How to stop feeling anxious about anxiety | Tim Box | TEDxFolkestone



NOTE FROM TED: While some viewers might find advice provided in this talk to be helpful as a complementary approach, please do not look to this talk for medical advice. This talk only represents the speaker’s personal understanding of and experiences with anxiety. TEDx events are independently organized by volunteers. The guidelines we give TEDx organizers are described in more detail here:

What if it turned out that anxiety isn’t actually our enemy? What if we suddenly realised our fear was trying to help us? What would happen if we stopped trying to fight anxiety and embraced it as a trusted friend?

Tim Box is a therapist, author and anxiety expert, and in his youth experienced debilitating levels of social anxiety.
Tim has spent a large part of the last 10 years helping people understand and control their anxiety response and at some point during the last decade he started to get the distinct impression that most people dealing with anxiety were thinking about it in entirely the wrong way.

In this talk Tim explains why we need to think about anxiety differently, why the help we are being offered often exacerbates the problem, and how a very simple shift in the way we think about our own emotional responses can free us from our diagnoses and help us all feel a lot less anxious about anxiety. Tim is a remedial hypnotist and mind management expert. He helps people get back in control of the way they think, feel and behave.

Having overcome his own social anxiety in the past, he now specialises in treating anxiety issues. In 2017 he published his first book; Clear Your Head: The simple guide to enjoying your life without anxiety getting in the way. This went on to become an Amazon number 1 bestseller in its category. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

25 comments

  1. There is a HUGE difference between having anxiety/nervousness and an anxiety disorder. People with disorders NEED to get help that they think they shouldn’t, idk it might feel “good” to hear you don’t have an illness, but will you say that to a cancer patient? Or any other physical illness? Disorders are actually pretty physical as well, and I think this talk kind of adds to the stigma in the end, that since it is an emotion, we have to bear it. What you’re talking about us not a disorder, it’s a feeling of nervousness which is NOT the same as GAD or OCD or anything else. What helped me get better is acknowledging that it IS an illness and that I do need help. Doctors help. You can’t help yourself with something you can’t control- like a physical illness.

  2. I feel like there's a big difference between being anxious and having an anxiety disorder. Yes, anxiety is an emotion and it's completely normal – people will be anxious about school, work, money, relationships, etc. However, people with anxiety disorders are often irrationally anxious and it can be so crippiling that you cannot do the things you once did. Most people who feel anxiety aren't waking up at 2AM having a panic attack because they've convinced themselves they're having a heart attack and dying, but someone with an anxiety disorder (especially health anxiety) could. With general, day-to-day anxiety, you probably don't need anti-anxiety medication (you can often cope with specific techniques from a doctor or therapist) but when your anxiety is so debilitating that you can't have a fufilling life, then it's probably necessary.

  3. 2021 was the hardest, darkest time of my life. I was physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually BROKEN. But now I feel genuinely GRATEFUL and BLESSED that I had to go through that phase because GOD has graciously REVEALED Himself to me in miraculous ways. I am fortunate that He allowed me to know Him at a very young age, but this year is so much SPECIAL because of what WE (yes, GOD and me) have been through last year. He showed me how POWERFUL prayers truly are when I started to focus on WHO HE IS rather than who I am, on WHAT HE CAN DO rather than what I deserve. The experience was MAGICAL. He showed up BIG TIME and assured me that HE is indeed a LISTENING and RESPONDING GOD. Oh how my faith has skyrocketed as a result! Now more than ever, I have very bright HOPE for my future because I experienced first hand how RELIABLE God is. And for that I will forever be grateful. GLORY BE TO GOD, MY EVER FAITHFUL FATHER. ♥️♥️♥️

    (To everyone who's struggling right now, GOD LOVES YOU, TOO. You can completely rely on Him.)

  4. Thank you so much for this video. I’ve experienced social anxiety before but it was never concerning to me. But now I constantly feel anxious about small things and are in constant fight or flight mode. During the night it gets worse. I can’t focus on anything without feeling anxious. And during the night with every small sound comes over thinking and even and the security of my own home I feel like everything’s trying to kill me. Not very enjoyable feeling, I like to sleep. This ted-talk helped me take a step back. Like hey calm down for a minute, let’s breathe. You’re feeling anxious and that’s okay. Let’s accept that feeling for a minute with no thoughts. Now we can actually think now you’re calm. This is way better than ignoring the situation and it actually helps me sleep at night. Overthinking isn’t bad, you just got to do it in the right headspace. It’s amazing to read these comments and see how everyone else also feels anxious. Let’s win over our minds together!

  5. I need a new job and I can't concentrate on trying to learn a skill that I feel is the only way to make enough money, then I got an interview for a job that was for the things I already knew. Anxiety gone. Now Anxiety back because the job description looks hard and it's not quite what I did before and if I'm not confident I won't get it or succeed at it. But I shouldn't be anxious because the hiring decision is not in my hands. It's easier to find reasons not to do something hard like learn a boring computer language but then I may take a job that seems easy but pays not enough and I'll be grumpy again. So I'm anxious about that. That I won't find the perfect job and I need to do it real soon. Be honest with yourself and be realistic. I thought I'll put it on my resume and brush up on it later but that's a terrible idea.

  6. I've learned anxiety to be incongruency. Incongruency somewhere in what you think, do and say.

  7. To sooth your anxiety watch any one of the videos on my channel! It helps ALOT!

  8. Very good Video….. I will recommend Dr Eromon on YouTube to anyone looking for a solution to Anxiety… He helped me got rid of my Anxiety and nervousness

  9. I've worked in a school as a special ed para where it was a regular practice for behavior specialists to say things like "He can't do his work because of his Anxiety." No anxiety is what makes him want to do his work he just needs to know how to manage it. We look at anxiety wrong. Now I'm a mental health practitioner instead.

  10. Thank you,thank you I have had extremely intense panic attacks when I'm about to sleep making me to be awake all night for 3 days straight, and I have finally encouraged myself to hear this, thank you so much. God bless you all and I hope you can find peace and serenity

  11. I think this TED Talk changed my life, a little bit or a lot. Either one, it changed something. I'm a high school student who has gone through a lot these past few years, and face a lot of academic pressure. This gives me immense anxiety – I doubt myself and fear failure. Additionally, I am always tense and certain things trigger me to panic. I would tire myself by studying and pursuing everything with my best, and then breakdown with the most random, exaggerated panic attacks. My family was suffering from having to deal with me too. However, I remember watching this a few months back. Then it was very bad, I was considering getting medication because I couldn't even enjoy a day off – where there were no worries – without worrying. Now I know, though, not to resist the anxiety. If it comes, I acknowledge it, let it exist, and normalize it. This in turn makes it manageable, a part of reality rather than a perpetual source of intimidation. Anxiety, now, is not something I have to "fix" anymore, and that in itself calms me down.

    Before, all I would say is "I want anxiety to go away. I don't want it to come back. I'll be fine, I can work hard and be tired and all, sure, as long as I'm not anxious." I no longer think like this.

    Thank you for this speech 🙂

  12. I think this is inadequate. Being anxious about something real (like whether you've lost your keys) is not the same as being anxious about everything and nothing, which is the situation for some of us.

  13. It’s like obsessing about the thought that the worst you can imagine will happen or has happened and you get these weird feelings in your body (for me it’s the very cold hands and feet, sick in the stomach, needing the bathroom) and sometimes the feelings in your body come before realizing in your mind that you’re anxious

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