Self Help

Dare The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks Fast (Anxiety Relief) - Barry McDonagh

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Matheus Puppe

· 32 min read

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Here is a summary of the key points about DARE from the book preview:

  • DARE is a new approach created by Barry McDonagh to help people break free from anxiety and panic attacks. It stands for Daring Response.

  • McDonagh overcame his own struggles with anxiety after discovering the Panic Away program, which gave him the tools for recovery.

  • The book contains praise and positive testimonials from people who have used McDonagh’s methods to overcome anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, agoraphobia and more.

  • The DARE response teaches people to give up behaviors and mindsets that are fueling their anxiety, such as fearing sensations, situations, thoughts, saying no to anxiety, seeing it as a curse or something abnormal, relying on crutches etc.

  • It encourages daring to face fears instead of avoiding them in order to overcome anxiety for good, rather than just masking or managing the symptoms.

  • McDonagh shares how readers can apply the DARE approach themselves to heal from anxiety through supercharging their recovery and not being so hard on themselves.

  • The book aims to provide hope and a solution to help people break free from anxiety that has held them back for years. Testimonials show it has worked for many suffering for decades.

The passage introduces the concept of facing anxiety boldly through a new approach called “The DARE Response.” It aims to heal anxiety for good, rather than just managing or coping with it.

The author relates their own experience with developing anxiety disorders after a panic attack, and how it impacted their life for over 500 days with high general anxiety and additional panic attacks.

The turning point came when they had a flash of insight where they realized they had been fueling their anxiety by the way they responded to each anxious thought. This led to fully overcoming their panic attacks and constant anxiety.

The key idea is that “The DARE Response” technique, developed from the author’s own experience, can truly transform and heal anxiety disorders by changing how one thinks about and responds to anxious thoughts and feelings. Committing to this process promises rewards of full recovery.

  • The author describes overcoming their own intense anxiety that held them back for years. By sharing their insights online, many people reported significant reductions in anxiety.

  • This led the author to write their first book “Panic Away”, which became an international bestseller. Since then, they have coached thousands of people from various backgrounds.

  • A unique aspect of the author’s approach is the speed at which it helps people recover from anxiety. Examples are given of people going from being homebound to traveling internationally or participating fully in their children’s lives.

  • The approach, called “The DARE Response”, teaches skills to address anxiety at its core rather than just manage symptoms. It simplifies recovery in a way that many other therapies fail to do.

  • By mastering The DARE Response, people learn to experience anxiety comfortably and pass through it with ease rather than getting trapped in a state of fear. The goal is to heal anxiety permanently rather than just managing it indefinitely.

  • The book outlines how readers can discover and apply The DARE Response approach to end their anxiety issues for good and transform the experience into a personal triumph.

  • There is a light at the end of the tunnel for dealing with anxiety - the methods in this book can help recovery.

  • An accompanying free app is available to download for audios to aid recovery.

  • It’s normal to not feel okay after experiencing anxiety for a long time. The goal is to feel like yourself again.

  • Anyone can experience anxiety, even very brave people, so it does not mean you are weak. Anxiety is a normal stress response that can be overcome.

  • Recovery happens in stages, from reducing panic attacks and general anxiety levels to overcoming fearful thoughts and derealization symptoms. Setbacks may occur but staying consistent can lead to full recovery.

  • The process of recovery is described as anxiety (“fog”) lifting over time with practice of the methods, though setbacks may cause temporary returns of symptoms (“fog”).

  • Some people have a genetic predisposition to anxiety sensitivity, and life triggers like trauma, illness or stress can then cause anxiety disorders to develop. Poor self-care can also be a trigger. The methods in the book aim to overcome anxiety regardless of cause.

  • The DARE Response is an approach to managing anxiety that addresses it in the present moment rather than avoiding it.

  • It provides clarity of mind by getting out of the “anxiety loop” where one fears the bodily sensations caused by anxiety.

  • The DARE Response has four steps: Defuse, Allow, Run Toward, Engage.

  • The first step is to Defuse anxious thoughts, like “what if” thoughts, by answering them dismissively with “So what!” This neutralizes the fear and prevents the anxiety from escalating.

  • By quickly defusing anxious thoughts rather than engaging with them, one can prevent anxiety from building up and get out of the “anxiety loop.” The DARE Response teaches a new, non-reactive way of responding to anxiety.

So in summary, the DARE Response approach aims to immediately address anxiety in the present moment rather than avoid it. It provides a structured four-step method, starting with defusing anxious thoughts to prevent anxiety from escalating uncontrollably.

The passage discusses the second step of the DARE response for managing anxiety - allowing it. It advises accepting anxious feelings rather than resisting them, which only makes anxiety worse.

When anxiety hits, one should say “I accept and allow this anxious feeling.” Rejecting anxiety is human nature but doesn’t work. What we resist persists.

One must learn to be comfortable with anxious discomfort. Picture anxiety as a comical friend visiting you - welcome it in rather than fighting it. Playfully giving anxiety absurd imagery or nicknames can help you not take it seriously.

Allowing anxiety to manifest fully without suppression allows the nervous system to unwind and discharge rather than staying trapped in anxious arousal. Over time, with practice accepting anxious feelings, anxiety becomes less impactful as one’s fear of fear dissipates.

The passage acknowledges allowing anxiety sounds counterintuitive but claims it does work to reduce anxious symptoms if one has faith and fully tries it. Resisting anxiety is what keeps people stuck, while accepting transforms the experience.

  • Many teachers have advocated a similar approach of simply allowing and accepting anxiety without resistance or complex management strategies. However, these teachings have been overshadowed.

  • The DARE Response aims to solve the core issue, which is resistance to anxiety. It teaches that you are not your anxiety - it’s just a feeling, and thoughts are just thoughts. You are truly safe.

  • The key is to fully accept and allow anxiety at 100% without trying to get rid of it or turn it away. Let anxiety in and sit with it to become comfortable. Even invite anxiety on good days to prevent worrying about surprise attacks.

  • With practice of acceptance, anxiety sensations will transform from nervous discomfort to a more positive, productive type of jittery energy that makes you feel able to act rather than paralyzed by fear.

  • Become an observer of anxious thoughts and feelings rather than feeling like a victim. Notice sensations without getting caught up in fearful interpretations.

  • Run toward anxiety by perceiving the same nervous energy sensations as excitement rather than threat. Reframe anxiety as positive arousal.

  • Once anxiety has been acknowledged and reframed, engage in a distracting activity to prevent ruminating and retriggering anxiety. Idleness allows anxiety to return; engagement keeps the mind occupied.

Here is a summary of the key points about responding to anxiety and panic attacks using the DARE method:

  • Checking in repeatedly to monitor anxious feelings only increases anxiety. Engaging in other tasks occupies the mind and reduces checking.

  • The DARE method involves 4 steps: Defuse anxiety with “so what/whatever”, Accept/Allow the anxious feelings, Run toward feelings by getting excited by them, and Engage in present tasks.

  • For panic attacks specifically, an addition to step 3 is made - after getting excited by sensations, Demand more from the panic attack by asking for an even more intense sensation. This paradoxically undercuts the fear.

  • Panic attacks are paper tigers - scary but harmless. Sensations are just adrenaline floods and will pass. The actual fear comes from our response, not the sensations.

  • Demanding more from a panic attack short-circuits the false fear by proving there is no real threat. It sends a message from the rational to emotional brain to switch off the panic alarm.

  • Reassuring oneself or trying to logically talk down panic only fuels it more. Paradoxical responses like demanding more directly challenge the panic and defuse anxiety much faster.

  • The DARE Response is a technique for managing panic attacks. It involves 5 steps:

  1. Defusing anxiety with responses like “So what?” or “Whatever, this is just nervous arousal.”

  2. Allowing the sensations without resisting or pushing them away. Welcoming the anxiety in.

  3. Rating the anxiety level from 1-10.

  4. If reaching an 8 or 9 out of 10, “chasing” the anxiety by demanding more sensations and a full panic attack. Become the hunter rather than the hunted.

  5. Engaging in an activity to keep the mind busy as the sensations subside.

  • Chasing the anxiety by demanding more sensations seems counterintuitive but works to change the relationship with anxiety from tormentor to protector. It acts as a “kill switch” for the panic.

  • After the sensations subside, it’s important to “shake it out” and allow the body to release stored stress hormones through shaking and movement. Suppressing shaking prolongs the stress response.

  • The goal is to ride up and over the panic wave and continue on with your day, rather than being tossed around by repeated panic attacks. Trust that your body can handle the sensations.

  • The passage encourages leaning into anxious feelings rather than resisting them. It advocates accepting and allowing uncomfortable thoughts and sensations to occur without judgment.

  • If a panic attack occurs, it suggests running toward the feeling of anxiety and excitement and demanding more of the adrenaline sensation.

  • After the initial adrenaline surge, there may be residual waves that require continued acceptance. The body needs time to process stress hormones.

  • The key message is to remember “I’m excited by this feeling and I demand more of it!” when anxiety strikes. Confronting fear shatters the illusion of threat.

  • Regular practice is needed to get better at demanding more from panic attacks. Gentle exposure through everyday tasks that provoke anxiety can build confidence over time.

  • The overall goal is developing faith that the body and mind can handle whatever anxiety throws at it. The mantra is “I can handle this.”

  • The woman suffered from frequent panic attacks and intense anxiety that limited her daily activities and quality of life. She was ashamed to admit the full extent of how her anxiety affected her.

  • Her biggest fear, which she was too ashamed to share with others, was that she was losing her grip on reality and losing her mind. She feared having intrusive, anxious thoughts.

  • The author notes that people with anxiety often hide their deepest fears and suffer in silence. Common intrusive thoughts revolve around harming oneself or others, having inappropriate sexual thoughts, or doubts about one’s identity.

  • The story of “Tom” illustrates the deep shame associated with anxiety. He had to abruptly leave a concert with his son due to a panic attack, disappointing his son and himself. This filled him with shame about his lack of ability to do normal activities with his son.

  • In summary, the passage discusses how the deepest, most shameful anxieties and intrusive thoughts of those suffering are often kept private, despite contributing greatly to their suffering. Unmasking and admitting these thoughts can help reduce the associated shame.

  • Anxiety triggers the fight-or-flight response in the body, even when there is no real threat. This leads to various physical sensations.

  • Common physical sensations include pounding heart, increased breathing, excess nervous energy, muscle tension/tremors, sweating, dizziness, needing to use the bathroom, slowed digestion and salivation.

  • The body prepares for fight or flight by tensing muscles, sweating, increasing heart rate and breathing. But with no outlet for the physical response, these sensations linger and are distressing.

  • Anxiety also causes anticipating worrying about possible future threats, and a sense of derealization or feeling of unreality.

  • It’s important to normalize these physical anxiety responses as normal parts of the fight or flight system, rather than seeing them as abnormal or signs of illness.

  • While diagnostic labels can help clinicians understand anxiety, they can also promote seeing oneself through that label rather than as a whole person. The key is focusing on reducing anxiety through approaches like DARE, rather than labels.

So in summary, it outlines the common physical symptoms of anxiety due to fight or flight preparation, discusses how this response becomes distressing without an outlet, and emphasizes normalizing responses rather than focusing on labels.

  • The hardest part of the DARE response for most people is the second step of dropping resistance and fully allowing and accepting anxiety.

  • Anxiety acts like a guard dog, protecting us from perceived threats. It needs reassurance from our rational mind that sensations are not actually dangerous.

  • Merely saying “calm down” doesn’t work to reduce anxiety, just like telling a barking guard dog to stop won’t work.

  • We must mentally “invite anxiety in” with total acceptance. This reassures the emotional brain that there is no real threat, allowing it to calm down.

  • Accepting anxiety means resting in it and letting its power transform us, rather than pushing it away. Giving it space helps relax the stress response over time.

  • Saying “yes” to anxiety brings peace by ending resistance and fuel to the anxiety. It’s an act of empowerment, not surrender.

  • People think they’re accepting anxiety but are still resisting subtly. True acceptance means allowing anxious sensations fully without trying to stop them.

  • Accepting anxiety is like not scratching an itch - initially hard but it gets less bothersome over time as you stop fueling it with negative response.

  • It’s okay to feel scared - allow the emotion fully without judgment so it can pass naturally like other sensations.

The passage uses the metaphor of dark clouds and a bright blue sky to represent anxiety and acceptance. It suggests accepting anxiety like the sky accepts dark weather - allowing it to come and go without resistance.

It encourages allowing anxious thoughts and feelings to be present without judgment, just as dark clouds are present in the sky. Over time, practicing acceptance and non-resistance causes the “bad weather” of anxiety to pass more quickly, leaving one in a state of calm like a clear blue sky.

It discusses the natural urge to resist anxiety but promotes observing anxious thoughts without getting caught up in them. Accepting anxiety paradoxically helps diminish its intensity and duration over time. The key is to “flow” with anxiety without struggling against it.

Overall, the passage promotes approaching anxiety with compassion, allowing unpleasant feelings and thoughts to be there without struggle. With practice, acceptance is said to reduce suffering from anxiety and help one return more quickly to a state of calm.

The passage discusses various physical sensations associated with anxiety, such as heart palpitations, missed heartbeats, breathing anxiety, fainting, nausea, choking sensations, headaches and more.

It explains that these sensations are usually harmless, but anxiety arises when we can’t identify the cause. Our minds jump to fearful conclusions to keep us safe from threats.

Examples are given of people misinterpreting normal bodily sensations due to anxiety, like a man panicking from an unfamiliar sensation in his feet from the car air conditioning.

The key point is that anxiety is not in the physical sensations themselves, but in our mental resistance and fearful response to them. If we experienced the same sensations without that anxiety, we would not be distressed.

The passage introduces the DARE response technique for dealing with physical anxiety sensations - Defusing anxiety thoughts, Allowing the sensations, Radically accepting them, and Engaging in something distracting. This teaches a non-anxious response regardless of whether we can identify the cause of a sensation.

Readers experiencing sensations are encouraged to practice DARE to reduce anxiety around common triggers like heart palpitations, breathing issues, nausea and more. The goal is allowing the body to be without control or interference from anxious thoughts.

  • Physical sensations of chest tightness, shallow breathing, dizziness and nausea are common symptoms of anxiety but do not actually pose any health risks.

  • Chest tightness is often caused by acid reflux or muscle tension, tricking the brain into feeling short of breath. But the respiratory system cannot be overridden by anxiety and will continue breathing normally.

  • Dizziness during anxiety is caused by hyperventilation and increased heart rate, increasing blood flow rather than decreasing it. Fainting from anxiety is very rare.

  • Nausea occurs due to anxiety’s effect on the abdomen but rarely results in actual vomiting. The fear of vomiting worsens the sensation.

  • When physical symptoms of anxiety occur, one should adopt The DARE Response - Defuse anxiety with humor, Allow the sensations without resisting, Run towards the feared sensations to prove they are not dangerous, and Engage in soothing activities. Facing the sensations with acceptance helps anxiety subside more quickly.

Here is a summary of the key points from the ARE Response article:

  • The DARE Response is a technique for defusing anxious sensations and thoughts associated with anxiety disorders. It involves Defusing anxious thoughts, Allowing the sensation without resisting, Running toward the feared sensation, and Engaging in a distracting activity.

  • Common physical sensations caused by anxiety include nausea, choking sensations, headaches, blurred vision, weak legs/shakes, tingling, and feeling a loss of control. The article provides tips on how to apply the DARE Response to each of these sensations.

  • Key recommendations include allowing the sensation without trying to stop it, challenging anxious thoughts about sensations through defusion, continuing normal activities even if shaking/weak, and engaging in a distracting task to lessen focus on the sensation.

  • Mental sensations from anxiety like intrusive thoughts are treated the same way through the DARE Response. This includes defusing anxious thoughts, allowing the thought without reacting to it, getting excited by the thought, and engaging in a distracting activity.

  • The overall message is that anxious physical and mental sensations are normal responses to anxiety that pose no real threat when approached through defusion and exposure over resistance or avoidance. The DARE Response is presented as an effective way to manage these common anxiety symptoms.

  • Depersonalization/derealization (DP/DR) is a sensation of feeling disconnected or detached from one’s self or surroundings. It is commonly experienced during periods of high anxiety or trauma.

  • DP/DR is caused by delayed perception and mental preoccupation due to high levels of stress hormones in the body from constant anxiety. This can make objects and situations seem strange or foreign.

  • It is a temporary protection mechanism of the brain, not a sign of permanent damage. Once anxiety levels decrease, the symptoms will pass.

  • Disturbing intrusive thoughts are also common with anxiety. These unpleasant thoughts do not reflect who you are and are just products of an anxious mind.

  • It is best to accept the thoughts without reacting in fear. Don’t try to push them away but also don’t dwell on them. Reframe them as irrelevant annoyances rather than threats.

  • With time and anxiety reduction techniques, both DP/DR sensations and disturbing thoughts will fade. Managing anxiety is key to overcoming these experiences.

  • Being anxious for a long time can lead to feelings of depression due to thoughts of a restricted, anxiety-filled future. Depression in this context stems from coping with new limitations imposed by anxiety disorders.

  • Anxiety disorders often come with health fears, which contribute to despair. If the underlying anxiety is addressed, depression symptoms tend to improve as hope replaces despair.

  • The DARE response approach (Defuse, Allow, Redirect, Engage) can help address both anxiety and depression. It involves mindfully observing distressing thoughts without reacting, allowing unpleasant sensations, challenging thoughts through redirection, and engaging in activities.

  • Facing anxiety helps build confidence to handle distressing situations and physical sensations. This improves overall well-being and mental health by countering feelings of being bound or restricted by anxiety and depression. Conquering fears provides a sense of empowerment and hope for the future.

  • The passage discusses applying the DARE response to situations that provoke anxiety where escape may feel difficult, such as driving, enclosed spaces, flying, and public speaking.

  • For driving anxiety, it suggests taking practice drives in your car while allowing anxious feelings and thoughts to arise without trying to suppress them. When “what if” thoughts occur, dismiss them confidently. If panic sets in, face it head on and demand the sensations get stronger. Pull over if needed for safety.

  • The goal is to drive with anxiety present rather than trying to eliminate it. With practice, you can build tolerance and independence without needing someone else in the car as a crutch.

  • Distance from home isn’t relevant - how you handle anxious feelings is what matters most, regardless of location. Applying DARE techniques like acceptance, dismissiveness and facing fears can help manage anxiety even when escape may feel difficult. Regular practice exposing yourself to anxiety triggers is key to overcoming fear.

Here is a summary of the key points from the response:

  • When facing a socially trapped situation like getting a haircut, start by acknowledging you will likely feel anxious and fully expect those feelings.

  • As anxiety rises, defuse “what if” thoughts by responding “so what?” and reminding yourself you can leave if needed.

  • Invite the nervous energy and anxious feelings to be there with you. Accept and allow the discomfort.

  • If anxiety spikes, turn it into excitement by demanding more of the sensation. Run toward the fear instead of away from it.

  • Engage in something distracting like conversation once the adrenaline passes, to stay present.

  • For fears of flying where escape isn’t possible, address “what if” thoughts by acknowledging the worst case is temporary discomfort, not danger.

  • Reframe anxiety as excitement for the flight. Defuse fears and accept all nervous feelings, treating intense moments like turbulence as exciting rides.

  • If panic arises, greet it instead of fighting it, then demand more of the sensation to override fears. The response focuses on confronting fears instead of avoiding anxiety.

The passage provides advice for managing fear and anxiety related to public speaking. It recommends preparing empowering responses to common “what if” fears. During the presentation, one should channel nervous energy into animated speaking rather than trying to appear calm. If anxiety spikes, one should “run toward it” by demanding more of the sensations. This places you in a position of power over your fear. Speaking from bullet points can aid recall by keeping your mind present. The key is using anxious energy to engage the audience rather than getting caught up in internal reactions. While preparation is important, one should also be ready to think on their feet to respond to unexpected situations. The passage closes by sharing a humorous personal story of forgetting lines during an acting performance due to overconfidence and drinking before going on stage.

The passage describes someone’s experience with forgetting their lines during a stage performance due to drinking alcohol beforehand. Though the performance went poorly, with the actor calling for their lines and feeling self-conscious, the director said it was the best scene because the audience thought the discomfort was due to talent. The experience taught the actor that alcohol before a performance can negatively impact memory recall. While small amounts before a speech may be okay, drinking is generally an unhelpful “crutch” that can lead to embarrassment if lines are forgotten during an important moment.

  • Taking a warm bath or long shower before bed can help muscles relax and reduce restlessness. The warmth releases tension and lavender oil has calming properties.

  • Magnesium supplements can aid sleep by promoting muscle relaxation.

  • Setting the ideal sleep temperature between 65-72°F helps make it easier to fall asleep. Too warm or too many blankets can disrupt sleep.

  • Reading light fiction briefly in bed before sleeping can stimulate the relaxation areas of the brain and shut off worrisome thinking.

  • Using an eye mask can block disruptive light and make it easier to fall back asleep if you wake early.

  • If you wake up at night, stay in bed rather than getting up. This trains your brain that it’s still time to sleep. Writing down worries can help release mental energy keeping you awake.

  • Hypnic jerks that awake people from sleep are normal startle responses. Understanding this can reduce panic by reassuring it’s nothing to worry about.

  • Doing exercise while practicing breathing and acceptance techniques can help build confidence with anxious physical sensations like increased heart rate or sweating. Starting gently and building tolerance is recommended.

  • See a doctor about anxiety during medical examinations. Let them know you’re using the DARE Response approach to manage anxiety. An ambulatory blood pressure monitor may provide more accurate readings if you’re still anxious during exams.

  • The DARE Response can help with toilet phobia by facing situations where toilets are available but distant, allowing anxiety and repeating “I have control”. Gradually get closer to toilets until confidence improves.

  • For eating out anxiety, anticipate “what if” thoughts like needing to leave and defuse them using DARE. Upon arriving, experience anxiety waves while repeating encouragement. Keep conversation going despite distraction.

  • Familiarize yourself with DARE, rehearse its use mentally, and carry reminders. Take baby steps by breaking large challenges into small, graduated tasks. Consider a support person initially if facing fears alone is too hard. Always leave anxiety-provoking situations on your own terms once DARE is applied.

  • Worrying is a normal human experience, but it can become excessive for those with anxiety. There are two main types of worries - worries over things and worries over thoughts.

  • To address worries over things (e.g. health, finances, relationships), apply the DARE response - Defuse by challenging “what if” thoughts, Allow worries to be present without judgment, engage in something distracting, and Engage fully in the distracting activity.

  • Acceptance is important for worries over things that are out of our control. We must accept current realities while still making plans to change situations if possible.

  • For worries we can directly act on, taking action often helps alleviate anxiety by making us feel more in control. Action could include updating a resume, networking, or other steps to address a job loss concern.

  • Pushing through setbacks is part of overcoming anxiety through practice of techniques like DARE. Progress may not be linear but staying determined is important for long-term change.

  • Finding similar situations to practice applying DARE can help build skills for the ultimately feared scenario, like practicing in an elevator to prepare for flying.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  1. If you’re worrying about something within your control, write down the problem, what needs to be done to resolve it, and one action step you can take today. Setting reminders can help alleviate worry.

  2. If it’s out of your control, use The DARE Response: Defuse anxious thoughts with “whatever” mentality, Accept you have no control, Refocus gently on what you were doing. May have to do this several times for worry to lose its charge.

  3. When worry turns to intrusive thoughts, understand they are normal and don’t reflect who you are. Everyone has bizarre thoughts; when anxious they stand out more.

  4. Don’t fight intrusive thoughts - this makes them bounce back harder. Use The DARE Response: Defuse with humor, Accept the thought, don’t resist it, Refocus on what you were doing. May have to repeat steps several times.

  5. Over time with practice, intrusive thoughts will no longer grab your attention when you remove the emotional response to them. You are not defined by your thoughts.

  6. Helpful visualization techniques include viewing thoughts as passing clouds you observe detachedly, or as sock puppets in your ear you don’t fully engage with.

The overall message is to understand worrying and intrusive thoughts are normal, but not to feed them through resistance or fear. The DARE Response teaches detachment and non-resistance to gradually lessen their intensity and frequency over time.

  • The passage discusses intrusive, anxious thoughts and suggests ways to handle them. It recommends visualizing the thoughts as coming from “sock puppets” to lessen the emotional impact and make them easier to dismiss.

  • It says to treat the thoughts with tolerance and compassion but not take them seriously. Being more dismissive of what the “sock puppets” say strips them of fear. One can also “chase after” or run toward the thoughts to further diminish fear and take away their power.

  • An important side note explains that intrusive thoughts tend to manifest at lower levels of anxiety and are often the first thing to appear before physical sensations. They are also the last thing to go away as recovery nears completion. Having thoughts under control except for intrusive ones indicates good progress toward full recovery.

So in summary, it provides strategies for detaching from and defusing intrusive anxious thoughts by not engaging with them seriously and dismissing their content, in order to reduce fear and anxiety.

  • The author argues that many people are their own worst critic and are far harder on themselves than they would be on a friend struggling with the same issues. This intense self-criticism stems from a core belief that “you’re not good enough.”

  • This lie of not being good enough fuels fear of rejection from others and leads to low self-esteem. It is a major cause of unhappiness and anxiety.

  • The author proposes a simple self-love exercise as a way to counter this lie on a deeper level: repeating the mantra “I love myself” whenever the mind is idle, such as while brushing teeth or commuting.

  • By bypassing conscious thought and sinking into the subconscious, this repetition can literally rewire neural pathways and core beliefs over time. It dismantles the lie of low self-worth and replaces it with positive self-image.

  • With consistent practice, one will start to feel better about themselves without effort, interact differently with others, and perceive opportunities differently as their sense of self-worth increases. They begin to “give themselves what they feel they deserve.”

  • The exercise is meant to cultivate unconditional self-love and appreciation, not narcissism. Loving oneself enables one to better love and serve others. It reaps profound life benefits with little potential downside to trying it.

Here is a summary of the key points about setbacks from dealing with anxiety or stressful situations:

  • Setbacks are almost guaranteed to happen during the recovery process from anxiety or when making progress in difficult life situations. They should be expected.

  • Setbacks can occur after significant breakthroughs or life changes as these disrupt the patterns the mind and body have gotten used to.

  • The most distressing part of a setback is the shock it gives of feeling like you’ve lost all progress made. It can bring up fears of never fully overcoming anxiety.

  • It’s important to learn to “love the mat” - expect difficulties and setbacks as just part of the learning experience, not signs of failure. Seeing them this way reduces frustration.

  • The best way to get through a setback is using the DARE response - defuse anxious thoughts, allow feelings to be there without fighting them, take actions aligned with values, and engage in present moment experiences. This prevents setbacks from lingering.

  • With the right mindset and approach, setbacks can actually make us stronger through the continued practice of coping skills, rather than feeling like going backward.

  • The passage discusses dealing with setbacks in managing anxiety by working with your protective self. Setbacks often happen when your protective side wants to retreat back to your comfort zone instead of facing anxiety.

  • It’s important to accept setbacks as part of the recovery process and not get frustrated. Setbacks are normal and temporary. You should be kind to yourself during setbacks.

  • To move beyond setbacks, create a new working relationship with your protective self by educating it that you are safe and encouraging it to support your recovery efforts. Release any frustration over feeling stuck.

  • Maintain a success diary to build confidence by recording times you successfully managed anxiety. This can strengthen your recovery when dealing with future setbacks. Persistence is key to overcoming setbacks and continuing progress in managing anxiety over time.

  • Forgiveness and peace of mind are emphasized as important steps in managing anxiety. Letting go of resentment toward oneself and anxiety allows peace to enter.

  • Finding meaning and purpose in the experience of anxiety is presented as a key part of shifting one’s perception. Anxiety can be viewed as a teacher that fosters personal growth and strength. Developing compassion and helping others are proposed as potential meaningful reasons to overcome anxiety.

  • Gratitude is highlighted as the final step in a perceptual switch regarding anxiety. The suggestion is made to be grateful for what anxiety has offered rather than resentful of the experience. A short story is given as an illustration of how struggles can foster growth if viewed with gratitude rather than frustration.

  • Reliance on “crutches” like people, substances, or routines is discussed as something holding one back from full recovery. The challenge presented is to give up crutches in order to stand independently without them as a sign of true progress and trust in one’s own ability to cope with anxiety.

The passage discusses taking the next step in recovery from anxiety by weaning oneself off of crutches or coping mechanisms that have been relied on for a long time. It uses the example of a person named Ian who dramatically discarded his crutch in order to advance to the next level of recovery.

The author acknowledges discarding crutches may be difficult, but recommends starting the process incrementally by doing small activities alone that were previously always done with the crutch. Building confidence through these small steps alone each day is important.

Relying solely on the coping techniques learned like The DARE Response can replace reliance on crutches. While recovery is possible with crutches, fully letting them go helps avoid a “niggle” of anxiety undermining long-term confidence. Committing to a plan to fully discard crutches allows achieving full recovery. Courage and bravery are needed to walk forward into each new day without crutches.

In summary, the passage discusses the next step of recovery as letting go of coping “crutches” through a gradual process, in order to fully overcome anxiety and achieve lasting confidence without vulnerabilities.

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day for maximum hydration and to avoid anxiety. However, don’t drink too much before bed to avoid disruptions to sleep from bathroom trips.

  • Place water in strategic, visible locations like your desk or car to make it easy to drink and form the habit. New habits are hard to maintain without making them convenient.

  • Increased daily water intake of 8 glasses can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms and boost stamina.

  • Follow a low glycemic diet to maintain steady blood sugar levels and avoid spikes and drops that can trigger anxiety sensations.

  • Cut out caffeine, alcohol, and excess sugar from your diet until anxiety symptoms subside, as these can exacerbate anxiety.

  • Take magnesium and calcium supplements together for optimal absorption and calming effects. Start with 250mg magnesium and 500mg calcium per day.

  • Exercise is one of the best ways to naturally boost mood through dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. It can be as effective as antidepressants in reducing anxiety and depression.

Here is a summary of the negative impact that not exercising has on our mental health according to the passage:

  • Not exercising is like taking a depressant as it fails to produce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that encourages new neuron growth and protects brain cells from stress and death. Low BDNF has been linked to depression and even suicide.

  • Exercise reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol and lowers blood pressure, boosting mood. It releases endorphins that reduce pain tolerance.

  • Getting the recommended amount of moderate or intense exercise per week (30 minutes 3-5 times) has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of depression after 12 weeks.

  • Exercise becomes more motivating over time as energy and mood increase with continued practice. However, the initial lack of motivation to begin exercising can be overcome by finding enjoyable physical activities and exercising with others for added accountability and social benefits.

So in summary, not exercising deprives the brain of an important growth factor and fails to provide the mental health benefits of reduced stress, better mood, and pain tolerance - increasing risks of depression, anxiety and even suicide. Continued regular exercise can significantly boost mental well-being over time.

  • The DARE Response is aligned with third-wave cognitive therapies like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which emphasize acceptance, mindfulness, and values-based action over thought challenging.

  • CBT is based on how our core beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected. Negative core beliefs lead to negative automatic thoughts and feelings.

  • Experiential avoidance is instinctively trying to avoid or escape unwanted thoughts and feelings, which perpetuates psychological problems.

  • Cognitive reappraisal and redirection involve changing the meaning of a situation to regulate emotions in a healthier way, rather than avoidance or suppression.

  • Cognitive fusion occurs when we get too attached to and overwhelmed by our thoughts. Defusion involves taking a step back from thoughts and viewing them dispassionately.

  • The DARE Response emphasizes acceptance, mindfulness, values- clarification and committed action rather than directly challenging thoughts. This third-wave approach aims to reduce fusion with thoughts and promote healthier emotion regulation through reappraisal and redirection.

  • Traditional CBT focuses on disputing negative thoughts and attempts to change their content or deny their existence. However, some clients find this confrontational and invalidating, and many do not respond to or stay motivated in CBT treatment.

  • Later approaches like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Mode Deactivation Therapy (MDT) incorporated acceptance, validation, mindfulness, and cognitive defusion/redirection instead of confrontation.

  • Research studies and meta-analyses found these “third wave” therapies to be as or more effective than CBT in treating depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and reducing symptoms and relapse rates.

  • Specific therapies like DBT and MDT showed reduced suicide attempts, dropout rates, depression, anxiety, and problem behaviors compared to CBT and other treatments.

  • The proprietary Right Move process integrates aspects of third wave therapies like acceptance, defusion of thoughts, cognitive reappraisal, mindfulness, and redirection into its DARE Response approach for managing anxiety and panic. This allows individuals to distance from threatening thoughts and regulate emotions better.

So in summary, later therapeutic approaches moved away from disputing negative thoughts in CBT and incorporated acceptance, mindfulness, and cognitive strategies like defusion and reappraisal, which research indicates may lead to better treatment outcomes.

  • The DMN is a network of brain regions that are more active at rest and associated with rumination, depression, and anxiety. Higher DMN activity relates to self-focused worry and rumination.

  • The DARE Response method is similar to cognitive redirection approaches in third wave CBT. Step 4 redirects attention away from worrying thoughts by engaging in goal-directed tasks, reducing DMN activity.

  • The DARE Response is based on principles of third wave CBT including mindfulness, acceptance, cognitive defusion, reappraisal, and redirection. It utilizes these evidence-based techniques at an accessible level to disrupt unhelpful thinking patterns.

  • Both the DARE Response and third wave CBT are grounded in cognitive models aiming to regulate emotions and increase psychological flexibility through validated techniques. The DARE Response provides a clear, step-by-step approach consistent with third wave CBT principles and emotion regulation models.

So in summary, the DARE Response method adopts theoretically sound, evidence-based principles and techniques from third wave CBT to redirect ruminative thinking by engaging goal-directed tasks, similar to cognitive redirection approaches.

#book-summary
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About Matheus Puppe