Are you terrified of flying, do spiders make you scream, or does the idea of giving birth fill you with utter dread? Whatever's causing your anxiety, celebrity therapist Christopher Paul Jones, says anyone can help themselves take control.
Chris aka The Breakthrough Expert, specialises in helping people let go of their fears, anxieties and even their phobias. He even cured his own morbid fear of flying, to the extent he was able to take a sightseeing flight through the Pyrenees – strapped to the OUTSIDE of a helicopter! Eek!
He says: "Anxiety is a debilitating condition that stops you getting where you want in life and yet there are very logical reasons behind it. While it can seem destructive, it is your brain's way of trying to keep you safe."
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Chris continued: "Back in primitive times we would see a sabre tooth tiger and we would go into flight, fight or freeze mode. In the modern age, the brain's response is over-extended and we operate with the same survival responses even when the danger is not life threatening, for example when sitting an exam, paying a bill or meeting deadlines.
"When looking to work on your anxiety, as my mentor once said to me, the first thing to do is to look for the obvious, as in: what stimulants in terms of food or drinks are you putting into your body?
"If you are the type of person who drinking eight cups of coffee a day, you may just have found the cause of your anxiety. Equally importantly you must ask yourself the right questions to try and change the pattern.
"Stop asking yourself why do I have anxiety? Instead focus on the when, where, what and how."
7 steps to reduce your anxiety by Christopher Paul Jones AKA The Breakthrough Expert:
STEP 1: WHEN?
Very often anxiety can start at an early age, normally from a time in your life which felt unstable. When you allow yourself to pinpoint the historical triggers it makes it easier to start making changes.
STEP 2: WHERE?
What situations or type of environment do you need to be in to start feeling anxiety? It is worth keeping a diary to document when in your day your anxiety is at its peak and when it diminishes. This will help you make connections between events and triggers and notice what it is going on.
STEP 3: WHAT?
Ask yourself what do you need to believe in order to feel this way? What has to happen for you to start feeling anxious? What specifically are you predicting will happen? How likely is that? What is the evidence for and against that this will happen? What needs to happen for you to stop being anxious?
STEP 4: HOW?
Anxiety is not something you catch like a cold it's something you have to do, all be it subconsciously. You have to think, feel, breath, stand, move and even have certain pictures in your mind (i.e. everything going wrong). Changing any of these, you can change how you feel.
STEP 5: CHANGE YOUR FEELING
What do you feel when you are anxious? Where do you feel it? How intense is it?
Now change the feeling - try to become aware of how the feeling is moving about in your body. Take the feeling out of your body and spin it in front of you like a wheel.
Become aware of the colour, then change the colour to something more pleasing.
Then reverse the direction of the spin. Pull it back into the body, spinning it in the opposite direction. Spin it faster and faster until it disappears.
STEP 6: CHANGE YOUR BREATHING
Heart breathing is one of the most effective ways to control anxiety as it correlates your brain activity with your heart beat. Start by placing your hand on your heart. Then take deep breaths imagining the oxygen filling up your heart as you breathe in for the count of 5, and then out for the count of 5, slowly and evenly. Repeat for a few minutes focusing on three things you are grateful for.
STEP 7: CHANGE YOUR FUTURE
Think about an activity or task that is making you anxious. Fast forward into the future and notice how you will feel when you have successfully completed it. Now try and hold onto those feelings, thoughts, emotions of successful completion, look at that activity or task and notice how you feel differently about it now.
Finally, remember that 90% of the things people worry about generally do not happen, this always helps me when I am feeling anxious.
Which celebrities have phobias?
Singer Adele recently revealed she's petrified of seagulls ever since one swooped down and stole her ice cream when she was just nine years old.
Oprah Winfrey is afraid of chewing gum so much that it's not allowed into any building in which she's working on and once threw out a plate that someone had left gum on.
Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson is afraid of mirrors. Never looks at her reflection or watches herself on TV.
Ladies' man Orlando Bloom is allegedly terrified of pigs and did a runner when one made an appearance on the set of the movie Kingdom Of Heaven.
Katie Price famously attempted to tackle her fear of water when she appeared on I'm A Celeb but the typically ballsy model managed to swim through a stinking swamp to win food for her campmates.
Click for more info on Christopher Paul Jones AKA The Breakthrough Expert, or visit his Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.