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5 Things To Help Overcome Panic & Anxiety

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I’m going to be flat out honest with you all. Over the past two years of my life I have struggled with panic and anxiety, most commonly in the form of panic attacks. At first they were always triggered by something in particular, such as an upcoming obligation or an existing challenge. But eventually, they no longer needed a concrete or recognizable trigger, they just needed me to remember how intense they could be.

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Panic and anxiety, through my experience (and like so many other challenges in life) survive and thrive off of the power of thought and the creation of fear. When others would ask me to describe what being in a panic attack felt like, I would usually say that it was a state of rampant thought, where the mind and body have an incredibly difficult time relaxing. When engaged, focusing on anything else can at times be borderline impossible and it often feels as if this experience will last forever.

Even when the panic has subsided, life can feel as if it has less colour, because lingering beneath each experience is the feeling of a potential panic attack just waiting to happen. I’m sure that everyone’s experience of anxiety and panic are different from one another but here are 5 simple tips/ reminders that I’ve found to be incredibly helpful in moving beyond panic and anxiety.

SIDE NOTE: Am I fully beyond them? No, in fact even writing about this subject tried to serve as a little trigger, but these reminders have all helped me to empower myself and prevent the mind from consistently taking me on a full-blown roller coaster ride of panic.

1. No matter how intense it can be, it always has an end.

As I mentioned earlier, when fully engaged a panic attack can often feel like it’s going to last forever. The truth is, in my experience and in the experience of talking to several others, it can’t… your body simply wouldn’t allow it. The actual panic itself is often very short lived, it’s the reaction to it that we have a tendency to let linger. Remind yourself that what you resist, persists. Why? Because you’re communicating with it that you still have something to gain and fully go through by it being there. What you accept, takes its course, finds its limit and moves on. By accepting the panic’s existence you allow it to become as big as it can (which often isn’t as big as our fear of it tends to make us feel that it will be), it sees how limited its power is -in a body emanating acceptance of the experience -and it begins to pass.

A book that helped me with this realization is Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, which is a powerful tool for living in the moment and working through hardship.

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2. Make friends with your mind, rather than make it into a villain.

When most people are asked to point out where their panic originates, they are often quick to blame their mind. As a result of this, we may have a tendency to vilify our mind into something to fear and even more so into something that we are losing control over. The truth is, we are always in control, and the best way to step into that power when experiencing panic or anxiety is to make friends with your mind. Realize that it is only playing a role and creating these thoughts to help you face panic/ anxiety head on. Remind yourself that this is the same mind that has helped you be creative, get excited, problem solve and do so many other great things in the past, so why not be friends with it now to?

A book that helped me to adopt this perspective is Tony Robbin’s Awaken the Giant Within, an uplifting guide that encourages you to work with your mind to create an optimal you.

3. Observe and communicate with the thoughts that try and instigate the panic.

To best explain this I’m going to take you through an example series of communication I had with my mind a couple of weeks ago while working through the lingering feeling of panic. I’m going to refer to the panicked thought as “Panic” and the response as “Mark” (since that’s my name).

Panic: I’m still here. I know you can feel me.
Mark: Yeah, so?
Panic: Remember where I’ve taken you in the past? How intense that can be?
Mark: Yeah, and I also remember how short lived you can be.
Panic: That was those times, whose to say that next time won’t be even bigger? Maybe you still feeling me here means I’ve never actually gone away and you can’t get rid of me.
Mark: But I’ve already experienced what you are trying to get me to activate again. I know what it is, what it can do and ultimately where it leads. I’ve had the experience so I think I’ll pass.
Panic: …
Mark: If you expect to get me to go down that road again you’re going to have to least come up with something new, the same thoughts and ideas won’t work anymore.
Panic: …

That dialogue may seem ridiculous to some of you, but all I was trying to show is the power in communicating with the thought patterns rather than simply giving in. The more you talk them through, the more empty that they become.

4. If it ever grabs a hold of you, don’t be afraid to fully ride it through.

In the moment of it, it can seem like the scariest thing imaginable but it’s often the best possible thing you can do. If a panic attack ever takes hold of you, don’t be afraid to go through the experience. Sit, lay down or even take a walk with it. Observe the way it makes you feel mentally and physically for however long you need to ride it out. Don’t judge how intense it is, or however long it lasts for, just be with it. I’ve found that the more present you become the quicker it is to realize its limitations and the quicker it subsides. For those that practice it, I’ve also found that meditation or even just simply focusing on the breath can be great tools in making you present with the experience.

5. You never take on more than you can handle.

This reminder can be applied to almost anything in life, and trust me I have. Whether we want to believe it or not, never in life will we take on more than we can handle. When I say this I’m not referring to tasks or things on a to do list, but rather challenges, emotions and experiences. The way I like to look at it (and I’m sure that some will disagree with me), we are here to grow. And growth does not come from stagnancy. Therefore our higher selves/ souls would never give us more than we could handle at any given moment. If life has thrown it at you, that means that right now you have the tools within you to not only move beyond it, but also grow from it. Embrace the challenge, and get excited about the more capable you that is ready to come out once you’ve tackled what’s currently on your plate.

An audio book that helped me to develop this mentality is Your Wish Is Your Command.


I’ve compiled everything I used to conquer my own severe anxiety into an online course called The Hack Anxiety Toolbox. Click HERE for more information on the course.

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Consciousness

If You Do One Thing At Christmas Make It This: Acts Of Kindness

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Gentleness and kindness will make our homes a paradise upon earth. C. A. Bartol

As we enter into the ‘silly season’ I felt inspired to write about what I wish Christmas could mean for everyone.

In a world where we have so much focus on material goods, (and never is this more obvious than at Christmas time)  I think its time to touch on something that is far more important.

And that is, have you ever thought about what exactly the true meaning of Christmas might be? What do you think it is?  Being with family and friends? Eating a lot of good food or going away somewhere nice?  Yes it can be all of that, but for me, it is more about giving.

Not the giving of expensive presents to family members and friends, but instead, giving to those that need it most.

Yes, I know that is a cliche, but its a valid one, and it is so very important right now.

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Only We Will Make The Changes Needed

Looking at the state of the world, with all of it’s chaos, more and more people are suffering.  Homelessness is reaching unprecedented levels in many ‘first world’ countries, there are more than 114,000 people living on the streets alone in California (with likely even more since those terrifying fires a few weeks ago), and in the UK, it has recently been reported that 1 in 200 people are homeless.   Hungary have recently declared that homelessness is a crime.

We are countries with access to enormous wealth, yet our governments are cutting funding for important programs to look after our most vulnerable people.

A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men. Thomas Carlyle

Seeing that this has become a global problem, and one that is not improving,  it has become clearer to me, that only WE can really make the differences needed now.  It truly sits on our shoulders as individuals to make more of a conscious effort to help those around us.

We have to stop waiting for others to sweep in and make these changes, we have to help do it ourselves.

I know, many may say ‘I am struggling myself to survive’ or ‘ I don’t have any spare money’, but kindness to others can be totally free.

For inspiration, please watch this beautiful and touching clip below that really lets you feel the power of kindness.  I am sure that even by watching this clip, many of you will be inspired now to go and do something for someone in need.  I was inspired to write this article after viewing this clip and I know it will create a domino effect!

You know, it’s not actually that hard to be kind.  You just have to have your mind ready to see an opportunity for being helpful to someone else.

Being kind to others, is actually a gift to yourself, the joy you feel in your heart when you do something nice and thoughtful for others, is a truly amazing feeling. It literally gives your heart a big happy bursting feeling. It feels like real love.

Science Shows Kindness Is Good For You

There actually is scientific evidence that being kind is very good for your own health, and for the other people who experience your kindness.  Kindness can also create a domino effect, and your act alone could end up helping many people, perhaps hundreds of event thousands.

Giving beats any short lived feeling you get from buying something material when you know that you have made a difference to someone else, especially when it helps them when they are at their lowest point.

If I have spare change in my bag, I do try and give to homeless people, (or instead buy them a meal) and despite that some will say ‘we shouldn’t encourage it’ I feel this is very unfair, as we never know their back story and how they ended up on the streets.

I think many of us turn our backs on them (like I used to) because if we really thought about it, we are probably petrified that we could end up like that.  For this reason alone, if you can, give, because would you not hope that people would help you if you were in the same position?

A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money. John Ruskin

Kindness unites people like nothing else can and it is what we desperately need to bring our fractured societies back together.   With so much division between us now, what can heal this is our acts of kindness.

Everyone Matters

Every single person wants to feel that they matter, it’s embedded into our consciousness.  When a stranger does something kind for someone they don’t know it is even more special, because it was their way of saying ‘I see you, I don’t know you, but I care and you matter to me’

I have had many people be kind to me, in times of severe depression, where I nearly ended my life, I always had people show me that I mattered to them and not to give up.

I know this is what got me through those very dark times.  Their acts of kindness, made me realise I wasn’t worthless or truly alone, which brought me to be here today.

I am very lucky now to have this opportunity here at Collective Evolution to now be able to share important things with millions of readers around the world.

Who Will Benefit From Your Own Ripple Effects?

What if no one had of been kind to me when I was so low and in a desperate place? Would I not be here today? I really believe no, that I wouldn’t be.  We all are capable of creating positive ripple effects that can literally go around the world.

This is the power we all have, that you have, to impact someone else’s life positively, and maybe even many other peoples lives.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

Kindness comes in so many forms, and we are all capable of doing many of them.  You just have to open your heart and want to make the effort to do it.

I hope this Christmas you experience kindness in action, and could maybe even consider making a pact to continue this long after the festive season is over.

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. Og Mandino

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Consciousness

The Top Reasons Why We Resist Change & How To Stop

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We resist change for many reasons, but ultimately, this comes down to our core. We want to hold onto belief systems, being right, stories that protect our egos. Alternatively, we may fear the unknown, but what is that fear?

  • Reflect On:

    Why do you feel the way you do about certain changes in your life? Must you feel this way? Why do some people embrace change better than others? Is it perhaps they give less power to the stories of their mind?

Our world is full of change right now, and for good reason! Deep down we know and feel that something is a bit ‘stale,’ and we’re following that feeling with outward projections of emotions about our system, politics, what others do, our jobs – quite frankly, many of us are feeling frustrated with how things are.

But do you ever notice yourself resisting events happening in your life? We all go through many different experiences, this article is not to say we cannot make changes and choose to avoid un-favorable experiences entirely, it is simply to say, sometimes we can find ourselves being very resistant to changes that are going on in our lives, and this causes a lot of suffering and ‘stuckness.’

From positive to negative, pain to happiness, laughter to suffering, we must always remember that these are all just experiences. They are part of what allows us to grow and move towards a greater awareness within our soul and life experience.

As tough experiences happen, whether it be a breakup, a lost job, having to move to a new place, not having enough finances, finishing something that can be challenging etc, we generally have two choices. We can choose the route of remaining upset and resisting the whole process, making it very difficult to learn from as we inevitably get stuck in judging what is happening. Or we can choose to accept it for the time being as something that is in our path, a certain temporary barrier if you will, and see what we can gain from it in terms of growth. As we react to the situations, observe the thoughts and emotions that present themselves. ‘Why am I so upset about a lost job?” “Why am I so worried about change?” “What do these changes represent to me that make me feel upset?” “Why am I trying to control the experience so heavily?”

Why We Resist Change – The Core Truth

Now it might be easy to say that these are all natural feelings anyone would feel when going through these experiences because they are ‘human nature,’ but this would not be true, simply because these reactions are learned behaviours we get from how we have been taught to react to certain experiences. It is not an innate knowing from our soul for us to be upset and freak out when we lose a job for example. Some of us react and some of us don’t. These reactions are typically fueled by our own patterns, triggers, belief systems, fears, and can be further fueled by collective consciousness. This is why we resist change, plain and simple. We are protecting or running from the various aspects of ourselves listed above that keep us confined in our minds, re-playing the same reactions and experiences over and over.

Some people will suggest that some of us embrace change better than others, the simple answer to why that is is that some of us don’t give as much power to our minds stories. That’s truly all it is at its core. Not resisting change comes down to letting go of the mind’s stories about everything you do or are about to do.

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We are very much in control of how we feel during inevitable changes and challenges as we can choose to disempower the suffering that we often dive into. The truth is, we can feel peace in many of these circumstances, we simply need to remain conscious, aware and reflective as the events play out, and pay attention to what might be pulling us out of peace. We can, of course, FEEL what is first expressed, sit with it and truly understand it, but how long we sit with this is up to us, and is not the fault of the experience.

Resisting change is sometimes like trying to swim against the current. Sometimes we do not always see the perfection in what might be playing out so we try hard to keep it all in place i.e. we resist! Think about letting go of the need to control and instead let things go and flow as they need to. In most cases, we find that things are never as bad as we often assume they will be, and in the end, we feel great for having experienced it all.

How We Can Stop Resisting Change

So next time we find ourselves resisting, remember to try out these steps:

1. Pause for a moment in the situation
2. Observe your current emotions, sit with them if you must. Taking the time to slow down and understand what is going on within you will give you clarity so you aren’t simply saying “I’m mad” but instead are able to say “I’m mad because I’m feeling insecure or disempowered or disrespected etc”
3. Reflect on why these things truly bother you. As you understand what the emotions or triggers are that are coming up you will see what power you give to them and why.
4. Let go of what you are trying to control or avoid (keeping yourself out of danger of course)
5. Choose to take the situation moment by moment without judging it
6. Write down how you feel if it helps, likewise, you can talk to someone.

Helpful questions:

Why am I afraid of what’s to come? What are all the possible reasons that come up in my mind?

What do I feel is going to happen that I’m so worried about? Will it affect how people perceive me? My financial stability? Where do these stories even come from? Society? My friends? Parents?

The Takeaway

The bottom line is, when you notice yourself going back to the same frustrations, judgements, anger, blame, fear, worry, or anxiety about something, you know there is something there that’s triggering you, and it’s within you. The only way to peace and moving beyond that suffering is through processing the emotions and letting go of the belief systems, patterns of ideas in your mind that are causing such reactions.

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Consciousness

New Moon In Sagittarius: Pursuing Ideals

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We are having a New Moon in Sagittarius on December 7th, 2018 in most of the world and late night December 6th in Western North America. This is initiating a 29.5-day Lunar cycle and a new wave of energy for the coming month. This cycle will peak at the Full Moon in Cancer on December 22nd.

The Sun entered Sagittarius on November 22nd, while Jupiter and Mercury Retrograde have also been in this sign, so we have already been experiencing much of its qualities already. However, in this case we can experience more of a ‘kick start’ of Sagittarian energies due to this New Moon as well as Mercury beginning to move forward.

Sagittarius is about exploration, experience, learning/teaching, travel, foreign countries, philosophies, beliefs, idealism, and optimism. It is also associated with things like marketing, media, and sales. It is passionate and instinctual, yet can be excessive, blunt, egotistical, argumentative, opinionated, preachy, unrealistic, and have a ‘know-it-all’ complex. However, this New Moon is an opportunity to work with Sagittarian energies in new or revamped ways.

Mercury has been retrograde since mid-November which ends 10 hours before this New Moon. Since then, we could have been experiencing some adjustments, challenges, realizations, or a different outlook in certain areas of our lives connected to Sagittarian themes mentioned. From this point on until December 24th, we will gain more clarity, momentum, productivity, or final conclusions around the aspects of our lives that been affected by the retrograde.

It is good to look back at the period between November 25th-28th which was the most significant part of this retrograde. Certain thoughts, conversations, and developments that occurred during that time could provide some of the more important realizations and understandings which could influence how things develop over the coming months. However, it is also important to see how things fall into place over the coming weeks.

New Moon Square Mars-Neptune Conjunction In Pisces

Mars in Pisces has been moving towards a conjunction with Neptune which peaks at this New Moon, yet this energy will also affect the entire lunar cycle to a certain degree. This can be good for doing anything creative, spiritual, inspiring, idealistic, compassionate, relaxing, selfless, or something that involves water. It can make us more easy going, in the flow, and could even feel magical for some people.

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Escapism or intoxication tendencies can also be strong for people who are more susceptible to that.  Our actions or drive can also be unrealistic and fantasy based. Considering that Mercury is also changing motion during the peak of this aspect, it can be more difficult to do mundane and practical tasks. We can also experience more challenges or delays due to lack of attention or cloudy thinking.

This conjunction is in a square with the New Moon in Sagittarius, which can contribute to being less focused, scattered, and/or confused. Perhaps in some cases there can be a conflict around beliefs and opinions. However, this square can also be good for taking creative, spiritual, visual, or inspired action towards Sagittarius activities related to learning/teaching, travel, or media.

Mercury In Grand Trine With Chiron and North Node while in a Quincunx With Uranus

As Mercury ends its retrograde in late Scorpio, it stays nearly still while in a grand trine with Chiron in Pisces and the North Node in Cancer. Our thinking or communications can have themes connected to healing, holistic understanding, unorthodox approaches, bridging ideas/things, wholeness, and spiritual integration.

Considerations of the future and where we are headed could come up. Moving forward instead of staying stuck in the past, or perhaps utilizing challenges of the past to help us move forward. This grand trine is occurring in water signs which can make this energy emotional, passionate, sensitive, and intuitive.

Mercury is also in a quincunx with Uranus which is strongest from December 9th -12th. This occurs just before Mercury returns to Sagittarius. This can manifest as disruptions, unexpected developments, or changes which could require us to make necessary adjustments.

This can also play out as challenges around communication, or perhaps previously unforeseen details coming into our awareness which could require a change in the way think about something. In some cases, this period can have some complications that are usually associated with Mercury retrograde.

Venus Still In Post-Retrograde Shadow Period, Moving Towards Sextile With Saturn

Although Venus ended its retrograde in mid-November, the ‘post-retrograde shadow’ period is a month long in itself. This is when it appears to gradually pick up speed in forward motion and travels back to the same parts of the zodiac where it was previously during the retrograde.

During this time, we gain more clarity, as well as forward moving developments regarding Venus, ruled areas of love, relationships, friendships, values, money, aesthetic undertakings, life’s pleasures, or perhaps other social themes. It is possible there could be some significant Venus related developments that could occur between December 6th-9th, and more likely from December 7th-8th. If so, it could be connected to what was playing out or thoughts that have occurred in late October.

Venus is also moving towards a sextile with Saturn in Capricorn which is exact on December 16th, the same day that the Venus shadow period ends. This could also be another significant period for some people regarding Venus issues. Perhaps there can be some sort of conclusion to what the Venus retrograde was about for you.

The aspect with Saturn could bring some stabilizing or solidifying energy to Venus-ruled areas, and perhaps can having something to do with commitments or responsibilities. Mars will also be in a sextile with Pluto at the same time. These energies combined can be good for making great progress in different areas of life, depending on how this is all interacting with your personal natal chart.

Making Intentions And Things To Consider

What insights or developments have occurred in the last few days? What thoughts or intuitions have you been having? Have there been any synchronicities or repeating themes coming up around you, through communications with others, or perhaps through any type of media you have been consuming? How does that connect to what has been playing out for you over the last 5 weeks? How do you currently think you should proceed based on this?

In what ways do you need to expand in your life? What can you do to better live your truth? Have your beliefs or perspectives changed or perhaps challenged? What are your relationships showing you? What are your ideals?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time, however, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. However, the closer the better and can be as early as 30 minutes prior to the exact moment of it. This New Moon will be occurring at 7:20am Universal Time on December 7th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order.

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