‘DARE’ by Barry McDonagh

Anxiety is your brain tricking you. You can call its bluff.

u/Ehermagerd (Reddit)

In recent years, something I’ve come to understand about myself is that I suffer from at least a couple forms of anxiety. During one particular month in 2019, I had several episodes where I seriously thought I was having a heart attack and was going to die. Even saw a cardiologist about it. After my EKG came back clean, I started looking into what was happening to me.

Turns out, those were panic attacks. I’d just never experienced them before.

Having learned this fact about myself has made me do a lot of introspection. This thing that seemed to come out of nowhere…I realize now that it was actually building up inside for years, completely unnoticed — until it wasn’t. And even now, I still have episodes where I’m overly conscious of some sensation in my body and I will fixate on it incessantly, only exacerbating it more. (Hi, r/HealthAnxiety.)

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you need to check out Barry McDonagh’s tremendously helpful book, Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks Fast. In it, he explains what anxiety is and how it affects your mind/body, and then he goes through what he calls the “DARE” method, which you can use to directly address a panic attack when it strikes, rather than let it overwhelm you:

  1. Defuse.
  2. Allow.
  3. Run toward.
  4. Engage.

The guy also offers a companion app where, if and when you do have a panic attack, you can load up one of his audio guides to be guided through the process and reassured that what you’re feeling is NORMAL and that you are OKAY — your body is simply experiencing a stress response.

Paired together, the app and book are an invaluable resource for proactively pulling yourself out of stress attacks, intrusive thoughts, insomnia, and more. Truly lifechanging stuff.

Get the book in these formats:

(Side note: If you want it on Apple Books, for some reason they only seem to have the Hungarian version as I write this on October 5th, 2021.)