Before we get going any further let’s look at what the definition is of a panic attack:
A quick type in Google and we can find the following definition “A sudden overwhelming feeling of acute and disabling anxiety” (Google Search, 2016)
For many of you, that suffer from panic attacks I’m sure you can relate to the above definition. I know the above definition was true for me many years ago when I seemed to suffer from constant panic attacks. Panic attacks make you feel exhausted, tired, Apathetic in nature and one almost feels like surrendering to the inevitable daily trudge off the day. We surrender our control to the world and let the world do what it wants with us. We feel abandoned by society because society doesn’t understand our issue and in many cases can’t help us with our issues. Sadly you can waste thousands on so-called alternative treatments and read hundreds of books without seeming to make any noticeable movement forward.
I know this because this is how my own journey started. I grew ever frustrated by the lack of knowledge and results from so-called CBT, Counselling, Psychotherapy and trying this technique and that technique. However, I’m determined that no one else should have to go through the same experience and feel like they’re stuck in a thick sticky quagmire. Today I’d like to share with you 3 ways in which you can make a start in tackling your own panic attacks and gradually regain control of your life.
Before I launch into the 3 tips I want to cover some old ground to set the foundation right for you. The first thing we must understand is who exactly these feelings on panic belong to. So ask yourself now “Who do these feelings of panic belong to?” Do you see that these feelings of panic belong to you? It’s your panic and your feelings. Recognising this represents a big first step in overcoming the anxiety. You see if you don’t know these feelings of panic belong to you, then you’ll always blame external events for you having panic. You’ll look everywhere bar yourself.
So now step 1 is in place knowing who these feelings belong to we then need to delve deeper and look at what essentially panic is. Now panic as far as you and I are concerned is simply noise, it’s mind noise. That’s it. So now we know the panic belongs to us and it is just our mind making noise. We might not like it or agree with it but already we can see a little clearer. So now we’re ready for the 3 tips.
1)Daily Intention: Having a daily intention of what you are going to do during the day seems almost irrelevant. How does this help with my panic?? Well by having a clear idea as to what you are going to do during the day your mind is going to focus on that very thing. That’s important as we all know our minds love to wonder and play all those Hollywood blockbuster movies of destruction and chaos. A focused mind becomes clearer and more tamed. A mind left to wonder leads to complete anarchy and you and I both know all about that don’t we? So what do you want to do today? You can mope around and blame the world for how bad you feel and drive everyone mad or you can take control and live your life to the full. What would you like to do? Great so can you think of just 3 things you’d like to do today. Make them positive, exciting, uplifting. You might decide to go for a relaxing walk on the beach, read an engaging book, spend 20 minutes focusing on your goal and imagine achieving it. So what is it for you?
2)The Secret Of Mind Quiet: How would you like to save yourself thousands and let me show you the fastest way to getting free from panic, achieve greater well-being, get your goals and much more? Sound a plan… Well, what I’m about to share is something I only recently discovered and since then it has found it’s way into every session I conduct. Why? Because it works real quick. You see what they don’t tell you in the secret and in that plethora of self-help books is what the mind is and what quiet is. Now you are very familiar with your mind because you hang out with it every second of the day. However even amongst all the chaos in your life right now there have been fleeting glimpses of your true state, your natural state. It might surprise you to know that anxiety and the emotional state is un-natural. We weren’t born with emotions instead in our early formative years we made connections based upon certain emotional experiences. For example, we might start off with hating the sound of a bus air breaks because it scares us or makes us jump. Over time this ‘scared’ feeling get’s stronger as we begin to make deeper stronger connections with the bus and airbrakes. Then we take it further and paint every ‘loud’ noise with the same emotion and before you know it you have created a phobia response or severe fear.
So what is our natural state? Well, that state is quietness of mind. It’s best described as the state where everything just works out fine. Our mind is quiet, we accept ourselves 100% and things just effortlessly work out for us. In a world of panic attacks, we may only achieve this state for very brief periods during the day. So the next question I get asked is: “What, you mean to tell me your big idea is to get a quiet mind and I’m never going to get a panic attack, anxiety or experience any negative emotion?” And my answer “ Yes, so long as you STAY in quiet you’ll never have any issue”
Your mind might be kicking in now and thinking “There’s got to be more to it. I’ve got to figure this out. He doesn’t get my panic attacks. You can’t just get quiet and be free of it. It can’t be right…” Well, there’s a reason why I run London’s Leading Anxiety Clinic and that’s precisely because I know exactly what I’m talking about. I invite you as part of your daily morning routine to try out this little routine:
Step 1: As you wake up in the morning just sit up in your bed with eyes closed. Just focus on taking a deep relaxing breath in through your nose and out either through your nose or mouth, whichever is more comfortable for you.
Step 2: Think about achieving your goal. Focus on what you want and not the picture you don’t want. How does it feel to have it? Just notice all the sensations of having it.
Step 3: Now think about those positive beliefs you have now you have it. E.g. “I feel so relaxed and peaceful now” “I feel surrounded by the feeling of safety and security” “I am safe now” “I love myself now” You get the idea. These affirmations are another new thing I’ve discovered that work really well used in the right way.
Step 4: Begin to surrender all those feelings now to quiet and just go back to focus on your breathing. As soon as you feel centred and your head feels relaxed your good for the day. Every time you feel overwhelmed during the day just think back to the positive goal and you’ll lift yourself up. The more you stay positive the more your life will change for the better.
3) Momentum: The Key To Success
Momentum sounds like something associated with a boulder charging down a mountain and gaining ever increasing strength and power. In short, this analogy is perfect for why momentum is so important. Like a boulder charging down a mountain, it takes a bit of time for the boulder to reach its full speed and power. Like the boulder the more we practice and develop healthy habits of success the more power and strength we accumulate and the better and more abundant our lives are. In the beginning stages, it takes effort and a real push to get the boulder of success to topple on down the hill but once we achieve this we can ease off the pressure and just continue to repeat what worked for us the day before and in so doing grow and achieve ever greater levels of potential. So think about what action you can take today to take a step closer to achieving your goal. Is it sending an email or a proposal off because you fear failure and rejection? Do something or forever be trapped within the paralysis of nothing. No action=No Results. Action=Feedback=Results.
I hope these few tips have helped you and do please share this article and comment below. If you feel you'd like further support from me then why not get your free 30 minutes "Prove It Works: Get Anxiety Free" Session where I'll give you a taste of the magical state of quiet. I only have 3 spaces a week so get in touch with me now if you want in. I have successfully worked with people all over the world including the USA as we use zoom, a great way to chat using your computers video.
Feeling Good Feeling Strong
If you had told me ten years ago I would be going to Weight Watchers meetings I probably would have punched you in the face. In fact, after punching you in the face I would have laughed at the absurdity of your statement.
I wasn't a believer in the whole "metabolism slows down after 30" thing. I'd always eaten junk food like it was going out of style. I even worked at Burger King for like, two years in high school. Mainly because I had a friend who worked there and she told me it would be fun. And I believed her.
(Are we noticing a certain naivete in my younger self? I think so.)
Sadly, everything I refused to believe has kind of come true. I'm not saying I'm wildly overweight and am on track to need a crane to get me out of my recliner. I'm just saying, I'm not digging my 34-year old body and think I could be doing a better job steering this ship.
I suspect a part of the anxiety I've been wrestling with has been about the belief that I am not strong in body or in mind. Because every time I had to do something out of my comfort zone over the last ten years I'd either have to drug the shit out of myself with Xanax and/or Clonipin (which did not always work, eventually my tolerance for that shit was on par with that of an angry rhino) or have a massive panic attack. Not an "uh-oh, I'm feeling funny and I'm a wuss who can't handle it" attack. No indeed. The best way I can explain my experience of panic attack is: my vision will tunnel so I can't measure depth of field well. My hands, face, and chest tighten and heat to redness and sweating.
My thoughts go from: "I'm okay, I'm safe, everything is okay, just breathe."
To: "I want to die. I wish I would get hit by a car so I could have an acceptable reason for this bullshit. I hate myself. I hate life. I ruin everything and I'm no fun and nobody should ever love me because I am a piece of shit and there must be something wrong with these people because they brought me to their (Fill in the blank - game, concert, batchelorette party, etc.)
Mixed with explosive diarrhea and nausea and usually followed by a migraine.
So no, it's not "all in my head."
I talk about my anxiety a lot because it has changed the shape of my life. It is not for sympathy. It is to help you understand that if you're the one having the panic attacks in your world there is nothing wrong with you. You are not defective. You deserve good things. You deserve to live the highs and lows of your life. You can do it, if I could beat it, believe me you can too.
It's also so the friends and family members of the individual with the attacks can understand how awful it is. How debilitating and humiliating and painful. So even though you're pissed that your plans got messed with, no matter how bad you feel, the person actually having the attack hates themselves and feels worse about themselves more than you could ever know. Because the one having the attack not only gets all the effects I mentioned above, but they also feel guilty and ashamed for losing their shit in front of you and letting you down.
Want to help someone in that situation? Tell them it's okay. You just want them to be okay. Hopefully, prior to your event, you listened to them when they said what they were and were not comfortable with. Most of us with anxiety know our triggers and have developed ways to avoid them. Personally, for me it was always of great comfort to know that I could get to an event just before it actually started so I wouldn't have a lot of down time where I wasn't being distracted. It also meant I needed to drive myself places so I could go home if things got ugly at any point.
Therefore, the awful day in Erin History when my husband innocently brought me to the Patriots/Miami game (we're Dolphins fans, well, he is, I just go with it) was one of the darkest we've had. Because despite my telling him numerous times I did not feel good about tailgating, he wanted me there with him because he loves the Dolphins and he loves me. He is a man who wants me to share his life with him and part of that life involves actually going places and doing things. He believed I could do it.
I, on the other hand and despite my best efforts hyper focused on being trapped in a parking lot with NO ability to get out at all in case of emergency (stampede? fire? terrorists?). I knew myself back then and I knew sitting around trying to eat of all ridiculous things would be hard for me. And big surprise! It was a complete disaster that ended with his friends having to drive him home (about 2 hours out of their way might I add) as I went to the hotel next door and got the concierge to have their limo driver bring me to the Home Depot parking lot our truck was in. Because I wouldn't let him leave the game entirely. It's once a year his team comes to town and I insisted he stay.
Afterwards he was furious with me and I can only assume his friends thought I was absolutely insane/high maintenance/selfish/whatever else. Disaster isn't a strong enough word. However, please understand, my husband has been through this with me for four years now. He struggled to believe the limitations his otherwise laid back, easy going wife had. It doesn't make sense that someone can't do simple, fun things. It defies logic and my husband is a very logical fellow.
It took me another two years to find my panic and anxiety cure. And if you've been paying attention you know that was due in one part to a brilliant psychiatrist and the rest was Rhonda Britten/Kripalu wellness and yoga center in western MA. It took me about fourteen years to get to a place where panic does not control me and I feel safe in my own head.
The physical body stuff I'm hoping and praying will be easier. Certainly less traumatic that's for sure. In about six months, I'll be 35. It's my goal to be lean and mean and ready to rumble! With like, muscles, and stuff. Today at weigh-in I was down 2.4 pounds. Go me!
It didn't happen by accident, but neither do most things. Call me Point Tracking Mama when you see me. And I will fight the urge to punch you in the face. I promise.