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He Cured His Panic Attacks with Play

He Cured His Panic Attacks with Play
Photo by Andre Hunter / Unsplash

I’ve received a lot of great emails from readers of Play It Away and the How I Cured My Anxiety blog post, but this one was too good not to share:

Hi Charlie,
I read your post on curing anxiety a while ago, probably about a year ago. I just wanted to take a bit of time on this Sunday afternoon to say thank you.
It resonated with me in ways I can’t quantify entirely, but so positively. I work in a business development role at a consulting company, and was under a lot of stress before I got to your post. I found myself in a run of unhealthy habits, shitty relationships and really feeling the grind of my 9-5. Not to sound like a testimonial, but since I read your approach to play I have:
- Completed 4 courses of Improv Comedy classes at The Second City. I had my first show two weeks ago and the place was packed! I also didn’t pee myself and people actually laughed.
- After underperforming at work and feeling unmotivated, I’ve been promoted twice! At 26 years old I am a Senior Manager of Business Development for a global consulting firm.
- I’ve gotten out of a shitty toxic relationship and surrounded myself with healthy people. Taking an idea from you – I suggest playing Frisbee for a first date a few months back instead of the typical dinner/movie bullshit date. It was the most fulfilling, fun and stress-free first date of all time. This person has been an incredible part of my life and beginning our relationship with play was invaluable.
- Lost 5lbs of body fat and put on 15lbs of muscle – hovering around single digits of body fat percentage! This is mainly due to eating well and exercise, and also finding any every excuse to play (basketball, touch football, tag with my little cousins)
- A pure focus on play and having fun, no matter the environment. I don’t take myself as seriously. I’ll be the first person on the dance floor, the person to speak up and tell a joke during an intense business meeting, the person who breaks the ice during an awkward date. These are all big things for me as a former introvert who would have panic attacks before approaching a stranger.
So, again, thank you. If you’re ever in Toronto I would love to buy you a beer/tea/poutine (whatever your into) as a token of gratitude. I feel like I owe you one.