Friday, August 17, 2012


I once read a book (Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes) that talked a lot about acceptance as way of conquering anxiety. It's a great book, I highly suggest reading it if you are struggling with any form of anxiety or panic disorder. I read this book a while back and I got a lot from it. It wasn't until just pretty recently though that I fully grasped what she meant with her bit about acceptance.

I was heading to a job interview on a Monday morning. I thought I had entered the route into the GPS that would avoid the interstate, as I had plenty of nerves about the interview and did not need to pile on one of my classic highway driving panic attacks on top of it. But of course I was mistaken. When the lady came on with her silly voice telling me to merge right onto I-85, I had to obey. I told myself I could do it, and that I would be fine, the usual pep talk. That old familiar anxious feeling started to well up in my chest nonetheless as I drove up that on-ramp. As I got closer to the point of merging into traffic, the anxiety intensified and I was sure I was about to have a panic attack. I had just reached the point where I had had enough. I was so weary of running from these panic attacks that this time I just relaxed my body hoping to just "get it over with". I mentally told that panic attack to just go at it. Let me have it. Get it over with so I can get on about my day and put myself back together for this job interview. But it didn't happen. It just passed. I cruised the remaining 6 miles until my exit without a problem. As I realized that I wasn't going to panic after all, that I couldn't even if I tried, I became ecstatic! It was a great feeling. By accepting the panic attack, I was able to conquer it.

In this type of moment there comes a point where the anxiety either starts to subside as you realize there is no real danger, or it explodes out from your core in every direction with such speed that you'd swear steam is actually coming out of your ears. This is the point where either that second-fear (the fear of the panic attack itself rather than the perceived trigger that caused the anxiety to begin with) gets the best of you or you get the best of it. Panic is like a playground bully. It gives you trouble only so long as you react to it. When you stop fearing that panic attack, it moves along and looks for an easier target.


  1. I agree with you on so many levels. I actually met and worked with Dr. Weekes in the late 60's. Acceptance is the key to recovery from panic and anxiety. Please check out my website and blogs @ to learn about my personal recovery.

  2. That must have been awesome to talk with Dr Weekes! I will be sure to check out your blog.


  3. Because an attitude of utter and true acceptance is the keystone to recovery when suffering from panic and anxiety, it is vitally important that a person understand acceptance, its exact meaning and how to practice doing it. Unlike learning a dance step or riding a bicycle which requires initiating action, this is more a matter of being still, immobile, and simply "floating" so to speak. The key is to not react to a stimulus. Accepting means allowing unpleasant thoughts, frightening thoughts and even terrifying sensations to come and not withdrawing from them. Allow them to come at any time without preparing for fight or flight,. A person's only response at the moment should be to relax to the best of one's ability, to loosen that tight hold on one's self, to feel one's body go loose all over and not shrinking from any feeling or thought. A person should never be bluffed by a feeling. The thought and feeling is present to be sure. But what a person perceives as a threat is not real and can render no harm. Remember, THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS. Acceptance is an ally, resistance is a foe. Withdrawal is a jailer. Do not be imprisoned!

    A person should not expect to master the technique of acceptance at first. Fear and withdrawal may be an established habit over a long period of time. But as one practices on a repetitive basis, the point will be reached where the thoughts and feelings no longer matter. Then, freed from tension and anxiety, a person's adrenalin releasing nerves will gradually calm down and fear will automatically decrease and finally cease. Oh, what a wonderful revelation! What a sense of peace. Let the feelings and thoughts come. Accept them with a quiet, relaxed courage. Watch how harmless they really are. A person should give themselves as much time as necessary. There is nothing threatening. Give one's self a break. Be kind to one's self. The human body wants to cooperate. This is a method can be trusted with blind obedience. Acceptance really works. With practice, a person will find that acceptance becomes an automatic habit that occurs without conscious thought. Acceptance neutralizes fear every time. Allow one's self to heal with the best available antidote that will never leave: ACCEPTANCE. In acceptance, a person will find the key to recovery from panic and anxiety for the rest of their life.

    For five years, I experienced the debilitating symptoms of fear, anxiety, and depression. Often these symptoms are diagnosed by physicians as panic attack disorder or anxiety disorder. In a constant state of anxiety and panic, I searched desperately for a way out of my forest of despair. Following what seemed to be an almost insurmountable degree of frustration and disappointment, I found the way to permanent recovery from my severe anxiety symptoms. Visit our website for more on finding permanent relief from anxiety and panic.

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