Life Without Anxiety

Maslow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg

Note: To get the ebook that accompanies this webpage use the form on the left.

I found this definition of Maslow’s hierarchy on wikipedia:

Hello and welcome to week one. I am so excited you have decided to end the despair cycle. This is your first step so take a moment and pat yourself on the back for wanting to improve the quality of your life. Please don’t forget to use the audio for each week. You have heard the introduction, now gear up the next track for week one. Let’s get started.

I am sure you have all heard of “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”. It is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the largest and most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom, and the need for self-actualization at the top.

The most fundamental and basic four layers of the pyramid contain what Maslow called “deficiency needs” or “d-needs”: esteem , friendship and love, security, and physical needs. With the exception of the most fundamental (physiological) needs, if these “deficiency needs” are not met, the body gives no physical indication but the individual feels anxious and tense. Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs.

So what does that mean? Well be before you can even worry about being loved your most basic needs must be taken care of. If you look at the image above you will see that physiology and safety are on the bottom of the pyramid.

So for the first week let’s focus on anxiety. That is the very bottom of the pyramid basics needs and safety. I know that anxiety can make you feel unsafe and at times and unable to function. How can you get your basic needs met when you are anxious and are having panic attacks? That is why I have designed the anxiety workbook.

I want you to take your time doing this book. There are a series of written exercises and I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to do each and every one of those exercises. To fully feel safe and have that basic need met, you need to be honest with yourself and really read and understand the formulas for treating anxiety.

Part 2

Getting Control of Your Money

I know I did not talk about this in the workbook, but I want to take a moment and see if you feel safe enough to talk about money issues. You see money issues are one of the leading causes of stress and anxiety and one of the reasons that couples fight so much. When you hear someone say “money is the root of all evil” I’m not sure that is true but I do believe it has roots in despair.

Stress, anxiety and money issues are very intertwined so if you feel calm right now let’s look at money. We can start off with an exercise from the Life Without Anxiety Guidebook (anxiety.pdf) read and do the exercise up to page 12 stop at “Anxiety First Aid Kit.” Take your time be honest, write down all your answers and afterwards take a break, either a nice walk outside or a nice cup of herbal tea. We will start part 2 of week one later. (give your self at least a day)

Like we talked about earlier, money issues are a big stress and can keep you from realizing your full potential. Let’s take a hard honest look at our financial situation. To do this we need to set up a budget. We will do this in steps that will help us learn about ourselves.
Where do I want my money to go?__________________________________________________
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How do I feel about money? ______________________________________________________
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Fill out the above two question before going any further.

Okay so you have answered those questions to the best of your ability, now lets open up your check book or budget and let’s begin to put it all down on paper. This is the start to helping you with your financial anxiety. So here we go…

This month I spent my money on: Amount
Rent- mortgage : ___________
Electricity: ___________
Water: ___________
Gas: ___________
Other utilities: ___________
Cable/internet: ___________
Phones: ___________
Grocery store: ___________
Eating out: ___________
Other entertainment: ___________
Clothing needed ___________
Clothing Not needed: ___________
Stuff I truly will use and need: ___________
Stuff I do not need: ___________
Gifts: ___________
Charity: ___________
Once a year expenses divided by 12: ___________
Others: ___________

Now that you know where your money is going, ask yourself this; did it go where you thought it went? Did it change how you feel about money? Spending money is often an emotional response to stressors in your life. Keep in mind that self-esteem issues also play a big part in your relationship to money. People often spend as a way to self medicate. It is time to put a stop to that once and for all.
Time to create a budget:

For budget worksheet go to . Be realistic and have a balance. Eating out is great if it is about friends and family having a good time, it is not if it is going to the drive through to mask your depression and stress.

If there is someone in your life that is your partner or dependent on you financially it is time to talk to them. I know some of you would rather discuss sex with your father-in-law than talk about money. It is time be honest and open. This will not only make managing your money easier but will make your relationships stronger, more open and healthier or give you sign that it time for a change.

When you finish the budget take a break. Will start Part 3 tomorrow.

Part Three

Your Health

I recall years back after my mother-in-law passed, I started having some odd symptoms. I was having mood swings, lack of concentration, crying outbreaks, insomnia, very typical symptoms of depression. My clinical director where I worked suggested I call a doctor and be put on medication for the depression right away. I called my doctor and asked her to run a series of tests. A week later, she called me and gave me the news that I was a diabetic.

Depression medication would not have helped and in fact, if my diabetes were to be left unattended it could have had serious consequences, so I always tell people if you feel depressed, first and foremost, ask your doctor for a complete and full exam. So diet and nutrition can contribute a great deal to depression and its treatment. My depression and anxiety symptoms left once I started eating a diabetic diet and exercising and taking care of my health.

So your task is to get a physical. Call your primary care physician (or find one) and schedule a complete physical. Ask for blood work to be done and while you are there ask them if it is safe for you to do the basic yoga exercises that are in this program as well as walks and taking some supplements.
I recommended getting a complete physical once a year as many illnesses are easier to treat if they are caught early. One other thing before seeing the doctor, write a list of questions you have so you can make the most out of the time.

Part Four

Review

By now, you have completed the Life without Anxiety Guidebook. Let reflect on what we done.
Pull out your answers to the Life Without Anxiety Guidebook do they still feel right? _____
Has anything changed? _______________________________________________________

If so what?
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When doing the budget how did it make you feel?
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If you have completed the anxiety book then I believe you have worked very hard in facing your anxiety and it is not an easy task. Remember to use the meditation audio and video files anytime you feel anxious they can really help.
I want to remind you that you should also have had a physical or have an appointment for one at this time.
Well this is it for week one. Please take a long walk when you are done and remember B-R-E-A-T-H-E

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