Introduction Understand the EXACT process of Anxiety Panic Awarded 5 stars by UK Mental Health Foundation fear panic obsessive worry stress

Calming Is 'Not Doing'




Awarded 5* by the UK 'Mental Health Foundation'



This is ALL about dealing with our temptation to become 'elevated and reactive', with our minds racing. Due to our character types, we can often have very intense thinking processes. Whilst we all want to be calmer, this is a 'normal' state, as long as it stays momentary. The problem really manifests itslef when this intensity is then compromised by a need for absolute control/clarity which means we can very quickly escalate into a secondary conscious and reactive mind race, trying too hard to control our stress - the panic mind race


Hi Will thanks for the reply and I can see that I was fixing my intensity with intensity as you say. However, the journey for me to 'not' head-talk is perilous and I really can't get to grips yet with achieving this state. Why do we do it? Thanks anyway for all your kind words of encouragement, I think this is going to take me time but I do know that this is the key if we are to achieve recovery and focus in flow. Iona SK


Advice Column 2018

Will my problem is I keep believing every thought comes in my head.

This causes emotions to build up inside of me like a pot on a stove wanting to vent off steam.

I then pay attention to this which only feeds it.

I'm aware of all of this.

To sum it all up it's like I'm addicted to my mind and it's negative thoughts.

There's so much effort behind it and this causes me to have headaches.

I was doing so well for so long.

And it's like I'm suckered back into the mind game.

9 mar


Hi C, sorry very busy yes this sentence is important - ''I then
pay attention to this which only feeds it''....the other bits you can’t
help i.e. the negative thinking/feeling down/stressed etc. - it really is
ALL about the reaction.

So... if you remember the 'attention' you pay is that unnecessary
head-talk reaction - think of it like you're abstaining from 'doing'
this as that head-talk is the extra effort you are talking about. Then
you will just 'think'. That 'think' will just be momentary and you will
then glide through the good and bad without getting attached to it.


10 Mar

So When U drop the head talking and reacting you will heal from theemotion?


10 Mar


Yes but this will take time - things have built up over time so you will
need to remove that deadwood...depression, anxiety, strains on other
things that have taken a knock etc. will all heal as you start to flow
better and become the person that you really are. Our aim in life is
only to be in our subconscious moment which is automatic and natural.


11 Mar


So, automatic by not reacting and head talking?

The rest will heal when left alone.

Why do we have setbacks after so long…

And fall back to believing when we know it's all untrue?


Mar 11


We are intense characters so are sometimes not far away from that
reactive feeling. Worry etc. seems to be in our nature but this can be
refined - not by head-talking control of it though. Automatic flow will
give us the answers we just have to trust it.


Mar 11


Give us the answers to WHAT?


My thoughts seem so real when I relapse.

But once I recover I laugh at them.


Can we get to the state where we won't relapse or have set backs?


It gets exhausting

Also Will

You made a statement the other day in an email

You said when u just flow you are yourself.

Can u elaborate?



I know I have to allow it all to just be.

Some of the thoughts are not nice.

And I get tricked into believing them.

Then this makes them feel so REAL.


I have stopped reacting so much, but the pull to go in there is so strong.


Just in a bad spot again.


I wish I could just recover for good.


Mar 12


Hi C, yes you are in a cumulative build of anxiety which means you
will be very hypersensitive and this DOES take time to break down. As
such there will be times when you feel a very strong urge to 'do' that
head-talking. It is very subtle, BUT unnecessary. It is this that you can
avoid doing - as said you might feel anxious/stressed but you have to
allow flow to sort that out as you will steadily calm down, (and build up
'momentary' positive strategies) as that habit


There were times when I really felt so anxious/depressed and yet I held
my nerve and didn’t force into that follow-on head talk and allowed it to pass - it
took a few hours sometimes, but it did. Stick with it and you will give
yourself the chance to regain balance as you’ve been reacting for so long.


Mar 12



14 Mar


Slowly getting back on track here..."slowly".

So, I got a question if our thoughts are not real why do we so easily fall to believing them?

Also if we are not our thoughts what are we then?

How are we life itself?

(We are not separate from life.)

Deep questions here but I'm curious.


14 Mar


It's our 'reaction' which isn't real as that causes irrationality
because we hold onto thoughts too long - passed their sell-by-date if
you like.

Thus, it's imperative we live in our momentary flow of thinking - without
extending those thoughts in our bid to control them all completely.

Re life - of course we are not separate from life - only when we react -
we distance ourselves from it as we get stuck and
don't function with the moment that is life.


14 Mar


Thank u for that response


To be continued….

From TMW

The 'main' issue with our intensity is that this causes us to 'spike', where we suddenly spring into a conscious awareness about what we've 'just' thought. However, the typical response here is for us to 'then' mind race in a frantic panic battle to eradicate that discomfort. Analysing 'why', questioning what/how and trying to find methods of total control for that discomfort/intensity leads to even more stress.... we actually hold on to that discomfort and don't' let it go. In fact, the actual point of discomfort where we 'spike' and recognise our stress is actually the point when we are letting go of it (ref cut-off point).


Through understanding, we can see that our worry/intensity, whilst the catalyst for our discomfort, needs only to remain momentary so that we keep flowing 'through' it. Flow is not a perfect existence, but one where we can learn 'on the go' and take positive control gradually through that learning process.

So, recovery is a mental 'awareness' to abstain from that conscious follow-on....

A good way of explaining this is to avoid that pan of boiling water from overflowing – as that's what we 'do'. Our problems are simply that we over-'react' to life's trials and try too hard to control that stress. This can even be 'doing' the calming controlling thing. This is where we a) spike (become aware of our thoughts 'as' we come out of them) and b) 'then' seize up/tensely try to 'do' something to control our discomfort. This just makes matters worse. Recovery is very much taking our foot 'off' the pedal - not 'doing' that head-talk analysing/reasoning/questioning etc. This abstention will help us to 'stay' in our moment - where learning will be allowed to take place positive over negatives (ch 4) and for that learning experience to make us better, more efficient people. If that is to such-like to be calmer all-round so that we deal with our initial stresses better, then so be it. We must know what comes first though and that is to simply 'avoid' that conscious controlling temptaion - the rest should all be natural and unforced.

Ch 4 - Example - our panic over-controlling...Head-talking can also be done to 'hang on' to positive thoughts - to get conscious control and clarity so that we 'never suffer again'. This double-checking/doubting/over-controlling can become an exhausting process....


If you would like to take this further, The Mind Works is available on the 'Get Book' page (206 pages in length), Paperback £11.49, TMW Ebook £8.99 (can also be purchased on Amazon in Kindle format). There are more set situations/tests and Advice Columns along with more sufferers' success stories as they start to get to grips with this affliction. There is also a free 30 min SKYPE session thrown in where you can follow up any doubts etc with a one:one conversation (I don't' bite!).

Articles deal with depression and anxiety and how this starts to disappear as our negative and tense energy output drops - with 'less trying' to force extended retrospective control spurred on by that spike, that protective cut-off which stands out when we are stressed.

Nov 15 2017 Hi Will just as a final reminder for myself - you talk about 'breaking' into that secondary head-talking and I totally get that but just need to know how this will resolve the stresses I dont seem to be able to rid myself of. Yes, I can see what Im doing now, but still feel stressed?

Hi Jenny, yes this is the chicken and egg question that I get asked so often. However, do you think that everyone's life is without stress? No, not at all, so what I'm on about is quite simply that we only have to keep that stress momentary. Yes, we may feel on edge and yes, we can all go through bad times, but flow is the only place to be and because we like control we 'then' cross the line into conscious head-talking to 'over'-resolve those stresses - we stray out of our flow. I think if you look at the Formula page you will again see how this all fits in, as it's the head-talk that is the catalyst for destructive and obsessive controlling.

15 Oct 17 Hi Will just a quick question re calming as I get confused. Are you saying we try to force calming and that's why it isn't calming?
Hi Dan, yes exactly that - even with calming, we can panic and 'stressfully' try too hard to achieve it - evidenced by the fact that we head talk it for absolute control (see pt 3 - the Panic Scramble and pt 4 - Obsessive Controlling - both head-talking entities). The first thing we have to understand is that our stress is further implicated by analysing/head-talking it. The main thing we have to achieve is to stop 'prolonging' that discomfort and by continuing our flow and not hanging on to that controlling temptation.

15 Aug 17 Hi Will I really think Im over the worst of this now and after suffering on and off for 20 years that, for me takes some doing! I know exactly what you mean about deadwood as it's been so long since Ive felt I can cope but this is giving me such confidence now. The main message I would give to anyone is stick with this - you 'may' think you're going over the edge when you feel so anxious but if you stick at this you will stay the right side of that edge. I used to feel so guilty for feeling so stressed for what I deemed so trivial and can now see how that all played such a big part in my demise. Looking forward now rather than backwards! Mel

9 June 2017 Hi Will,
So I've been doing so much better. I'm now sleeping through full nights with no sleeping tablets etc I just totally saw it as me creating the fear. My anxiety is so much lower than before. I have high moments during each day but just let them be. I have a weird thing at the moment, I still feel detached (although not as strongly) but the attention is always on me and on the odd moment it isnt it makes me spike when I realise it. I feel so much more normal but my mind is freaking that this is the best it gets. I keep reminding myself that its just anxiety as I wouldn't even be thinking about myself all the time if it wasnt but wondered if this was a normal phase and if I just have to let this be too? Its definitely a weird one lol!!
Thanks for all your help...I'm definitely recovering faster this time

12/11/16 Hi Will I have energy!! I can't thankyou enough, I feel like I have always been close to understanding this but it never occurred to me that I was still tensing when I thought I was recovering! A magnificant piece of work and surely a mainstay in our understanding going forward. My Doctor, though he tried, just threw whatever he could at me, with the best of intentions no doubt, but without any real understanding of what I was going through. Gemma

4/7/16 Hi Will I just read your book and the COPAST theory is really inspiring. I totally get that we get caught in a trap which ends up as perfection trying to cure perfection. Much indebted Zak

30/9/13 - Hi Will and thanks for this - in a way it's kind of weird that I feel the pressure is off now - so many times you think that medication has to be the only answer and you end up almost thinking it is a waste of time trying to figure it for yourself. Of course it isn't easy but when you realise your life really 'is' so much in your grasp - it leaves me with so much more confidence and when you explain it like this, it just makes me so much more determined to 'take part' in my recovery. I also see now that whilst we definitely have a tendency to lurch from crisis to crisis, we can realise our calmer more positive state, by relying on our flow and sticking with it. Thanks for being there! Regards Jane

Tues 14/5/13 Hi Will, my name is J from Australia and I received your e-book last year. Since then I have been on a slow but mostly successful journey to being healed. I can not thank you enough for your work and help. Honestly, you are a miracle worker. I just wanted to say thankyou and keep up the fantastic work. I was also wondering if you have ever considered expanding your work to this part of the world. These are only thoughts on my behalf, as I myself am now passionate about this cause and would also like to help people in this tough situation. Would u consider planning seminars in Australia for example or maybe having a representative in this part of the world. Just asking mate, and I am in no way mentioning this for monetary reasons. You have changed my life for the better and I would love to help spread your cause in Australia if you have ever considered this. Many thanks again J

''The panic is the problem. I know now I cannot panic anymore ... it's ingrained''- Nick Watts (back cover testimony).

On Sun 10/04/11 6:31 PM , Toby sent: (see also Book Reviews for further)..

Hi Will, I hope all is great with you. Just wanted to drop you a line to say I returned from Sri Lanka on Saturday after the most amazing trip of my life. And guess what? NO panic attacks on planes, or anywhere else for that matter, despite quite intense travelling conditions. I can only say THANK YOU so much for your words of encouragement and "matter of fact" way of dealing with certain thoughts and feelings....I am now living proof that everything you've discovered (primary/secondary thoughts etc) works....absolutely 100%, no doubt. To go from the place I was 2 weeks ago, which was full of dark, negative, fearful thoughts to where I am now is simply, actually it's life-changing. So, once again, thanks so much Will. I can't tell you how much this has changed things for me. All the best to you and I hope that you continue to inspire others with your writing and advice. Toby

Date: 9 May 2008 00:49:04 GMT ''Will, I don't know how to thank you. I think you may have saved my life. Your website instantly got inside my head in the way no psychiatrist, psychologist or self-help book ever has. I always struggled to even describe these thoughts to people but you do it perfectly. I couldn't believe it when I read about your 'AIDS panic'. The same thing happened to me. I went for a test and, like you, the result wasn't enough to allay my fears so I went for another one!'' Thanks again, Murray

2/7/12 Hey again Will.

Hope and think I am on the right track now. One quick question. I feel like when i just come out of a thought (become aware of it) my mind goes blank and feels like it just freezes for a few seconds or even more like for 20s before the cut-off comes and that feels like a big Jolt in my whole body and my eyes spasm every time. Am i correct in assuming these phenomenons are coming out and cutting off from thoughts? Did you experience similar stuff or heard from others?

At the moment i feel your book is a life saver even thought my blurred mind had problems getting grips on it at first. Are you enjoying summer over there in the UK? Take care. Andreas

On Wed 6/03/13 10:07 PM , M <> wrote: Will, all OK now, many thanks, book has been a revelation. Regards, M

Oct 2012 Hi Will, Nick Watts, here, hope things are going Ok with you! Just thought I would send you a line to tell you my intentions Things are going really well for me at the moment. Well chuffed for the ways things have turned out. I can really focus on the positive things not and the Anxiety, which is a thing of the past! Been thinking of doing it for a while and I am going to write a book on my experiences with mental illness. I feel it’s the greatest achievement in my life is coming out of the other side of the darkest moments! If it wasn't for your help in seeing people do recover i wouldn't be here today writing this to you. I have total turned things around and now the happy, confident person, i always wanted to be. i have been paragliding for three years now and Speed flying for a year, ( halfway house between a paraglider and a skydiving rig), and have totally overcome my fear! Considering in the dark times I was scared of the shadows on the wall, no bullsh*t!! and I thought there was no, way out! I was ready to quit work!Its just a learned behaviour and now i have learned the other way to become confident in myself. Next year me and my best mate, met though Paragliding are going onto a skydiving course with a view to go base jumping in the future. All i can say is thanks again Will. Ps here is a video of me and my mate speed flying last week...hope all is ok All the best Wattsy


Ok, so to summarise....

Do you check/go back into your thoughts?

Do you doubt that your thinking is normal?

Do you find the 'intensity and frequency' of your thinking discomforting and difficult to deal with?

Is it like you're in a constant state of alert?

Do you struggle to concentrate? Does your mind race out of control?

Do you get depressed or seem to be ‘stuck’ in a rut with no way out?

Do you obsess, 'lock on' or need control/quickly getting fixated with things – sometimes to the point where you feel there's a real problem?

Do you feel detached from reality or in a dream?

Do you worry incessantly or feel your mind races out of control, making you feel edgy, scared, or on your own?

Do you head 'talk'/analyse?

Do you need to qualify/make sense of everything?

Do you feel that you have ‘odd’ or unacceptable thoughts/feelings, that ‘no-one’ else would ever have? Do you think you're going mad?

Do you like 'clarity' - or need complete mental control of what you think/feel?

Do you have repetitive habits that become destructive/make you feel uncomfortable?

Do you think in a 'deep' way and 'see' this as unacceptable?

Do you feel uneasy with your mind – an intense, racing mind that just ‘won’t’ seem to calm down?

Do you 'lack' confidence in the way you think/act - particularly if this is 'imperfect'?

Do you find you're sometimes ‘scanning’ for negative thoughts – almost looking for them to happen to test/hurt yourself?

Do you also have terrible thoughts that make you feel you should act them out?

Do you feel guilty about the way that you're thinking – especially with the effect it has on those around you?

Do you worry that your best is never good enough and constantly doubt yourself?

Do you try to calm down unsuccessfully – in fact, to the point where you actually tense up more?

Have you lost hope and think ‘everything’ you have tried has just ended up with more misery and desperation?

Do you really struggle to concentrate/stay 'on' task, avoid things, or find your relationships are affected?

Do you seem to be in a constant 'battle' with your mind?

Do you seem to move on from solution to solution?

Do you feel medication is not something you would want to rely on, but you have no other option, OR have you tried medication and realised it doesn’t completely solve your problems?

Do you think sometimes you 'have' to be the worrier or things wouldn't get done?

Do you ultimately feel you're on your own, 'trapped' in your own mind with no way out?

Do you tensely hold on to any positive chances to get control?

Any questions you can email me.


Further Comments

''The Mind Works'' (Book/Ebook) by Will Beswick:

A review by Nicki Starkey. The 'National Phobics Society' 23 July 07 (*Review of pre-updated final version)

'The Mind Works' is one man's powerful, personal account of his struggles with panic and anxiety…. Beswick also makes it clear how all types of panic and anxiety are related on the panic spectrum, and can manifest themselves in different ways. In his own case, this was in the form of illness phobia whilst at college. Beswick then begins to outline his own theory on how ‘the mind works’. Put briefly, this theory explains that we are either ‘fighters’ or ‘flighters’. Fighters internalise their panic and flighters externalise theirs. Beswick explains how he overcame his panic by realising that his panic was ‘secondary thinking’ - an internal process that was ongoing. He introduces a number of concepts, such as COPAST - concept of primary and secondary thinking. These are explained in great detail with examples to demonstrate their meaning. As the reader, we are gradually encouraged to find faith in our natural coping abilities..…The author uses a number of diagrams and workable examples for the reader to attempt. He also includes a number of responses to e-mails from readers of his own website ( where he clarifies any points raised about his theories. It also means that he can tailor his answers to particular phobias or types of anxiety and explain how they work.... The author has also included contributions from other therapists, such as John Crawford’s explanation of OCD, which I also found very helpful. As well as this, he provides links to helpful articles, and opens the discussion up to include related subjects such as eating disorders and medication, and how these relate to his theories.

Overall I was very impressed with the content and layout of this book.. it is written in a way that will help many readers to rationalise what they are experiencing and help them to look at the issues in a new light. It uses good examples, positive language and a personal approach that will strike a chord with many readers.... Nicki

On Mon 11/05/09 9:33 PM , Brian sent: Hi Will, thank you so much for replying to me. I just wanted to tell you that since my last "desperation" email, I had a great realization while reading your book that I really believe has brought me back to the present.....What brought me back to the present was a quote on one of the last pages of your book. The quote is "Just 'think' what you think...don't force yourself to think." Reading that quote made me realize how hard I had been trying to recover by "forcing" all of the methods of recovery in my head. I was thinking so hard about what you and Paul say, and I wasn't just allowing my normal thoughts to flow, instead, I was further 'intensifying' and 'breaking' the flow. I am feeling so much better now - much like I did when I first found Paul's website a year ago, and I can tell it is just going to get better for me as time goes on. I wanted to share this with you just to let you know the impact you have had on my life. Thank you so much, your doing a great thing, and I know so many people are grateful for that. Thank you, Brian


7 Feb 2010 09:53:07 Hi Will, just thinking last night I would write to you to say thanks! Finally got to grips with this now, so I would hope others will see this comment. As you say, there is such a confusion with our original thoughts and our reacting to them, that I found myself unable to function or concentrate for any set length of time. Ironically, I found myself concentrating when I wasn't consciously thinking and therein lies the answer! Of course, by that time - I would then question why I was concentrating!! It does subside everyone, believe me! Be patient with this and it will clear up in time as it really is 'very' simple to email - To sum up what I have learned 1. don't expect to be able to handle everything in life perfectly (too much pressure = tension) and 2. this more realistic view will mean you will be able to flow through the bad (or even what we think is mad) far more easily and keep that flow and 3. even if we do leave that flow, as you say, we just have to use COPAST to deal with the temptation to forcefully panic. Thanks Will Marc

29/3/14 Thanks Will I so get this now! My mind has been running at full throttle for so long and then, WOW it all seems so clear! Sadly, I just slip into my old habits and completely forget what I saw so clearly! Understanding this finally for me has been to realise that this is definitely something I have to work on - the extra document for me was the final stage I needed to really understand - that we veer into an elevated state so easily because we worry and want complete control and is something that has really helped me improve that mindful awareness of achieving flow by staying calm. If it makes you feel better! Many thanks Will Sandra