Learn to live with anxiety and you'll be a... - Anxiety Support

Anxiety Support

47,889 members47,492 posts

Learn to live with anxiety and you'll be able to live without it.

Jeff1943 profile image

Stop fighting your anxiety, it only makes things worse. Instead, surrender to it, run up the white flag, accept it for the time being: do the exact opposite of what you've been doing until now. Ask yourself, did fighting make you feel better? Did it cure you of panicky feelings, palpitations, upset stomach, feelings of doom and all the other symptoms in the Google guide to anxiety disorder? On the contrary, all that extra adrenaline your body released as a result of the extra stress and strain of fighting only made your nervous system more sensitised still.

If you're digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. Stop fighting - stop checking your pulse every 5 minutes, stop testing to see if you can walk round the store without feeling dizzy, stop checking that ache or pain to see if it's gone away yet. Instead learn to co-exist with all the fake symptoms, accept them without reservation and acknowledge they're going to be around for some time yet - but you've made important changes in how you deal with them that eventually and inevitably you will be free at last, free at last, free at last.

"I find that some patients complain , 'I have accepted the churning in my stomach but it is still there. So what am I to do now?' How could they have accepted it if they still complain about it?

"I try to make them understand that they must be prepared to let their stomachs churn...only by so doing would they be truly accepting. In this way, and only in this way, would they reach the stage when it would matter no longer whether their stomachs churned or not. Then freed from the stimulous of tension and anxiety, their adrenalin-releasing nerves would gradually calm down and the churning would automatically lessen and finally cease."

Doctor Claire Weekes, 'Self help for your nerves', 23rd. printing, 1986.

53 Replies

I'm thinking I may start running everyday, to help release some adrenaline.

My only thing is I feel dizzy/fuzzy a lot and I'm scared if I go running something might happen.

I guess the only way to do it is to just ignore and accept the feeling the best I can and go for it

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to Elizabeth04

You've got it in one, Elizabeth, my congratulations.

Elizabeth04, Like you I think about running too, but my thought process is the same as yours, but yes must give it a go!

Just run around your neighborhood at first.....over and over and....😍

You got it. Follow your fear. If you feel scared to run then you know what to do. That is the path out of this garbage. Don't say "I want to run but I am scared." Rather say, "I am scared to run so there for I am going to run." Do your fear period and you will be free. Avoid your fear and you won't. "Yeah, but Something bad could happen if I do." No kidding. Go do it. In order to become free of your fear disorder you must do things that feel and seem scary. Nothing is perfectly safe and guaranteed with the exception of avoiding what scares you and remaining a prisoner for the rest of your life.

Jeff, you are marvellous! Brilliant timing today, just the reminder I needed. X

Thank you so much, Jeff! ☺

Thank goodness for Agora and Jeff on here!!! 😊😊😊😊

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to greeneyes2

Thank you for your kind words and don't forget Beevee, nobody knows more about acceptance and says it better, I think Agora1 will agree.

The best is the SO WHAT response i used it today was driving to work and was really anxious idk why and i just said SO WHAT so what if i died so what if i passed out SO WHAT and it went away lol

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to kevoreally

I like that, kevoreally, SO WHAT, and the other one is WHO CARES? We may have discovered an entirely new kind of therapy😊

kevoreally profile image
kevoreally in reply to Jeff1943

Iforget who or where on this site i learned it but it might be Agora im not too sure haha but its great it really gets you to not care about anxiety and then that makes you not fight it which fighting it makes it worse

Vbee profile image
Vbee in reply to kevoreally

I think I may have suggested the DARE Response by Barry McDonagh who uses Claire Weekes as his inspiration.... instead of "what if" you say "so what" or " who gives a $#@%." The accept and allow. What you resist, persists!!! 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

kevoreally profile image
kevoreally in reply to Vbee

Yes it was YOUUUUU

Vbee profile image
Vbee in reply to kevoreally

Meeeeee!! 😎😂🤣

DeeM3 profile image
DeeM3 in reply to kevoreally

I find myself yelling "stop it dumb&@$" to myself while driving. Usually works lol

Jeff, I am not familiar with Dr. Weekes work. Has she offered anything new for PTSD since 1986? I am serious and need some help today.

I was seriously injured, including some brain damage, in an accident 17 years ago. Memory issues and PTSD followed. I didn't know fully what that really included until I mentioned the violent nightmares with my doctor and he quietly told me we had more to work on than anxiety and memory.My psychiatrist has been using the techniques of the miitary when appropriate. And only know Dr. Weekes is sometimes incorporated in that.

My doctor and I have basically come to the conclusion the best my bruised bundle of neurons, brain matter and memory can do is to negotiate with anxiety. It can't quite comprehend what "letting go" is or happens. What my SPECT scan details in layers with color after the accident appears to support that. And had been doing rather well with accepting that until the death of my service dog.

But I mistakenly opened a post yesterday titled "Suicide" thinking it was someone calling for help, and after a few sentences, I had almost an immediate "gran mal anxiety attack" if there is such a thing. Maybe that term is the best way to describe it. It has not gone away. Doing my best to write. Thought it was letting up earlier, as I found the humor in what had happened. But that didn't last long. Have used all my coping and negotiating skills, of course except for having my service dog. My doctor is gone for a few weeks.

I scanned the PTSD venue yesterday, but I seem to be on a different channel. (Guess I do have some humor left, but not much).

If you or anyone else have run across this, without suggesting I may be considering suicide...I'm not..I would appreciate help. I'm not stupid ,just can't get the Rubix (sp?) Cube to work this time.

HearYou profile image
HearYou in reply to HearYou

If anyone can figure out how to copy my last reply and make it a post, would really appreciate that. I can't seem to do it on this computer. There's some humor to be found in that too, if that anxiety would let up long enough for me to do it. Duhhh.

kevoreally profile image
kevoreally in reply to HearYou

Gotchu if i can

HearYou profile image
HearYou in reply to kevoreally

thank you 'cause my concentration is very similar to Harpo Marx since yesterday.

kevoreally profile image
kevoreally in reply to HearYou


HearYou profile image
HearYou in reply to kevoreally

thank you...I have something humorous but can't get it out, sorry

mooner04 profile image
mooner04 in reply to HearYou

Hi hearyou. My book arrived yesterday. From the 1st page the wonderful Claire Weeks makes complete sense of this terrible (temporary!!) Illness. Her words and understanding cut right through the anxiety like a knife through butter. I always kinda believed my intelligence would help me beat this buy I was wrong because being so ill with irrational thoughts/feelings dimmed my intellect to virtually zero. What this book does with complete understanding is free up your logical mind. You can see and feel that your fear/adrenaline/fear cycle is stopping you seeing what is really going on. It's hard but now I really see and feel what I have to do. Good luck and take care and please get the book. (Amazon delivered mine the next day).

Indigojoe profile image
Indigojoe in reply to HearYou

Claire Weeks has sound advice Hearyou. There is another person Byron Katie, who has a book and Cd called, Loving what is. You can get most of that book , free on YouTube. She's been a great help for me..had to listen to the 6th disk for weeks before I "got" what accept what is..

Indigojoe profile image
Indigojoe in reply to HearYou


What my father used to do (he escaped The Nazi's) was to get a hot shower, {fresh shave}, hot week tea with alot of sugar. Clean clothes and a quick walk out side and it always ALWAYS helped. He said feet on the Earth and fresh air brings u back to the here and now.

Hi HearYou, sorry to hear about the way you're feeling. Doctor Claire Weekes wouldn't have made any contribution to PTSD after 1986 as she died in that year at the age of 88, the book I quoted from had been in print for 25 years before then and she subsequently wrote another 4 books on the subject.

'Letting go' sounds very similar to the Acceptance method she advocated, indeed many subsequent self-help authors base what they say on Weejes' method.

The only coping and negotiating skill I know about is her four imperitives of Face - Accept - Float - And let time pass. So I can only recommend that you read her first book which is sold by Amazon.com in the U.S. where I think you are under the title 'Hope and help for your nerves'. Without mentioning the word PTSD I think that her teachings are as relevant to you as anybody else. In the meantime I recommend visiting YouTube and searching for 'Claire Weekes' and there are many videos of varying lengthsof her explaining the benefits of her teachings that you might fibd reassuring. Don't be put off by her mumsy appearance, she really knew her stuff. Actually I think she died in the 1990s now I come to think of it.

I have to say that I have no medical qualifications at all except that I am a veteren of anxiety disorder which in my case is inherited so I will never be entirely free but I control it with the Weejes method.

Also don't hesitate to ask for support on this forum as often as you feel you need it. I hope your present difficulties resolve soon and wish you all the best for the future.

HearYou profile image
HearYou in reply to Jeff1943

thank you, and I guess inherited in it in a different way..that traffic accident causing the brain damage and I know it is never going away. Just haven't had this severely, nonfunctioning state in a very long time... can actually practice elder law pro bono usually and am facing extensive air and sea travel in two weeks where I cannot be a crazy woman or left home alone as my dog is gone. My husband's h gone to the pharmacy to fill the blood pressure medication rx that the military uses for PTSD. They really have no clue why this medication helps sometimes, but it does.

Hospital is no help...my psychiatrist knows the doctors their can handle old brain bruises, "gran mal anxiety" , and maybe neurology, but not on the same floor and definitely not at the same time.

Now, that is funny, one way my brain copes, as it just shot a wacko cartoon showing three doctors trying to do that.

Indigojoe profile image
Indigojoe in reply to HearYou

Get some rest. The body knows how to heal. Trust that the infinite wisdom of the body will get you feeling a bit better. Surrender to the calm, & peace, for now, and know your body knows what its doing.

I have purchased Doctor Claire Weekes book but haven't been been able to concentrate enough to read it. Does it also address depression?

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to Tiredinky

Yes her first book 'Self help for your nerves' does address depression, or depletion as she calls it, and there is a chapter specifically about this. Personally I think anxiety and depression go hand in hand, it's only to be expected that some people with anxiety will get depressed about having anxiety if you follow my drift. I call this secondary depression and frankly I think it is sometimes a blurred line between the two. But of course if the anxiety is cured the secondary depression is automatically cured too.

Tiredinky profile image
Tiredinky in reply to Jeff1943

I always felt the same way about the anxiety causing depression but this time is different. I have taken medications for years for anxiety/depression but in the beginning of the year I became severely depressed. My doctor changed my medications which has caused my anxiety to rise. I have days like today where I am anxious but ignore it and go about my day with no one realizing how badly I feel and then there are days like yesterday where I didn't want to get out of bed so laid on the couch and cried most of the day.

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to Tiredinky

Tiredinky, in this day and age you shouldn't have to put up with those bad feelings, don't give up on finding the med that's right for you, go talk to your doctor if one doesn't work and try out another. Remember that some anti anxiety meds take quite a few weeks to get working full strength. Search and you will find.

HearYou profile image
HearYou in reply to Tiredinky

Please listen to Jeff. I don't like to take meds, but don't know how I would function without them. Anxiety is sneaky, clever, and knows you inside out. Meds can keep a handle on it while you put your energy into learning how to deal with it and have a life.

Hidden profile image

Dare is another great app and book to overcome anxiety, I’ve been using it and found it is helping me overcome it. dareresponse.com

HearYou profile image
HearYou in reply to Hidden

Thank you all for everything.

Vbee profile image
Vbee in reply to Hidden

I've been preaching this too!!! Barry McDonagh has quoted Claire Weekes in his program. I just love the facebook forums as they are really positive encouraging and well moderated so nobody gets too bogged down in their sensations!

My therapist wrote down what if ... and than say it with so what if this happens works sometimes ...makes a lot of sense what u wrote thanks

Agree. It’s not easy but the reward wouldn’t be as good if it were easy. Take it day by day.

Really good advise, I’m taking more and more advise in every day. But as a 16 year I must say that learning to accept and live with something that your body tells you that you cannot live with and that may cause you serious pain is extremely difficult. I get awful chest pain on a daily basis and it is something I just can’t ignore. I only have to jog to catch my bus and my chest feels bruised. I’ve had an ecg and blood test which both came back clear but I just can’t ignore what my body is telling me ?

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to Danevans01

Dan, nobody is suggesting you live with it or ignore it, that would be pointless. Claire Weekes' method is about accepting it for the time being in order that sensitised nerves can recover (rather than being constantly resensitised by fear) and that we should attach less importance to it. The alternative is anti-anxiety medication for life. If ECGs and blood tests were clear then your chest pain could be be muscular tension caused by anxiety or it might be muscular skeletal so do continue to see your doctor and explore all possibilities.

Your body is telling you what you want to hear. By focusing and thinking constantly about it you will eventually feel it. I find burping a few times gets rid of it oddly enough. I’m reading a book that is really eye opening. It talks about how to accept anxiety for what it is, and how hard that step is. It uses the analogy of the family dog. When the mailman or anyone else comes to the door the dog immediately goes bonkers. Barking, growling, etc. as long as that person stays just outside the door the dog continues to go nuts. Invite the person in and the dog may sniff them, greet them, and then go lay down. That’s how you have to treat anxiety if you really want to work on healing from it.


These are 4 audios that I have found incredibly helpful over the years by Claire Weekes. So much sensible advice so if reading is challenging for anyone when they are in an anxious state then plug your earphones in and have a listen.... 😎👍

You know what's so funny, the other day I was thinking how at about 18 when I started going out for coffees with friends I would drive home and feel anxious, I used to describe it as feeling like I'm about to go to a job interview, however the feelings didn't worry me I just thought it was unusual and later I finally linked it to coffee. So I guess I never gave those feelings a second fear I just accepted them and I knew they would pass and this is exactly what you are talking about. Only 3 years ago at age 30 did I succumb to these anxious feelings after having my second child and over this time have worked myself up to such a state that I am over sensitised and I need to work my way back to that 18 year old lol.

Thanks for this post 😀

i can't accept the psychological feelings. (dp/dr, crazy thoughts, dread and doom etc.) i really try though.

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to someone5673

Then you don't understand what Weekes means by Acceptance, read the book I quoted from, available from Amazon fir a few quid/ bucks.

I started the what if and whatever to my systems just Monday, am thinking this is going to be a tough journey little blip last night but if there is light at the end of the tunnel and to be FREE would be beyond words, it’s difficult alone, because it’s a very lonely illness, this site is encouraging me along thank you 😊

As always I love reading your posts!! Good Day and keep moving forward 😄

It may require study to really understand the potential of acceptance.Luckily there are books,recordings,apps,courses and processes that you can discover if you search.

After understanding then you can PRACTICE acceptance,of which there are many techniques of acceptance to learn and practice.

It is simply a knowledge and then a skill which with practice and repetition you can get surprisingly good at and know the power of acceptance.

It can be a powerful coping strategy,a powerful coping technique to add to your toolbox which can really power up other techniques you may use.

The most astounding thing is that it CAN lessen and even ROMOVE anxiety completely.

To feel your panic reduce through acceptance is surprising,and to experience panic VANISH COMPLETELY through acceptance is quite astounding,it can really challenge all of the approaches of trying to find the answer,trying to find a cure,

It says 'don't fight the bad,don't try to get better,just surrender,accept and become 'one' with the suffering.Buddhist mindfulness and Chinese Tao Te Ching come strongly to my mind.

If you accept surrender and become one with suffering sometimes it can transform the pain or remove it completely.

Very profound and quite astonishing,I certainly have been shocked and astounded when this happens.In theory,(and I have experienced this)in extreme overwhelming panic,one second of accurate and deep acceptance many times removed all panic instantly!

Since then this has helped to taught me a profound view of life



'Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so'.

More information? God bless you,Dr.Cymrank.

Valentin77, thank you so much for sharing your experience of acceptance with us. Words in a book are important but reports about putting acceptance into practice such as yours are invaluable.

valentin77 profile image
valentin77 in reply to Jeff1943

I have been a consultant psychologist for over 40 years,but my first study of Weekes transformed my view through experiencing it 15 years ago.

I am so pleased I have always been open and willing to give virtually anything a try,I judge by experience for myself and in patients,not by psychological theory.

I am lucky to be highly motivated and strong willed so this,I have found,is essential in trying new things and working at them to get good enough to judge.

E.F.T. Took me ages to learn,20 lessons and many months of daily practice.Whew.However when it first came out,as crazy as it sounded I did not care.I feel as a supporter of good mental health I should know of and have tried as many therapies and techniques as possible.

I just ordered the book "Self Help for your Nerves" by Claire Weekes. I've heard so many on here talk about it. Thought I'd give it a try. Can't hurt!

Thanks one hell of a lot, Jeff.

Hidden profile image

No truer words were ever written!

We must accept certain things, and we have to learn how to deal with them. We have people to help us get through it ( you guys are awesome). It takes time and effort, but it can be done.

You may also like...