set about making the necessary change.  And maybe take a hint from the wise words of George Bernard Shaw:

‘Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.’

“In Stillness Conquer Fear” will be released in early November 2016.
To pre-order your copy, please click here

Pauline McKinnon ©
Melbourne, October 2016