The Anxiety Reset Method

Master Your Anxious Mind in 12 Weeks

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By Georgie Collinson

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$33.00 CAD

Anxiety Mindset Coach and hypnotherapist Georgie Collinson offers a 12-week program to help you master your anxious mind and achieve unshakable inner confidence

The Anxiety Reset Method is a 12-week program designed to combat high-functioning anxiety, using holistic solutions that address both the psychological and physical factors behind anxiety. Merging science with the spiritual, and good health with good sense, this successful method addresses both mind and body in order to build resilience and change your relationship to anxiety forever.

High-functioning anxiety is a perfectionistic, pressure-fueled type of anxiety. Despite the anxious feelings, people with high-functioning anxiety perform well, often very well, and are experts at hiding their struggle. But beneath the successful exterior, they feel panicked, overwhelmed, and pushed to the breaking point.

Over the course of 12 weeks, anxiety mindset coach, hypnotherapist, certified nutritionist, and naturopath Georgie Collinson will help you transform your relationship to anxiety. With practices, weekly checklists, and key idea sections, The Anxiety Reset Method provides a clear pathway to overcome the exhausting pressure of high-functioning anxiety and build the resilience you need to thrive​. Your anxiety has controlled the narrative for too long—it’s time to master your anxiety and find the unshakeable inner confidence you deserve.  

“An approachable program I wholeheartedly believe actually works”—Sarah Wilson, New York Times Bestselling author of First, We Make the Beast Beautiful ​Master Your Anxious Mind


Week One: Tuning In

Where Does Anxiety Come From?

In modern life, high-functioning anxiety is something we've been set up to experience. This is especially the case if we lack tools to avoid being controlled by the world around us, which so easily provokes stress. Reasons to feel anxious and overwhelmed are everywhere we look, woven into the fabric of our history, culture, systems and family values. We live in an anxiogenic (anxiety-inducing) environment.

Our society values hard work and hustle culture. We feel guilty for taking time off to rest. More than ever do we feel the pressure to have the perfect life. There are so many everyday circumstances that can easily press the anxiety button, and most people don't realise that the level at which they impact you can be reduced. This is where resilience comes in, which we are working on building together through this book. You have a level of resilience within you that can be patched up, strengthened and built upon – or worn down. Anyone with a low level of resilience will be more easily triggered by the pressures and experiences of modern life. You are not alone in this: many people you know have experienced or will experience anxiety at some point in their lives.

Too Much Work

For a start, consider the pressure placed upon us in our work lives. Working hours have extended far beyond the nine to five. More people than ever are expected to work overtime, answering emails at midnight and waking up early to check them again. The amount of work an employee takes on is increasingly more than a one-person job.

The 40-hour work week was developed in the 1940s, at a time when one person in a household would go to work and earn an income, with that as their sole focus. All other household tasks would typically be taken care of by a spouse. Now, we often find one person overloaded, taking on both professional and household demands. We create to-do lists we can never complete, asking the impossible of ourselves. Work bleeds into our private lives. Incomes have stagnated, while the cost of living and house prices in Australia have risen. A single income is not enough to keep up, especially for those with children. The notion of living to work, rather than working to have freedom to live and enjoy our lives, has become normal.

Lack of Time

It feels as though there is never enough time. How often do you hear your friends and family say how busy they are – or complain of this yourself? How often do you find yourself wishing you had more time to complete the mountain of tasks before you? While it might feel like your days are becoming shorter and you're not being productive enough, there's something deeper going on. Many of us are experiencing a mismatch between our unrealistic expectations of how much we should be getting done and the hours in our day. There will never be enough time if we choose to see it that way. We'll go into this in more detail later, but for now know that continuing to live your life as a race against the clock is bound to create anxiety.


Many of us have unprocessed, unacknowledged, buried trauma stuck in our nervous systems. Some traumatic experiences can be subtle, and you may not even realise they've had a lasting effect on you. Trauma is more than just sexual abuse, war, car accidents and physical violence. It can result from more everyday experiences such as a lack of emotional support from a parent, a relationship break-up, a medical diagnosis, bullying in high school or an intimidating boss. No doubt the entire world has experienced some degree of trauma after moving through the global pandemic. Trauma is a part of life, but most of us have no idea how to identify it or what to do with it. We may even end up accidentally passing it on to others as we bump up against one another in conflict. While it is within our power to understand our trauma and grow from it, much anxiety comes from beliefs we've created as a result of these unaddressed, ever-present painful experiences.

News Overload

We see crises impacting distant communities readily reported in the news. We feel powerless, as in many cases we can do nothing to directly help these situations. Every day we are presented a picture of a dangerous, unpredictable and unsafe world. It often feels like it's just getting worse and humanity is doomed. Notice how I used the words 'feels like'. This perspective isn't necessarily true.

Community Cut-Off

Even before the pandemic we had become more cut off from community than ever before, with much of our contact occurring via screens. Eye contact on public transport is frowned upon; it's much more appropriate to keep to yourself. Machines now replace human beings at supermarket checkouts. No longer are we connecting with people down the street with a smile and a wave hello. Getting to know our neighbours takes too much time and energy. Many of us are now shopping online, perfectly able to run our lives without even leaving the house. As a result, we feel more alone in our worries and less able to share our burdens with the reassuring support of a community.

Social Media

Social media and advertising prey on our insecurities to sell us things that promise to make us happier. We are overly exposed to fake representations of life, comparing ourselves to edited ideals of beauty, false eyelashes and smoke-and-mirrors luxury lifestyles. Trolling and judgement are products of the toxic side of social media. We are driven more than ever to pursue material values, chasing the lie that the new car, phone, dress, body or makeover will bring us happiness. This is bound to fuel an anxious mind.

Disconnection from Nature

We have lost our connection with nature. We ignore and condemn its inconvenient rhythms and cycles, blasting our heating and cooling systems, staying indoors when it's wet outside. We're oblivious to the seasonal nature of fresh produce. We spend more time indoors than ever, away from the dirt, sunlight, fresh oxygen and green panoramas that were regularly available to our ancestors' brains. Our eyes are deprived of the calming benefits of greenery and Mother Nature's comforting nurture, and our anxious minds are feeling it.

The Resilience Shield

On top of all the pressures listed here you may have financial tension, relationship stressors, a full-time job of raising children or other care responsibilities, plus society's expectations and your ever-so-busy lifestyle to juggle. It's no wonder you feel anxious. It's no wonder you've formed beliefs that perpetuate your brain's anxiety and fear responses. Understand here that the way your brain is reacting is perfectly healthy given the kind of environment you're living in. The anxiety you feel is not a sign of your inherent weakness or shortcomings. You are surrounded by triggers. Some of us are more vulnerable to these triggers than others, but we all have the opportunity to build our Resilience Shield so we are less reactive and more connected with who we really are.

While you can usually only change some of your circumstances, you do have the power to change your internal experience of the world. You can reduce the impact of the outside world by turning inward, working on yourself and building your resilience to what triggers you. You can learn to step out of the societal ideas and old belief systems that aren't serving you and into who you really are. You can become more connected to your own sense of security and truth. This is about learning to place yourself in the calm eye of the storm, instead of swirling around in the endless chaos of life around you.

The Resilience Shield is a very useful concept to allow you to find this sense of peace inside yourself. I've included a visual representation of each of the components that help you build resilience to those anxiety triggers, so you feel calmer and more grounded in yourself more of the time – and more readily able to respond rather than react to the challenges that come your way. These components include: being aware of your thoughts; creating meaningful connections; connecting to nature; prioritising sleep, rest and fun; committing to movement; using stimulants prudently; balancing hormones; optimising gut health; and meeting your nutritional needs.

Whenever you feel the call of anxiety, come back to the Resilience Shield. Let it offer you some practical answers to explain why anxiety is asking for your attention. It can help you highlight the forgotten nurture points that you can then put some energy into and build upon. We will go through each component in detail in this book, spending the greatest amount of time working on thought awareness – as this is the one that requires the most attention and practice every single day.

While watching your mind and shifting it out of its fear stories is important, some days you feel so wound up that it is really hard to sit down and meditate, or even muster the strength to be aware of your thoughts. This is when it helps to have your physiology on your side. That means that you are meeting your nutritional requirements to create and release calming brain chemicals such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin and dopamine. It means ensuring your gut health is optimal, so your gut bacteria can function at their best to send chemical signals along the vagus nerve to favourably shift the brain towards a calmer state. It means noticing and addressing your hormonal balance, lessening the impact of hormonal fluctuations that can increase anxiety and lower your mood. It means taking a good look at your use of stimulants such as caffeine, and prioritising movement on most days. It means setting the appropriate time aside and adjusting conditions for a good night's sleep. It means making time for rest and fun, without pressure or guilt, and connecting back to nature, family and friends.

When all of the key components of the Resilience Shield are addressed, your whole body supports you in doing that inner work of exploring your limiting beliefs, questioning your fears and processing negative emotions. Each component of the Resilience Shield will become much more familiar as we move through the Anxiety Reset Method.

Meet the Anxious Mind

Have you ever noticed that there is a voice inside your head narrating your entire life? It comments on how unattractive you look as you're brushing your teeth in the morning. It forecasts how your day will unfold, often with a negative filter. It starts planning what you're going to write in an email when you're in the middle of a yoga class. It even wants to prepare the next thing you're going to say to your friend when they're telling you a totally unrelated story. We tend to refer to this voice as the mind. Often the thoughts you think have no useful purpose for the moment you're in right now. These sentences running through your mind, like crimson news headlines on a television screen, are usually negatively skewed, unhelpful and untrue. The thoughts and opinions of your mind are not the best source of information. To understand that you are not your thoughts is the most liberating gift you can give yourself. All of a sudden, you are free.

When anxiety was at its worst for me, I believed every word my mind told me. 'You're not pretty enough. You're not working hard enough. They don't like you. You're never going to be happy. This thing you want isn't possible. You're so lazy. You'll probably do a terrible job. You look so stupid.' On and on it went. Are you believing everything your mind tells you too? Do you have to believe your thoughts? What if the thoughts you're thinking are not actually true?

My mind still tempts me to believe my thoughts every day, but these days I soon become aware of what has happened and choose not to go with them. I learned that my mind would always tell particular stories and try to protect me with its fears and doubts. As I started to identify those stories, it became obvious to me how often they repeated – like broken records playing over and over – to the point where I started to see them as nothing new and rather uninteresting. 'Oh, here's the story about how I am not good enough, again. Look at that, like clockwork I'm starting to doubt my abilities, just like I have done so many times before, and it always ends up being untrue. How boring.' I learned to step outside of all that noise and see that I was so much more. And so are you.

I wish we were taught how to effectively operate the machinery of our minds from the very beginning, way back in our early schooling. The mind can become your prison if you let it – if you never learn how to detach from it and access the truth. The mind can also be a loyal servant, helping you to access more confidence, freedom and new opportunities in your life, depending on what you tell it to think. Left unconscious, that mind will spit out all kinds of harmful ideas about you. I obediently believed what my mind told me – that I wasn't good enough or capable, that life was a struggle and bad things were going to happen to me. When I learned how to separate myself from my mind, everything changed. I suddenly found I could feel a sense of peace away from those thoughts whenever I needed to. Even better, I could start changing my thoughts to influence my emotional state. There are a few key things to understand if you want to do this too.

Think of your experience of your life like looking through a pair of glasses. The glasses represent your mind's perspective as it thinks, judges, critiques and solves problems. The glasses may be foggy or covered in dust and someone else's fingerprints, or clouded with fear. When you realise you are wearing these glasses and take them off for a second, you can see with your true self – a self that feels and senses the truth beyond what the mind says. This is the pure, loving part of you. Other ways to describe the true self include your intuition, the observer, your heart, your higher self, your soul or the witness. I may interchange between these terms from time to time, but for simplicity's sake they all mean your true self. In essence there is a fear-based mind part of you, as well as a loving true-self part of you through which you can observe everything peacefully. The distinction between these two perspectives will become clearer as I explain more about the mind.

The mind is the thought-generating part of your brain that chatters away all day. It often imagines things going wrong. It criticises you constantly. It's like living with your own worst enemy in your head. Know that feeling?

The mind is an expert at finding problems. This is what makes it important in some ways, because you do need your mind to help you function in life and stay alive. You can think of this as useful thinking. In prehistoric times we needed to understand how to collect wood, make a fire and keep ourselves warm. We needed to know how to acquire food to nourish our bodies and fix a broken tool. If there was a sabre-toothed tiger lurking around, we needed our minds to respond to the danger and ensure it was safe to go to sleep for the night. The mind is the reason we have evolved and survived so well over tens of thousands of years.

But nowadays we collect our food (often in its prepared state) from the supermarket, or order it to our door from our phones. We keep warm by pressing a button on the wall to switch on the heating. When it comes to our physical survival needs, most of them are readily met. We live so much more comfortably in the physical sense than our ancestors did.

However, the mind is still good at finding problems and 'protecting' you. When it doesn't have many physical threats to work with, it needs a new target. So it starts focusing on you. It builds a strong case for why you are not good enough. It assesses whether or not people like you. It makes you question whether you are on the right path or really happy in your life. It takes guesses at all the future scenarios that could go wrong for you.

Then big life events happen. A divorce. Someone gets sick. You lose your job. When you are triggered by events in your life, you move into survival mode. The mind tries incessantly to find some kind of safety, certainty and control. But for a lot of your problems, there is no satisfying solution to grasp on to right away. It doesn't matter how much analytical thinking and worrying you spin around in your head – there is often no answer that can soothe you in the short term. After a relationship break-up, for example, sometimes it just sucks for a while and there's nothing you can do to fix the problem, other than move through it and process the emotional pain. Many of the deep-rooted beliefs making you unhappy and anxious are hidden to you too. You probably aren't even aware of all the ways your parents and culture impacted you growing up, programming limiting, closed-off belief systems into you (albeit unconsciously).

Then there's the problem of endless problems. Solve one and another pops up, like a game of Whac-a-Mole. Life is full of problems if we allow the mind to constantly search for them. This is where useful thinking becomes unhelpful, ruminating, anxious thinking.

The mind is important and helpful, until it's not. Much of the time, the stream of endless thoughts from the mind is completely useless to you. You think a futile thought, such as 'I'm not as good as them' or 'I'm too shy' or 'I'm so stupid', and you take that in as fact. You add that to your character profile, deciding that's who you are – even when it's not true. It is just a story you started telling yourself – an editable working file that you believe has been printed out and laminated. The story can be changed, as you choose which thoughts to let in and which to let pass on by. You must understand that thoughts are just thoughts. They are not reality. They're ideas and mind junk, pouring out of your stream of consciousness. The mind generates thoughts that make you feel anxious and unsafe, yet most of these thoughts are dramatic, irrelevant and not even the truth. Start seeing through them now. As you see through these self-harming thoughts, you can say to yourself, 'Oh, look, that's fear. That's doubt. That's the mind. It's not me.' You can remember to take off your mind's clouded glasses, and see with your true self.

The first story to stop telling yourself is this: that you're an anxious person. It's time to stop using the labels the mind has attached to about anxiety. Avoid referring to anxiety as something you possess – for example, calling it 'my anxiety'. You don't own that anxiety, just as you can't hold on to the thrill of delight you feel when you laugh at a joke. You are a person who experiences moments of anxiety, along with moments of many other emotions. Lean in to the spacious relief that comes with opening up to this idea. Who you are is so much more than your limited, fear-based mind would have you believe.

Mental Notes

  • Your mind's thoughts and opinions are often not a trustworthy source of information.
  • Your thoughts are not who you are. They are just thoughts.
  • The mind can engage in useful thinking or unhelpful, anxious thinking.
  • When you notice harmful, fear-based thoughts, you can bring awareness to them by saying to yourself, 'That's the mind. It's not me.'

Don't Hate Your Mind

When I teach this concept in my online program I notice many people begin to speak down to their mind. But to hate your mind is to fight against your humanness and your experience of life. That is not the direction we ideally want to move towards. I encourage you to laugh at your mind instead, like it's a child who doesn't know any better and is trying to do things like a grown-up. You might think of your mind like a puppy learning to walk on a leash, leaping onto a busy road with oncoming traffic. 'Oh, look at my silly mind!' you might say to yourself, as you notice how it is fixating on what to cook for dinner when it's 9am and you're not even near a grocery store. Or perhaps your mind is imagining how stressful it will be giving that work presentation, bringing the pressure of that moment to life in your body right now – even though the actual event is a month away. 'Isn't it interesting that my mind has come up with that?' you might say. Can you find it mildly amusing that the mind envisages all possible worst-case scenarios like that? Can you at least find it curious that the mind wants to put its focus there, when it has no relevance to your life right now?

You can be grateful to your mind for the important work it does in solving logical life problems for you. You can also acknowledge that in almost every other endeavour, your mind – with its stream of thoughts that lures you away from the present moment – is essentially useless. Reducing the mind's importance is really helpful for putting its incessant thoughts down and finding more presence in your life. Of course, it's not always easy to do that when you feel anxious. That's because your relationship with your anxious thinking is all mixed up.

The Dog at the Door

Understanding the way anxiety works is the single most powerful thing you can do to outsmart it and, ultimately, master it. The trouble is, most of us respond to anxiety in a way that only feeds the fear and makes it worse.

When you experience anxiety, you may have noticed your instinct is to get rid of it as soon as possible. That's because your mind wants to move you away from pain and towards pleasure or pain relief. You want to run away from the discomfort fast, because it's really unpleasant to sit still when you're feeling anxious or stressed. You try to distract yourself or numb your senses – anything to just make it stop. You naturally speed up in your mind and live in the future, so you can plan ahead and predict what will happen next. That feels safer somehow. You imagine it will make you feel better if you can know what dangers might be coming for you. Or you overthink, trying to gain control that way. You believe that if you just think long and hard about the problem you'll find the solution. Then you'll feel peaceful. Then you'll be able to fall asleep. After all the problems have been solved, it will be okay.

But, like a mirage of a luscious oasis in the desert, the peace on the other side keeps moving further and further away every time you try to get near it. You'll never find peace in this approach. What happens instead is that you feed the anxious mind more of what it wants: more problems, more distress, more energy and resistance. The anxiety only gets bigger.

It is completely normal to react to your anxiety this way. However, you must understand that these are all ineffective attempts at finding the kind of control you are after. When you notice yourself falling into these patterns, well done. Congratulate yourself. You have made progress with anxiety just by having that awareness. Now your mind can start understanding that this is not the best way to get out of the pain.

Let's look at this another way. Imagine you've left your pet dog outside in the rain. He's scratching at the door and barking, trying to get your attention so that you'll let him inside. You try yelling at him to stop, you try ignoring him and you try thinking of new ways to get him to calm down. Maybe if you throw him a treat, he'll stop. The dog is distracted for a moment, but it doesn't take long before he is back at the door making lots of unpleasant noise. The longer you ignore him, the more distressed the dog becomes. The only way he's going to calm down is if you allow him to come inside the house to be with you. Maybe you need to give him some attention and towel him off so he's dry. Only then, inside the house, close and connected to you, will the dog be peaceful. It won't take long for him to fall asleep at your feet.

The dog in this story is your anxiety, and you've probably been managing it in a very ineffective way for a long time. There's one sure-fire way to find genuine control around anxiety, and it goes against all our instincts. I wonder if you've ever asked yourself this before: what if you allowed that anxious feeling to just be there? What if it was okay to feel the discomfort? What if you even welcomed it in, like letting the dog into your house?

Mental Notes

  • When you fight the feeling of anxiety, you feed the fear and it gets worse.
  • You have the ability to sit with the discomfort of anxiety.
  • The most effective way to stop feeling anxious is to move towards that feeling and invite it in.

You Are the Blue Sky

It's normal to believe that the anxiety you feel is a part of you: a monster enveloping you and swallowing you whole. This is what happens when you lack awareness around what anxiety really is. As soon as you gain this new understanding, you move into a position of power over it quite quickly. You realise the anxiety is not who you are after all, but something separate from you.

The first step is recognising that anxiety is just a sensation in your body. Yes, it is an intense feeling taking place in one part of you – maybe your chest or your gut – but it does not make up all of you. The uncomfortable sensation can't hurt you. It can only operate as a moving wave of intensity that will always change as the moments go by. The intensity level never stays the same for long. It will always pass. The overwhelm of emotion you feel comes from what you see in your imagination, the thoughts and stories your mind is telling you (whether conscious or unconscious) and the release of adrenaline and other stress hormones into your bloodstream. On the physical level, moment by moment, anxiety is not doing any real harm to your body. It's just causing an accelerated heartbeat, a heaviness in your chest, a churning sensation in your stomach, a restlessness in your limbs, a ball in your throat and a short, shallow breathing pattern – or whatever sensations you usually experience.

The only way to truly move through an experience of anxiety is by learning to detach from it and see it for what it is. Just a sensation; an experience. Anxiety is not even a bad thing to feel, it's just that you've been labelling it as bad. It's simply a feeling that peaks with intensity and dies down after a few moments, like an ocean wave. Can you see anxiety as a neutral, interesting experience moving through your body?

Remember, the mind is only comfortable with the idea of moving you away from pain, towards relief. Once you practise this enough, your mind will learn that true relief lies on the other side of sitting with the sensation of anxiety. Choosing to label anxiety as neutral and avoiding words like 'unbearable' or 'attack' to describe it really helps your mind get on board with the whole idea. When you understand this, you realise that you are more than the anxiety – you can mentally sit back from it and see it from a distance. That is where you find control.

My clients often find that using an image of a blue sky is useful


  • “An approachable program I wholeheartedly believe actually works.”—Sarah Wilson, New York Times Bestselling author of First, We Make the Beast Beautiful
  • "Georgie's variety of experience creates a refreshing and inspiring take on how to tackle high-functioning anxiety, to allow more space for an impactful life."—Natalie Ellis, founder and CEO of Bossbabe

On Sale
Nov 7, 2023
Page Count
288 pages
Hachette Go

Georgie Collinson

About the Author

Georgie Collinson is an Anxiety Mindset Coach, hypnotherapist, nutritionist, and naturopath. As a recovering perfectionist and proud high-achiever, Georgie was once the prime example of high-functioning anxiety. Searching for answers, she finally discovered a lasting breakthrough for herself and her clients with a holistic mind-body approach that considers anxiety and stress from the thoughts you think, the food you eat, your gut health and your hormones to your lifestyle. This developed into The Anxiety Reset Method, and the successful online Anxiety Reset Program.

Georgie is known for her vulnerable, honest and down-to-earth way of speaking about mental health, is host of the Anxiety Reset Podcast and has appeared on live national television, guest blogs and in numerous podcast interviews. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Georgie is based on the Mornington Peninsula and works remotely online, coaching clients around the world.

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