Living with Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are truly awful. The symptoms aren’t just scary, they’re exhausting and restrictive. Having routine experiences of fear, even if that fear is irrational, takes a huge toll on a person.

If you’ve been living with anxiety for a long time, you might feel like getting better is impossible. I’m here to tell you that isn’t true.

Not only is getting better possible, it’s much more accessible than you think! This website is designed to help you take the first step.

(In case you’re wondering, it’s free.)

Choose Your Type

To personalize your experience, choose the type of anxiety you suffer from the most:

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    General Anxiety
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    Social Anxiety
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    Panic Attacks
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    Specific Phobia (e.g. spiders)
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Meet CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the gold-standard treatment for anxiety.

You might be skeptical of therapy and associate it with aimless talking or freudian quackery. This isn’t that. CBT is a very practical, evidence-backed technique. It’s effectiveness has made it the go-to tool for most modern therapists.

But I have great news: you don’t need an expensive therapist to access CBT - you can do it on your own!

This site is designed to help you take the first step, and will walk you through an initial CBT exercise. But first, you might be wondering what CBT is exactly…

Thoughts -> Anxiety

The core idea behind CBT is that our thoughts greatly influence our emotions and behaviours.

Negative thoughts make us feel negative emotions and do negative things.

  • Thought: You think, “What if I have a disease?
  • Emotion: You feel anxious.
  • Behavior: You obsessively research diseases on WebMD.

Most of us don’t even notice our negative thoughts, just the bad feelings they create. They operate in the background, influencing us without us knowing. That’s where CBT comes in.

CBT helps you identify your negative thoughts and replace them with healthy ones. This has been shown in many, many studies to dramatically improve, or even fully eliminate, anxiety symptoms.

Okay, ready for the exercise?

Fear Onion


When we’re scared of something, we don’t usually think about why it’s scary - we’re too busy being scared. We can live with fear for years without ever stopping to figure out what’s behind it.

When we do investigate, we find that the thing we’re afraid of is just the outermost layer of a Fear Onion. As we peel back the layers, we find underlying fears. At the very center, we find the fear that fuels all the rest.

Understanding the layers of your Fear Onion is the first step to overcoming your anxiety. Once you understand it, you can address it!

This simple exercise helps you discover those layers. If you really engage with it, it can lead to some profound insights. It goes like this:

  1. 1 Write down a thought that causes you anxiety.

  2. 2 Ask yourself, “If that came true, what am I scared the result would be?”, and write down that underlying fear.

  3. 3 Repeat Step 2 on the underlying fear. Keep repeating until you can’t think of another underlying fear - this is the center of the Onion!

Check out the example on the next page.

Fear Onion


This is an example of a Fear Onion for someone with generalized anxiety. Take a look at how the layers lead to the center.

Notice how deep the Onion goes? You’ll know that you’re done with the exercise when you get to a similarly deep place (though it might be very different from this one).

Continue to the next page to get started!

Fear Onion


After you’ve done the first step, click the New Layer button. Keep adding layers until you can’t think of another underlying fear - that’s the center of the Onion!

(By the way, what you write here is only stored in your local storage. No one behind the scenes can see or access it in any way.)

My Fear Onion

Once you're done, you can save a copy of your Fear Onion: Save Fear Onion

To Be Continued!

Congrats on taking this first step to getting better! I hope you gained some new insight into your anxiety.

Of course, there’s much more to CBT than I could cover in this brief intro. As a next step, I highly recommend reading this book! It was the inspiration for this website and is full of interesting stories and powerful exercises.

Good luck, and keep fighting the good fight!

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