The Trustworthy
July 2000 Issue

Trust - Information and Resources for People with Anxiety Disorders.

1. Welcome
2. New to Trust.
3. Article - Looking into the present not the past.
4. July Inspiration
5. Coming to Trust.
6. July's Affirmation.
7. Thank You

Welcome to Trust Newsletter Issue 4. Hope this finds you all well and starting off the month in a positive way. This month there have been quite a few changes to Trust. Mainly in the look of things. Hope you all like the new look. I'd love to hear any feedback on whether you think it's an improvement. J I've had a wonderful past month for various reasons. It has also in some way been very challenging. I think my main focus on going into this month is to leave the past where it lays and moving on to a more positive future. Therefore this month I have included an article on this very topic and also how it contributes and prolongs our anxiety disorders. Hope you find it helpful or interesting at the least. Don't forget all subscribers to this newsletter are invite to submit entries to the Newsletter Naming Contest. You can find details about this on the Trust home page. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::<">:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
This past month Trust has gained a new look. I am still working on the finer details but it all should be completely finished over the next couple of days. I have also added an article written by a Reiki practitioner on how Reiki has helped him to move past his anxiety. If you have any questions or comments at all on this particular article feel free to post them in the message board or you can write directly to him and
Living in the present not the past. For people with anxiety disorders looking backwards before stepping forwards is a common occurrence. While I was in the deepest part of my struggle with agoraphobia many steps I took, whether it be from going out onto the street or perhaps to a shop I was continuously taking my negative past experiences of anxiety and referring them to what I was about to do. An example of this is perhaps a trip to the shops. Because previously at times I had struggled to control my anxiety in such situations I would relive those memories in my mind and assume that the coming experience I was about to attempt would or could have the same outcome. Naturally logic tells us that if we have had a bad experience in a certain situation in the past then it may occur once again. We use this thinking in many areas of our lives. It is how we learn, and how we teach ourselves not to make the same mistakes twice. It is a very important and useful tool in keeping ourselves safe. However unfortunately at times we can have a very selective memory, especially when it comes to fears and negative experiences. We do not often remember those triumphs we have had as readily as our bad experiences.For instance we often fail to focus on the times we have been to the shops and have overcome our fears, even enjoyed the experience. In this article I want to talk about how we can attempt to stop looking at our past negative experiences as a blueprint to our future ones.

Looking to our negative past experiences to protect ourselves in the future is a good example of a self-defeating way of thinking. I have many times myself not even attempted certain tasks while I was very anxious due to looking back and feeling as though I will with almost certainty have the same dreadful experience. In this way I would completely give up on my goal even before I have tried to step a foot out of the door. The main problem with this process is that like many other types of negative thinking it can be quite automatic. A good tool to use to combat this type of thinking is that you literally try and live in the present. This can be quite hard to do in the beginning, but like most other things the more it is practiced the easier it becomes to do. Thinking in the present sounds like an easy solution, however for someone who has been living with their past fears and memories it can be a very hard thing to do to begin with. If possible however, when you are about to enter a situation in which makes you feel anxious take all the thoughts of what may, might and can happen and turn them to simply focusing on what is really happening. Often when we do this, we realize that it isn't so much our anxieties that cause us fear, but it's our fears that cause our anxiety. We can see that the way we think really can cause us a lot of our stress, anxiety, harm and worry. The realities of our present situations are never as bad as our fears of what may happen. Another good tool to use is when you think of a negative experience from your past, try and either see the good outcome of that experience, or replace it with a similar situation in which you have done well with. For example, if you have a negative thought about the last time you attempted to go to the supermarket ,before entering, try and see the outcome of that experience. Usually with most bad anxiety memories from the past the reality is that that was some discomfort and anxiety, but ultimately nothing extremely bad happened. You really did make it through.
To replace the negative memory with a positive one, try and think of a time in which you triumphed over your anxiety in a similar situation to the one you are in or are attempting.. Remember how great you felt afterwards. We really can have selective memories when it comes to our anxiety. In some circumstances this is a large part of learning. But with agoraphobia and anxiety it can be not only self-defeating, but it can also prolong the disorder. Try to just be in situations you fear, just stay in the present and challenge your memories from the past.
'Remember the "yes" behind your "no" and focus on what you are moving toward rather than what you are leaving behind.
' Alan Cohen - Dare to be yourself.
This month I am planning on finally added all of the support groups and help that is available in Canada and New Zealand. This is something I have been meaning to do for a long time. I will also be adding more groups for the USA as I have found many more. If you know of any at all, in any place, please email me the details so I can add them to this section of Trust. I would appreciate it greatly.
' I rise above any matters that try to pull my attention away from all that's good in my life. I stop obsessing about anything that tries to take away my peace. I realize that what is truly important, above all, is the love I give to myself and others.'
Susan Jeffers PhD - Inner Talk For Peace of Mind.
Thank-you to everyone who has visit Trust this month, written to me, added to the message board, guest book or to anxiety pals. Came in for a chat, or in any other way supported or spent some time in Trust. Remember you can email me anytime about anything, even just to make a comment. The more input I have from Trust from people who come here the better. A special thank you goes out to Gwialchmai for taking the time and for adding his article. To Christine Evans for helping me with the new design - your generosity amazes me, I cant thank you enough. To Ccon for inspiring me daily to keep going with this and for your never ending love, support and belief- you amaze me. Thank you also to everyone who has struggled this month with fears and anxiety. I hope this newsletter finds you feeling better than the day before. Remember you are not alone. If you have any articles, poems, stories, panic tips anything at all that you would like to submit to be entered into this newsletter please just email them to me. You may, as always in Trust stay anonymous if you wish. Just sign your article/ panic tip or whatever it may be anonymous and I will keep it that way. Have a wonderful July everyone! Love and light. Jen.