Everyone experiences anxiety to some degree – but individuals who suffer from severe anxiety have excessive and unrealistic feelings of dread, apprehension and impending disaster that interfere with their normal everyday lives and relationships.

By learning how to master anxiety we can stop the interference.




Understanding how anxiety manifests itself

Understanding how anxiety manifests itself is important because it enables us to identify the warning signs and take proactive action.

In their excellent book “How to Master Anxiety – All You Need To Know To Overcome Stress, Panic Attacks, Phobias, Trauma, Obsessions and More authors Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrell describe the various ways in which anxiety can manifest itself.


  • when you wake in the morning and open your eyes, a vague, unidentifiable feeling of fear or anxiety envelops you. You go through your day with that unidentifiable sense of impending disaster.
  • your anxiety is less intrusive than that. You look perfectly normal, behave perfectly normally, get on with your life apparently normally. And yet you don't feel fulfilled or truly happy or fully in the heart of things. A lot of the time you feel panicky or nervous. You can't relax or settle down to things. "What if?" and "shouldn't I?" questions run through your mind most of the time ( although you might not be aware of this). The disabling anxiety is almost always there, on your shoulder, weighing you down. At night, it stops you getting off to sleep and, if you wake in the early hours, it kicks in at once, preventing you from dropping back to sleep again quickly.
  • suddenly, for no reason you can fathom, your heart starts to pound; you are sweating and shaking; struggling to take in enough breath, you feel that you are choking; your stomach drops to the ground and you have the terrible feeling that you are going to lose control of your bladder and your bowels. You are in the midst of a panic attack. With each occurrence you feel more hopeless and helpless. You start to avoid places where there might be a risk of experiencing panic and gradually your world starts to shrink as you avoid more and more places.

There are very many different ways that severe anxiety can affect people, these are just a few examples, but there is one impact that is common to all. Like a tyrant, severe anxiety stops people from enjoying a normal, happy and fulfilling life.

Anxiety is not something we have it’s something we do.

“Anxiety is not all powerful and inexplicable - it can be managed very easily ... when you know how. 'Instead of anxiety working against you ... it can be tamed to work for you, just as it was always meant to.”

Ivan Tyrell and Joe Griffin

The physiological, psychological, and emotional state of being anxious is an outcome of our mind/body system completing the STRESS process. The STRESS process is part of our natural, innate survival system.

Accepting the fact that anxiety is not something we have - it is not an “it,” “thing” disease, or illness – rather it is something we ‘do,’ is one of the keys to mastering severe anxiety.


Because it puts us back in the driving seat. If we are the ones 'doing' our anxiety then with the right help, tools and techniques we can change the way we run our STRESS process, and thereby reduce the risk of experiencing severe anxiety and/or regain control over the anxiety we are currently experiencing.

Tools and techniques

''You already have all the tools you need to take back control.”

Ivan Tyrell and Joe Griffin

There are a number of tools and techniques which are applicable, whatever form severe anxiety takes. These include:

  • Identifying and addressing missing physical and emotional needs
  • learning to make the best use of our existing resources (internal and external) particularly our imagination. Misuse of our imagination is usually at the root of anxiety. We can use the positive power of our imagination to manage our thoughts and feelings and change our experience of anxiety.
  • Identifying and changing our thinking habits. For example changing negatively focused “What if?’ thoughts to positively focused “What if” thoughts.
  • Learning how to re-interpret our bodily sensations
  • Learning how to relax
  • Learning how to get the right amount of good, quality sleep

These tools and techniques once learned, become skills for life that enable us to master anxiety.


What Next?

If worry, anxiety or stress are causing ongoing problems in your life, give me a call me on 021 056 8389, email tony@tycoaching.nz or use the Book Now button below and let's explore how I can help you develop the life skills that will enable you to master your anxiety. 

REMEMBER - "When you change your mind you change your life."

Go well


Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise lies in helping people to 'change their minds' so they gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress, overcome limiting beliefs and unhelpful habits. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of solution focused coaching, neuroscience, positive psychology and clinical hypnosis.