The program has been tweaked and improved many times since Barry first began to share his methods, and it’s now getting the interest of mental health professionals.
The Author Behind Panic Away Program
In his search for help, Barry worked with a number of top psychologists – he tried relaxation and breathing methods, cognitive therapy techniques, and all the other techniques that are used today to help anxiety sufferers overcome their anxiety, and which you’ve probably tried as well.
Barry got some relief from these techniques – but none of them was able to eliminate the root of his anxiety. Like cutting down weeds, the anxiety would just resurface again and again, and have to be dealt with again each time.
One day Barry discovered a very simple mental technique that was able to cut away his anxiety at its roots…. a technique that he now calls the “21-7 Technique”. Barry chose this name because the 21-7 technique stops panic within 21 seconds, and general anxiety within 7 minutes.
This technique – originally known as the “One Move” technique – is the key if you want to eliminate anxiety and panic, instead of just “managing” it.
Barry found that trying to calm down panic symptoms didn’t work very well, but when he used the 21-7 technique (moving into a state of “excited arousal”, as he puts it), his body calmed down naturally, and his worries and obsessive thoughts cleared away like a fog lifting in the sunshine.
Barry realized that eliminating the fear of having a panic attack was the key to stopping panic at its roots, and he went on to create the Panic Away program, which has now reached over 60,000 people in 32 countries and has been featured on national television news and talk shows.
How Does It Work?
The first experience of anxiety or panic is usually caused by some sort of stress, or shock, or perhaps a physical symptom. But anxiety and panic attacks only become entrenched once this first response sets up a perpetuating cycle.
You’ve probably heard of the “fight or flight” response – this is the way your brain and body is programmed to respond to an emergency alert. Now, this “fight or flight” response is not anxiety – though it feels very similar, and can be quite scary, especially if you aren’t sure what caused it. The fear this generates then adds another layer to the response – and before you know it, your heart is racing, you can’t breathe, and you feel as though you are having a heart attack.
But for some reason your nervous system may become sensitised – and this is how chronic anxiety starts, because it doesn’t take much to get the cycle going again… before long, the fear of having an anxiety attack is running your life, stopping you going out, making it hard to be in any sort of public setting. (Maybe your anxiety is a little bit different from this, but this is the core mechanism).
Once you learn to break the cycle of fear, your brain shifts into a more rational mode – as Barry McDonaugh puts it, the fog lifts! At that point, you can use some of the other methods commonly used to overcome anxiety – relaxation, breathing, cognitive techniques (CBT) – techniques that don’t work very well when your brain is in emergency mode, but are good for helping to manage your stress level.
“But I don’t feel stressed,” I hear you say….
Well, you might not be aware of feeling stressed until you begin to relax…. but chances are, your baseline arousal level is higher than it needs to be, and it’s making you more vulnerable to the anxiety cycle. So I highly recommend that you try these strategies as well as the 21-7 technique! You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how much difference it makes, to have a whole toolkit of strategies to draw on.
Putting People In Control of Their Pain Management
As most people know, the pharmaceutical (‘big pharma’)industry governs billions of dollars. Their research and ‘solutions’ are those that you need to buy: keeping their pockets lined with dollar bills. Recently, people have begun to question treating these conditions with the quick-fixes of prescription pills, sleeping tablets and other immune-weakening ‘remedies’. People like Barry have started looking at alternative solutions to the deep-rooted symptoms anxiety disorders represent.
Traditionally, therapies have been used to help sufferers overcome their anxiety, developing coping mechanisms when they’re feeling stressed, anxious or panicky. Whilst helpful, this approach often still leaves sufferers anxious about their anxiety – to hide from, rather than confront problems.
Panic Away rejects this style, and instead encourages you to embrace them your feelings – to be able to accept them, accepting they are part your life and understand how they affect it. Panic Away doesn’t try to change who you are. Instead, it helps you embrace the full spectrum of your character.
The way Panic Away works is to deal with the root of your anxiety problems, rather than quick-fixes. At its heart are two revolutionary techniques: the 21/7 technique and C.A.L.M.
C – Community Support
A – Acceptance
L – Lifestyle changes
M – Meaning
This innovative attitude of going toward and not only fully accepting, but actually encouraging your body to do what it wants during a panic attack. Obviously, you need support from your community – whether this be neighbours, friends, or even online forums. Barry’s book teaches you to observe, embrace and demand more.
This leads to the 21/7 (or 21-7) Technique: the book teaches you to demand more. To be able to rid yourself of a panic attack in 21 seconds; and a 7 minute timeframe of ridding yourself of anxiety. For panic attack and anxiety disorder sufferers, who often suffer for hours (or even days) at a time, this technique leads to huge lifestyle improvements.
This strategy, of doing a 21-second countdown followed by a 7-second exercise, is as simple as it is subtle. You can use it in almost all anxious situations – and it can be combined with other techniques the book teaches you, such as visualization and affirmation, helping enhance the 21-7 technique depending on your situation.
General or Specific Anxiety?
What is panic away’s 21-7 technique? Can suffer panic attacks and waves of anxiety due to specific stimuli, or can experience it through generalized anxiety gradually grinding their strength down. Barry explores how each of these can be controlled through specific methods, and identifying their relationship with other mental health challenges such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Barry’s extensive research condenses the program down into three stages: trust, acceptance and persistence. Each merits its own chapter, containing an explanation of the stage, instructions of how to react in different situations and case studies of the people he’s helped.
The effective and actionable approaches in Panic Away look at anxiety and panic-attack triggers, including fears and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The C.A.L.M. approach even helps suffers deal with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other mental health symptoms resulting from anxiety.
The purpose of changing the way readers view their anxiety is to stop readers seeing their condition as a battle against an insurmountable enemy. Instead it teaches how lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise can help or hinder anxiety, such as the damage artificial sweeteners can have.
Anxious People are Brave People
Panic Away paints a picture of anxiety sufferers as brave people. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to mental disorders still exists. Many, including sufferers, believe the misguided opinion that people suffering from anxiety disorders are in some way weak. This is not true.
Barry’s book empowers readers with panic and anxiety problems to embrace them – to tackle the problems head on, and in doing so, they are actually doing the bravest things. Throughout the text, the book advocates confronting the fears associated with anxiety disorders. Subtly, Panic Away teaches that in order to accept the condition, you must trust yourself.
Just like animals, humans have some very similar traits – in particular, our body’s fight or flight response to negative situations including panic attacks. Panic Away teaches you to understand these are a normal human reaction. It explains what chemical reactions cause the fight or flight response, and how these primal instincts lead to panic attacks and waves of anxiety.
By exploring in-depth why we react the way we do, and embracing these feelings and how they manifest themselves both physically and mentally, the book puts you in control of your anxious emotions and panic attacks. By recognising and accepting their triggers and effects, readers can transcend their anxiety.
- The Panic Away program uses elements of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Logotherapy to achieve fast results.
- CBT is the first line of defense when treating panic disorder, generalized anxiety, agoraphobia, and other anxiety disorders.
- The system uses behavior modification to teach you how to approach your anxiety disorder differently and empower you to overcome it instead of simply manage it.
- The Panic Away program isn’t a replacement for your doctor’s advice or treatment, but it can supplement it, or be used as self-help.
- Panic Away can be accessed in a variety of formats from hard copy books to online courses to mobile and more.
- The fact that it is so accessible in and of itself can ease anxiety, because those who need help will be able to get it easily.
- Panic Away is designed to work fast. They have a money-back guarantee period of eight weeks and will refund you if you don’t start seeing results by then.
- Panic Away doesn’t cure everybody. In fairness, that’s because it can’t.
- Every human is unique, physically, mentally and emotionally.
- While Panic Away claims that it can cure more than half of all those who try it, they are very upfront about the fact that the Panic Away technique can’t cure everybody.
- To be blunt, there are simply those whose anxiety is hard to manage let alone cure, and those people will need to consult their doctor.
Overall, this eBook is worth the read. It’s not a pill, potion or a magic formula. It addresses real science and speaks to people in all situations.
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