Reshape your anxious mind
We’re big fans of Dr Harry Barry’s series of books which look at depression, stress and teenagers so delving into his latest, Flagging Anxiety and Panic, was a real treat.
This is another gem which puts recovery and power into the hands of the person who is dealing with panic and anxiety. It’s also a must read for anyone who works with people suffering these conditions.
As well as a series of case studies based on his experiences treating patients, Dr Barry sets out how and why we develop anxiety and more importantly, what we can do about it.
He explores a number of methods such as lifestyle changes, mindfulness exercise and CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) techniques to cope with the symptoms of anxiety and help improve our mindset.
Dr Barry is a big fan of mindfulness which can help reshape our brain pathways and recommends the three minute breathing space, a mindfulness technique which can stem anxious feelings.
He describes how to do it in this extract from the book:
“One wonderful mindfulness exercise of great value in anxiety is the three minute breathing space. It can be done at any time of the day, particularly when we are under a lot of stress. It involves finding a quiet space to waste three minutes of our valuable time. Here’s how it works. Finding a comfortable posture, close your eyes and engage with the following:
Focus your mind on inner experiences, such as your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. Do not try to change or challenge them. Just become aware of them.
Focus on the simple physical sensation of breathing and particularly on your abdomen rising and falling with each breath again, do not try to control it. This helps us to centre ourselves. This part is critical for anxiety.
Increase your focus or awareness on your body as a whole, including your posture, facial expression and sensations. Accept it all completely and without judgement.
This is often called a mini-meditation, and if there is one exercise that anybody with anxiety might take from this book, it is perhaps the simplest and most useful. If performed two or three times a day, the benefits are enormous.”
Flagging Anxiety and Panic: How to Reshape Your Anxious Mind and Brain by Dr. Harry Barry is published by Liberties Press and is available in all good bookshops, priced €14.99.