Trigger Flow to end anxiety

Healing anxiety is really about moving from a very stuck state, (the vicious cycle of anxiety) back into a state of flow.

When you are in your natural state of flow, you feel much more like your old self again. You feel happy for no particular reason and are living very much in the present moment. Children playing are the best examples of this natural flow. I want to share an exercise on how you can move into this state of flow.

Trigger a State of Flow

1. Begin my placing one hand on your stomach and one on your heart. (If you are in a public place you can simply fold/cross your arms with each hand holding the side of your chest). This hand position creates comfort and aids the flow.

2. Become aware of where the anxiety is in your body. Wherever you feel it,  focus on that area and begin to mentally repeat the following:

1 and FLOW… 2 and FLOW… 3 and FLOW  4 and FLOW… etc …all the way to 10.

When you reach 10 say:


Then begin again.

1 and FLOW… 2 and FLOW… 3 and FLOW…  4 and FLOW… etc …all the way to 10.



Each time you say the word FLOW imagine a gush or wave of water is washing over and through the area that feels most anxious. The water is washing the stuck energy of anxiety away. One big wave each time you say the word FLOW.  Feel a release each time the water flows away…

You can visualize the water washing anyway you like. It can be down your body or out in front of you. The important thing is to feel that flow of water each time you say the word FLOW.

[Repeat the count 7 times in total]

1 and FLOW… 2 and FLOW… 3 and FLOW…  4 and FLOW… etc …all the way to 10. Then “I CAN HANDLE ALL THIS AND MORE! ” (x7)


3. Once that is done move your attention gently back to what you were doing.
As you do so, I want you to completely accept and embrace all the feelings of anxiety that arise for the next 30 minutes.

You have triggered a flow but that flow is only sustained by your ability to now accept the anxiety fully without wishing for it to be gone.

The anxiety is slowly releasing and you are are going to feel different  sensations as it releases more over the next half hour.

If you stop accepting it, or get frustrated that your anxiety is still there, you will break the flow.

So the key to getting a good result is to totally embrace and accept all the  feelings of anxiety they present themselves. Are you willing to give that a go for just 30 minutes?

You are going to take anxiety by the hand, wherever you have to go, -be it out shopping, to a work meeting or just while you spend time at home.

By not pushing anxiety away, you stop the internal conflict. You flow instead of resisting and that’s when your mind and body click into greater harmony.

Ready to get into your flow?

Try the exercise now for the next 30 minutes and post your comments below.



65 replies on “Trigger Flow to end anxiety

  • Donna

    This exercise is so wonderful. Everytime I have anxiety I run from it and maybe that is why it persists.
    I did the exercise and will keep repeating it again and again. If you run from anxiety it will follow you but
    if you embrace it you will eventually be set free and back into balance and peace. I pray I find it because
    it has assailed me way too long. Thank you for this generous exercise.

  • Bikram Gurung

    you are the best !!!… your support has made a whole lot of difference for the better.. to my anxiety problem.
    but i just want to ask a thing.. hope you’ll get back to me on this..
    —- is getting new symptoms after you’ve dealt with and accepted and gotten over a set of symptoms
    i mean.. like i am over symptoms A, B and C… and well on the way to recover then bam–
    new symptoms D and E comes over.. is this normal in our state of anxiety?
    this exercise is just great..

  • Barry Joe McDonagh

    It is very normal. Anxiety morphs. You deal with one sensation and then along comes another. It is a bit like pealing an onion. You are resolving it and making progress , eventually
    it stops and the anxiety fades away.

  • Sue

    I do like the Flow exercise, it took me a few tries to stop fighting my self from my anxiety. I definitely feel better and getting closer to letting myself just flow with my anxiety! Thank You These emails are great!

  • Catherine

    I must say i love receiving & reading your e-mails Barry ,i find them a great comfort .My anxiety and panics seem to be lessoning thank god.Ive been receiving your e-mails for about 2 months now and im also talking to a councillor (whom also i get great comfort )with the help from both of you im finally starting to feel like old Catherine the one who laughs and jokes and can handle everyday little things .For me i think it was the acceptance of anxiety that is moving me through it .So for this id like to thank you so much, and i look forward to your next e-mails ,take care and god bless xxx

  • dee212

    A BIG Thank You for this exercise, I’m still having difficulty with accepting and I recieved this e-mail at the right time today. It will take time to click but i am thankful for the help!

  • steven rice

    28 11 12

    hi, what best to do if you are assailed by the anxiety when you are using puiblic transport e.g. a bus etc. how best to deal with anxiety better to say fear of the fear coming on.

  • eddie eu

    your exercises are recovery is fantastic instead of spending $300 with phsychiatrist for one session.thanks alot.p/s forget to mention that just by following your regular email exercises i improve alot even though i still have’nt received your courses i ordered.

  • Lorie Nichols

    I have different places in my body–wrists, throat, which I think about when I’m anxious. I get very emotional because it scares me and then I have scary thoughts like I can’t handle it anymore. Will these exercises help for this!!! It seems too overwhelming sometimes. I just believe in God and it helps and thank you for your session. Always grateful.

  • Valerie Weisel

    Just trying this for the first time. Like Donna…I tend to run from my symptoms. I fight them and get upset and angry until they go away. I’ve been too afraid to ride the wave of my anxious symptoms but I’ve been hearing only positive feedback about this exercise and ones like it so it’s time I tried! Thank you so much for the continuous advice!

  • Harpartap

    Thank you so much I feel so calm now! You are truly great and I appreciate everything you do for everyone! I had one question is tightness or pressure in the head an anxiety related sensation?

  • Harpartap

    You are truly great Barry I appreciate everything you do for everyone this exercise is great! I just have one question, is pressure or tightness in the top of the head an anxiety related sensation?

  • Amy

    I’m a newbie here, and am reading all this helpful info. It has made me think on how to retrain my thoughts. I sometimes get symptoms that lead to a panic attack and sometimes come & go all day. I get different sensations all the time and now I’m learning how to deal with them. Sometimes I feel weird or strange around family and my head fees funny it comes and goes. I’m going to try these exercises, I have nothing to loose….I will regain my old self again. Thanks, God Bless …I pray for all anxiety sufferers. 😉

  • cynthia

    who are you…… you know so much. I could not leave my house etc. first attack 1964 world fair I was 10. Then 1977 I even went to White Plains phobia clinic for the tools to get through. Was doing okay, Always there but working through it. 6 years ago it was triggered again…. no one understands. I HAVE SO MANY STORIES so much to say. Do you even know who Claire Weeks was?

  • Liza Medina

    I need to ask a question. I have purchased your program and use it every day> some days i feel as if there is no hope and the anxiety will never go away. Is it really possible without all those terrible prescription drugs to end anxiety or will I feel like this forever?

  • Barry Joe McDonagh

    For panic attacks you are going to use something like the 21 second countdown to release the build up of ‘fear of fear’

  • Barry Joe McDonagh

    The overwhelm comes from thinking you cant handle it. You can! Use the exercise to get the flow started and then see where it takes you after 30 minutes BUT you have to accept it fully (step 3)

  • Barry Joe McDonagh

    It can be from the muscle tension in the neck going up BUT always get it checked out -that goes for everyone! Seeing a doctor and getting the tests done help put your mind at ease.

  • Barry Joe McDonagh

    Claire Weeks was an incredible doctor and teacher for all things related to anxiety. I love her work.

  • Barry Joe McDonagh

    It will absolutely end but the key is always your reaction to the anxiety. Are you really moving
    into acceptance is the question you have to ask yourself each day you feel. Keep at it! It is journey that
    is well worth it.

  • Katelyn

    It is so re assuring to see im not alone, My panic attacks started in May during a Plane trip that a man started a fight on, he was right behind me and i was stuck for 12 hours, i couldnt breath and all my face and hands went numb and i didnt know what to do, i have never been so scared in my life, since then i have anxiety and panic attacks all the time they have be ruining my life.
    I have always been such an outgoing person and i loved life and travelling and socialising, but now i cant get on a plane, Dont like going to events and i cant handle people in my home, This is not me at all and all my friends and family have noticed, sometimes i get that low that i just feel like ending it beacause i dont know how much longer i can live fighting this, i have been seeing 2 councellers which hasn’t helped and i cant afford it anymore anyway, i feel so lost and alone, my husband just tells me ill be fine and dont stress but he has no idea how much this is killing me, I am newly pregnant with our second child now and i am constantly clouded with these scary thoughts that i will either loose the baby due to my panic attacks and anxiety, or i wont cope with the baby crying and ill keep having panic attacks.
    Im so lost i dont know what to do i cant seem to focus on these exercises as my panic attacks are so severe that i cant get my mind off them, please can anyone give me any help or advice, im desperate.

  • marvin

    i am new but i have been encouraged by reading some of your articles on panic disorder and it has caught my attention .thank you for the is a good start. it seems that i have picked up some terrible phobias such as fear of speaking in public or attending a high profile meeting. how can you apply these techniques in this situation? or should i be taking another step before this?

    thank you for all you do!

  • Bikram Gurung

    thank you so much for getting back
    means so much…
    guess i have become hypochondriac along with anxiety
    have gotten over almost all my symptoms… except the fear that something more is wrong other than anxiety.. been to about 6 different doctors..nothing! still the doubt… but am getting better
    and in this part of the world anxiety issues are not taken seriously
    the reaction is always like “get over it”… “be a man” types
    accepted and dealt with chest aches, dizziness.. insomnia.. panic attacks (almost each day for a month).. and all that stuff
    but this new one is the arms shoulders aches… automatically unconsciously triggering fear
    you’re the best.. ur emails help a lot
    thanks again

  • Leanne

    How will this help me as i suffer really extreme anxiety that now stops me going out the house, i havent been out in 6 weeks, but when at home i dont get anxiety since i had a 2 and a half constant attack but now only get them when outside an on pubic transport an cars, can you help please?

  • drtumble

    Hi, I was not having a panic attack but I did try the exercise and I could feel myself more relaxed. Thanks.

  • F Charlie

    It is amazing. Whenever I suffer from anxiety, an e-mail will miraculously appear from Barry. I am going to try the flow. I am sure it will help.

  • Judy Grounds

    I treasure your helpful e-mails. I suffer from panic attacks everyday and cannot at times(many) function. I am scared of life and it is making me very sick. I am sick all over and sick to my stomach and intestines. I have been checked out just recently and still i get sick every morning when i wake up. I cannot go and do things anymore like i used to. i have given up my volunteer work.Is it common to be so sick with this anxiety? Trust me when i say i have tried everything. I am going to go down to the shop tonight where it is so nice and cozy and try this exercise you just posted. Please keep sending these helpful e-mails.

  • Deborist Benjamin

    To add just a bit more, be careful what you put in your head, I have had my anxiety and panic under control, and began to watch some History Channel crap about this 2012 ‘end of days’ etc. nonsense. I began to recognize the old symtoms, and halted the event (panic), with learned tools, but, would have appreciated the above skill at that moment! Don’t watch Zombie crap either, everyone I know that watches that stuff is on edge, we have a responsibility to our mental hygiene and emotional health to keep uplifting things in our heads, not nonsense.

  • Lisa Hoffman

    I enjoy your emails, and this one about the flow…I have just started to use it and you are absolutley right about accepting the anxiety and letting it flow…I always say, when I have mild anxiety or full blown panic attacks, to just breathe and float on through to the other side….always works, always passes, always lessens. So thank you for this new technique, really awesome.

  • Micki Peluso

    Great timing. I had gotten rid of my anxiety and panic attacks for years but suddenly they are back and I hate it. This seems to work. My heart and stomach still feel warm and I am feeling a bit calmer. I intend to keep using this along with tapping and get back to a sense of constant calm.

  • Venkat

    Thank you very much for this new technique. You are very kind.
    Could you please inform, how it can be useful for Depersonalization problem.
    Its a great help.

  • Janvi

    Thx Joe. Your emails are always helpful. But how do you use this techniques againt mouth twitch and voice trembling during a private conversation with friends and during a public speech and photo sessions etc.
    In case you accept the symptoms in front of others the problem is that they have already saw that you were damn anxious and bang …..these people already qualify you as a low self confidence person?
    Plse advise

  • Ali

    Hi Barry,
    Thank you for your helpful tips! I was wondering if you could mention anything about what many refer to as brain fog. I believe Dr.Weekes referred to it as brain fag. I’ve had it for quite sometime and I would describe it as feeling of lack of mental clarity and just a strange sensation in my head.

  • Sylvia Fales

    Thank you Barry for sharing this. I have general anxiety and it made me calm and relaxed after doing it once. I will do it every time I feel anxious.

  • Sylvia Fales

    Thank you so much for sharing this very helpful lesson. I did it and it really works. I have general anxiety and it made me feel calm after I did it. Thanks again

  • Sylvia Fales

    Thank you Barry for all your help. I tried it and I felt so much calmer and relaxed. I will be doing this every time I feel anxious. I have general anxiety.

  • Malek

    I will try the low exercise when I am feeling a little down, but I have to say that your one move technique and the attitude of embracement have brought a great deal of peace into my live and helped me go through the ups and downs of my anxiety. I cannot say that all my anxiety has vanished completely but I feel much better than before…
    And all this thanks to you…

  • MP

    Barry, thank you for all you do! You are really an angel for so many people! So Thank you!
    Quick question, I have been suffering from anxiety for 5 years,I”m 31 year sold. And I am working, and living and working on this anxiety through life. But My husband and I want to have our first baby, but I’m scared because I’m scared of “Being alone with a baby and what if I get a panic attack” Is this a normal fear? I dont want ot miss out on life just because of anxiety/panic attacks.
    Has anyone else ever had this?

    Hugs to everyone

  • jeff klein

    Thanks Barry,
    I feel alot better and after 12 years I feel like i can get all the way back
    I really appreciate the self help emails,and the fact you dont charge anything says alot about you.
    Ive seen it all and panic away is the best.
    If anyone out there needs to talk let me know i would like to speak with you.
    All the best

  • Ria

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. your emails are very heart warming, just knowing that someone cares so much by taking the time to send me all these helpful free tips that work so well is part of my healing process. May God richly bless you as you continue your good works towards mankind.

  • Barry Joe McDonagh

    Very common and normal fear to have for anyone that deals with anxiety -never it let you stop raising a family!

  • Clint

    Barry your emails and panic away program have turned me into an anxiety fighting machine! Rarely occurs now, but when it does I just say… BRING IT ON!! Bought your program Jan/09. The emails are nice reminders and do help. You have simplified it so well.

  • barbara

    i will be doing this excersise, i was told of another word that worked and it was float, thanks for your emails

  • adida

    Thank you Barry for the meaningful tips. I am sure when someone encounter anxiety moments this certainly help to recover natural states. May god bless you for the wonderful things you do for the rest.

  • Ellen

    I find that anytime I can focus on something other than my stress, I am better able to handle the stresses in my life–especially caring for my husband who has Alzheimer’s. This reminds me of the breathing exercises we do at the beginning of tai chi class. I love water and the sea, so I will visualize the waves flowing over my feet and taking my stress away. Thanks so much for the help

  • Lorena

    I have a question. I have tried this and t helped get the flow. The thing is I recently had my first set back and I think I just got over that lump. The problem now is I dot know if I handled it well because I cried and fell into it a little. If I cry does that mean I’m not accepting it? And now I feel like I’m afraid of getting another set back. Even though I know I have to expect them I still fear them how do I fix this?

  • Nour

    It’s a relaxing exercise.
    While repeating the word “FLOW” I couldn’t stop my tears.

    My panic attacks occur usually during the day time when I have a day off and during the weekend. They are triggered by a particular situation (When I am napping). Every time I try to nap and as soon as i strat falling asleep I wake up with fast heart beats.

  • Robert ODonnell

    I am not going to publish my website information on this forum; however I am the Author of Agoraphobia 101. A self help book I wrote 30 years ago. I am truly glad (judging by the testimonials) that you are helping so many sufferers. I do not agree with all you promote i.e. that all is curable? But helping others should be the ultimate goal. You do not easily change a panic sufferer (after brain scar tissue) has caused repeated attacks, at least not someone who this has been happening to for 35 years. I will agree certain methods can work on new or newer sufferers.

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