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Season 1 Episode 4 : Breakthrough Strategies for Overcoming Panic Attacks & Anxiety – with Barry McDonagh [Podcast]

Barry is a native of Ireland. He is the creator of the Panic Away Program, a product that has helped people all over the world to overcome their panic and anxiety disorders.

As a former panic attack sufferer himself, Barry became frustrated with conventional methods for treating anxiety, because they simply were not working for him so he developed his own techniques. Barry understands first hand the plight of the panic sufferer because he has been there himself.

Barry first published Panic Away in 2001 and has sold over 80,000 copies, world-wide in over 32 countries. Panic Away has become one of the most successful courses for treating panic attacks and general anxiety today. Barry has recently released his new book called, “DARE, The new way to end anxiety and stop panic attacks fast.”

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In this episode Barry McDonagh shares the following main ideas:

  • His personal experience with panic attacks and anxiety and how he overcame them.
  • How he came to develop a method that helped himself and thousands of people around the world to get to the core of the anxiety problem so that they can resolve it.
  • The bodily sensations associated with anxiety: tight chest, pounding heart, dizziness…
  • The paradoxical intention approach of standing up to anxiety and panic attacks to help people recover and live life to the fullest.
  • Why it’s important to check with your doctor to rule out any physical or other health issues if you have an anxiety attack.
  • Lifestyle choices that can help with overcoming anxiety.
  • Dare Book – D-A-R-E response = D-Diffuse, A-Allow, R-Run Toward, E-Engage.
  • Anxiety is not a disease of the cowardly. It takes courage to face and tackle anxiety.
  • Experiencing anxiety is not a measurement of you as a person. Anxiety is something that even brave soldiers and police officers have had to deal with.

Note: In the podcast, I (Teresa) talked about a frightening experience I’d had while driving on the freeway, several years ago. For those who are curious, here’s the story in a nutshell: One day, after a sleepless night, followed by a long drive on the freeway, I found myself falling asleep at the wheel and could not seem to keep myself awake. I was on a long bridge and there were no exits for several miles. This caused me to have a panic attack (my first one ever). I soon discovered that the feeling of dread, that accompanies a panic attack, is often more frightening than the actual thing that caused the fear in the first place. For three years, every time I tried to drive on the freeway, I was drawn back (in my mind) to my first panic attack and the fear of fear became almost paralyzing. Eventually I avoided driving on the freeway all together (it felt completely unsafe to be driving in panic-mode and I didn’t want to cause an accident). The crazy thing was, previous to this experience, I’d never been afraid to drive on the freeway. As a young adult I’d had a job as a courier and drove all over the Phoenix Valley. Now, with this new fear of driving on the freeway, which seemed to come out of nowhere, I became very frustrated with the situation and with myself. Wanting to regain my independence, I went on a search for a solution. I’d gone to counselors and read books, and then I found Barry McDonagh’s Panic Away. I used the principles taught in Panic Away, along with relaxation breathing (which I’ll share on a future podcast/blog). I’m so pleased to say that now, after this long journey of fear and dread, I’m celebrating a victory (a simple yet profound victory) of regaining my ability to drive on the freeway! I know that may sound silly, but to me it’s a triumph! I’m now completely back to my normal self and able to drive again on the freeway, without fear or panic. Thank you Barry!

P.S. This week Rick and I are in San Francisco for a Positive Psychology training. I drove almost half way here with absolutely no fear and no panic attacks! I’m basking in the JOY of feeling completely set FREE! Are you dealing with fears of any kind? If so, take courage! If you persist and do the work, you truly CAN conquer!