"Helped me alot when I really needed it. Highly informative, and knowing about anxiety and how much information it gave me just by itself, helped me with managing general anxiety and panic attacks." Jasmine from USA
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"Very insightful and extremely helpful in dealing with panic disorder. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone trying to battle the fear and suffering of panic attacks." Steph from scotland
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"Opened my eyes to what I was suffering from. Essential reading .........." Sarah from UK
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"A complete bible of recovery from Anxiety............." Jon from England
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"Knowing about first fear and second fear has literally saved my life..........Thanks Tim Tracy from USA
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"A superb resource for a holistic approach." Terry from UK
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"This course equips yourself with the tools necessary to combat the tough times and a template for living?" James from Wales
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"This book helped me get over my phobia of being stuck in traffic. It has a lot of great tools." Pauline from England
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"Great book. I use it all the time. It has many great exercises and suggestions to reduce anxiety. I recommend to anyone battling mental health issues to do with anxiety." Kate from Canada
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"Very interesting and Tim really knows what he is talking about. You really get all the information that you need." Yolanda Netherlands
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"A course that will end lots of needless suffereing.........." Vicky from Hungary
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"I would like to thank you personally for writing this program as it's helped me so much and I do hope that it will help other people as anxiety is a scary thing to go through" Steve from Ireland
How to Deal with Anxiety, Stress and Panic Attacks
How To Deal With Anxiety, Stress & Panic Attacks
Panic Attacks in their simplest form is a number of factors working against you to overload the body with stress. You are unlucky that in your case the stress has developed into anxiety and panic. However the great recovery plan (which I can assure you will work) is that if you bring together a number of tools so that the process of descending into panic and anxiety can be reversed.
Bring all the pieces together like a jigsaw and you will see a complete picture of health. If you don’t abide by the following tools or Golden Rules you will not complete the jigsaw and you will never be completely free of panic and anxiety.
THE GOLDEN RULES ARE -
Diet & Hypoglycemia (is potentially the easiest to start with to see the best results)
Exercise (again something which is usually quite simple to apply)
Challenging Your Thoughts
Courage, Attitude & Values
Support & Friendship
Spontaneous Panic Attacks
Why Worrying Makes Things Worse
Panic Attacks – How to Sleep Peacefully
The program covers a complete holistic approach and is designed to make you drug free and calm your very sensitized body down. PLEASE UNDERTAKE THESE STEPS SERIOUSLY AND TAKE ACTION ON EACH GOLDEN RULE. IF YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING WELL THEN DON’T BOTHER PRECEEDING ANY FUTHER. THE OLD SAYING ABOUT ‘TOUGH LOVE’ IS VERY TRUE. I DELAYED MY RECOVERY FOR MANY YEARS BECAUSE I WASN’T SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING WELL. DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE.
I would suggest you subscribe to my recovery program. The idea is you combine each golden rule into your life. I have put diet and exercise first as these steps you can implement quite quickly. The other tip for success is to start small and build up. I would not expect you to implement everything within a week. I’m advocating a lifestyle change over many months. If you think about it, whatever you’re doing in your life now it’s not working. So I will be guiding you in the right direction to overcome this. The success of this program will be down to many things but one is that you must implement the strategies shown.
All the strategies I have learnt are contained within the Golden Rules. I often summarize or repeat the main topics you should be implementing to help you.
Read through the course book as many times as you wish to really take in all the information. Let the information sink in and just work on getting physically and mentally stronger before you tackle the bigger hurdles in your life.
Remove Stress From Your Life
Panic attacks are basically stress overload. Anything you can do to remove stresses from your life will be a great help. I won’t lecture you on what you need to do because I don’t know exactly what they are. You will have to evaluate your own life. But if you have serious relationship problems or financial worries you should get these in order as they can be road blocks to recovery.
I don’t know if you have recently gone through a particular stressful period in your life or if it’s just been an accumulation of little stresses that has brought you’re to this point. Either way it doesn’t matter. What’s important is you have a new structured lifestyle.
If you have been sat at home with anxiety and have been unable to do anything then you have been probably dwelling on your illness for far too long. On the other hand you may have kept active but are struggling in your daily life just to keep working, do the shopping, feed the kids, etc. Maybe you feel your life is too busy and frantic. Too little or too much activity can cause stress to the human body. What we need in our lives is balance. We need a little ‘me time’ along with the other chores like working, shopping, housework, etc. Whether you wish a slightly busier life or a quieter one is down to personal choice.
It’s your happiness at stake
If your job involves a 60 hour work week and driving half way around the country it’s important to balance that out with some restful activities where you can switch off, and let your brain relax. Exercise and hobbies are also good to just to revitalise your body. If you job is taking over your life, or everything revolves around your children, then how do you expect to live a balanced life. In order to be a balanced person you need several different areas to your life - socializing, hobbies, exercise, work, family, relaxation, fun, etc. You’re much more likely to be happy if you have different interests. A book I thoroughly recommend on the subject is Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action. Please see my resource page for more information.
“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfil it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.”
You also have to be flexible in your life. What may have worked before for you, may not work now. For example back in the day when you were an office junior you might not have been given much responsibility. Going down the pub after work and having a few pints with fish and chips was perfectly normal and fun. Today you are a manager and your poor lifestyle after work is catching up on you. You’re beginning to feel stress overload. You think a holiday is the answer but during your break all you can think of is work. You’re out of shape, not exercising enough and you’ve stopped enjoying the hobbies you once had. Your body is now giving you signals all is not well.
What are pleasure points? Well a good way to alleviate everyday stressors is to create pleasure points throughout the day. They will be different for every one of us, but the desired effect will be the same. Every hour or so do something that gives you a little please. Personally if I’m at work I will have a snack (a healthy one!), read the latest gossip on my favourite football team, make a healthy drink, go for walk, chat to someone, etc. Anything to break up the day.
A big part of my routine which I look forward to is walking my dog. I love dog walking. The fresh air, the beautiful countryside, seeing wildlife, etc; revitalizes my soul. Break the stress cycle and find your pleasure points throughout the day.
Typically if you work full time you spend more time with your work colleagues than you do with your own family. Ideally find a job that you really love doing or change your attitude (to your existing job) if things are annoying you. Your perception of stressors can change to make you feel better.
No Good news can come from bad news
Panic attacks sufferers are particularly susceptible to bad news. Instead of checking the news during your lunch break, try listening to relaxation music or your favourite song of the moment. The more uplifting things you incorporate into your day, the greater the energy levels and positive feelings will be.
If some life changing event is happening on the news I’m sure you will pick it through friends or family. I can’t think of one major news worthy event has caused any dramatic effect on my life. Yes occasionally some people will be involved in a train crash or their house will be flooded, but for the majority of people if you don’t watch the news you certainly won’t be missing anything.
You have to remember the media are very selective on what they feed us. The news is almost always bad and filled with the most disastrous news story of the day. They certainly won’t tell you how Mr Smith down the road got a promotion, or how your neighbour found an injured bird and cared for it, and now it’s been released.
Regret lives in the past
There may be lots of anxiety and stress in your life at the moment because you ponder too much on the past mistakes and regrets you have. Perhaps you keep going over old wounds. Well I’m going to tell you something you know, but probably don’t act upon. YOU CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.
What’s far more important is the here and now. Take a leaf out of Claire Weekes book Peace from Nervous Suffering. Accept what has happened and float past it. Let the love come back in your life and open your mind and heart to peace and understanding. Try getting closer to your friends and build stronger relationships. Invite family around you haven’t seen in while for a meal. Let go of any resentment or jealously. Life is a roller-coaster and things will not always run smoothly, but build strong bonds with people and its surprising what love you will receive back.
“Memories are what warm you up from the inside. But they're also what tear you apart.”
Panic attacks sufferers are also excellent worriers. Any activity coming up when they think they will panic causes all sorts of horrible negative thoughts. This usually incorporates wonderful imaginative pictures in their head.
The first signs of recovery I believe are when you can truly do things without constantly worrying. Fear causes people to worry. Panic attack sufferers tend to worry about social events or leaving a safe place. It’s best at this stage to restrict yourself to worrying as little as possible. Do not endlessly analyse every situation. I will discuss this more in my program.
The less emotion you attach to your fears, the more likely you will do it with a care free attitude. Anxiety and panic attacks are completely harmless – don’t let them have power over you.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Even ‘normal’ people worry about financial pressure, family, etc. So as time passes just learn to let go of things you cannot control.
Find the good in everything
It’s a bit of cliché but it works. It’s something I do all the time and helps bring me back to a balanced state when I get a little stressed. If I have an interesting conversation with someone who I have not spoken to in a while, I make a little mental note about how good it was. If I start to see spring bulbs emerging I start to think it’s getting warmer. If I’m shopping and I’m stuck in a queue I will start to day dream about being on some paradise island. So you get the picture, I look for the good in everything. That’s why I especially like walking my dog as I see so many good things when I’m out and about.
If you’re stuck in a dead end job or at home looking after the children look for the silver lining in everything, it makes the day so much better. A great read is Viktor Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning. Victor was held in Auschwitz concentration camp during the second world. He states even if you’re in the worst circumstance imaginable you do have a choice of what to think and what attitude you have.
An example of when I tried to think the best in a difficult situation was during work. There was a couple of people who I did not get on with. I did not like their attitude or the way conducted themselves in an office environment. After several evenings of their annoying personality playing on my mind, I saw the light. I realized I could not change who they are, and to be fair they had quite difficult jobs. If I saw their good qualities I would probably like them more.
After a while of concentrating on seeing the good and being positive towards them, our relationship changed. I felt because I was making the effort to be friendly around the office, they started to be much more personable back to me. When I met them, there was a more cooperative atmosphere. I felt empowered because I had taken the initiative to change things.
One of the people in question actually moved house very near to me. I wouldn’t say we are best buddies but we often see each other and have chat about daily life. Rather than build up resentment, it’s much better to let it go and see the good in people.
Reach for the stars
What I mean by this is to look forward to something in the future and have a goal to reach for. People with purpose always achieve more than people who just expect things to happen for them. I was watching a programme the other day about self-made OAP millionaires who had made their money after they retired. They said they had the time in their retirement to start the businesses they had always dreamed of.
It makes a change from hearing about people who just sit and vegetate after their retirement. The point is you must keep you mind and body active. The way humans are designed means we need things to occupy our minds. These ‘things’ should be positive and challenge you to reach for the stairs.
This doesn’t mean you should try become an astronaut (99.9% of people won’t manage this), but just keep your mind active by doing DIY, hobbies, sport, etc. Think of refurbishing the kitchen, paint your favourite landscape or redesign your garden. Having goals and activities can distract yourself from anxious feelings and can really push you on the road to self-fulfilment.
Life’s ups and downs
Behind every person you see on TV who appears to have everything, at some point they have faced hardship along the way. In fact everyone I know has had to deal with some episode in their life when they were walking in troubled waters. It’s for this reason I advocate having a positive attitude and look forward to the future.
However I don’t want you just to ignore the past and cover over the scars of anxiety. It’s part of you and your journey to reach here. I can tell you now there will more difficult times ahead, but you should bear one thing in mind – you are not alone. There will be millions of other people today having problems and health issues as you read this. Some are just more visible then others.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Most people are afraid of dying. There is nothing wrong with this as I’m not too keen on it either! But if you’re feeling this a lot of the time then it’s usually masking another fear. The fear may be depression, sorrow or just a void in your life that needs filling with positive energy. I think a lot of people get the true meaning of life when they are coming near the end of the life. They look back on their life and wish they had done more to achieve things they never accomplished. Most people just get by living in their ‘safe’ little worlds and life just passes them by. Successful people live and breathe a dream. Any fear of dying just melts away as the task ahead consumes their lives and they want to live each minute to the fullest.
Don’t get me wrong, by successful I mean a connection and fulfilled life not necessarily a financially successful life. Just read the story below taken from Yahoo lifestyles news……….
So here’s the deal: you work hard, rise to the top in your career. Make more money than most and you’re wearing all the trappings of success. To most people, you’ve got it made. So what do you do next?
Give it all up and get out of town, of course.
Or at least, this was the unexpected twist in the tale of 48-year-old Mark Chaves, a Filipino-American who has been living in Bali for the past year. He teaches yoga at the COMO Shambhala Estate, a high-end health spa retreat in Ubud, a long way away from the Ohio steel town he grew up in, with his parents, an identical twin brother and a younger brother.
“I was probably what most Americans would say was successful, by that standard. Unfortunately I don’t think I was a very happy person,” he says. Today, Mark emanates the calm and the poise you expect from a yoga teacher, with a kind smile and twinkling eyes.
His family moved from the Philippines to the United States when he was four years old. Fitting in while being different in so many overt ways wasn’t easy. Mark and his siblings were the only Asians in school. This played a part in him doing well early on. Mark earned a Master’s degree in computer science, and worked his way to a senior management position with a biotechnology company in California.
And as is the case with many achievers, he played as hard as he worked. Mark was accustomed to 20-hour days. He was a family man with a wife and two children, and mountain biking, snowboarding and surfing were his outlets.
But the frenetic pace and constant drive to excel in all areas came at a price. Having his shoulder to the wheel began to take its toll, on himself and the family. “I was very tough on myself. Some people might have said I was a perfectionist, and I didn’t know better,” he says. “Now I know it’s actually very, very toxic and controlling behaviour.”
In a bid to mitigate stresses, the family turned to therapy. But Chaves says this was of little help in their case.
“I went through some family crises,” Mark confesses, “and I ended up being frustrated with Western-style therapy. I decided then to turn to yoga, to begin the healing process.” He discovered this physical and spiritual discipline while looking to become a better surfer (it would help improve his breathing). But the draw of the big waves took a backseat to the call of the calm and peace he experienced.
In 2010, Chaves travelled to Ubud, Bali to be part of a teacher-training course on yoga. It was his first taste of being back in Asia, and the trip brought everything to a head. Now a divorcé with two grown children, Mark knew that he would be returning to the region. Bali felt like home.
“My mind was saying: ‘This is crazy!’ My heart was saying: ‘Wow, Bali is inviting me to come back, and I should really go,’” he described. “It wasn’t a question of, should I do it or not. I was following my gut intuition.”
Today, Mark teaches and manages the activities portfolio full-time at the Como Shambhala Estate. Giving back is also big on his agenda: he’s a volunteer yoga teacher outside out the resort, helps at a cat shelter and works to restore coral reefs in local waters. One program he and his team implemented teaches rock-climbing to children in the area, as well as equipping the kids to be instructors themselves.
Mark does Half Lord of the Fishes (Photo: COMO Shambala Estate)
Not many would embrace this shift so easily, but Chaves says he knows he is not the only person wanting more out of life than blindly engaging the exhaustive rat race.
“It actually seems much more common that one would think,” he says. “I've met a lot of people since moving to Bali who have undergone the same transformation, or what I'd like to call ‘awakening’. There were many factors involved for me personally, and the seeds of adventure were planted a long time ago.”
It’s apparent that Mark’s intuition has served him right. “Staying present and centred is the practice. We will always have our memories and our experiences but being ‘bound’ to them, clinging onto things that don't exist and that we cannot change, does not serve us. If anything, I appreciate the journey, like most journeys we all take. But there’s a twist here. I usually hear how people's journeys make them who they are. Now I know that really, our journeys only help us reveal our true selves.”
In the balance, Mark does recognize that such journeys are not necessarily a silver bullet.
“I guess if I wanted to say anything, it is don’t take my word for it. Try to prove it to yourself. Become your own guru, become your own teacher. Because a true master would actually only show you the path. Question everything and figure it out yourself. And don’t worry, there will be loads of guides along the way.”
I think his story is very inspirational. However it’s not always possible, as he did, to move away from your roots and start afresh and have a spiritual awakening. So below are 8 techniques to help de-stress yourself.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to get involved in something that your passionate about. It’s a great way to take your mind of the things that make you anxious. I here so many stories of people in dead end jobs or they see their lives heading in a direction there not happy with. Take control and start to live your life by following your passions. You will be glad you did. If your passionate about something you are likely to keep doing it. If your passion is positive it can have amazing health benefits.
Something I advocate in my recovery program is to break up all those tasks or challenges that you face into manageable chunks. If Richard Branson or Donald Trump had thought how they were going to build their million dollar businesses they would probably have had nervous breakdowns. They built it each step at a time. That’s what you must do. Just undertake one small step and complete this before you move on to the next one.
When were stressed we often see issues that are stressing us to be much more important than they really are. This is often called black and white thinking. In this situation sometimes the best thing you can do is just leave it to your subconscious imagination to fix. For example have you ever forgotten somebody’s name and thought that will come to you later. Then when your least thinking about it just pops out of your mind. Problems are like this. If you feel yourself getting stressed just pass it onto your sub-conscious. You may just be amazed by the results as your subconscious just sorts it out for you and will show you the correct path.
You may have heard this before but it’s very true. If somebody is really annoying you, it’s much better to change your attitude towards them than to try to and change them. Remember you can change yourself but you can’t change other people. If you learn this, it will save you a lot of heartache.
The modern way of life seems to want everybody to multi-task, but this is stressful and I believe unproductive. If I try to talk on the phone and write an email I just ending up talking gibberish and writing rubbish. Fact. Do one thing at a time and you will do that one thing well. In any case the human brain does not like being overloaded. It is a source of stress. Treat each task with tunnel vision like a sprinter before the race. Just concentrate on running in your own lane as fast as you can. Don’t be worried about the washing, what your girlfriend is up to, what the weather will be like tomorrow, etc.
Have a variety of interests. It sounds just common sense but so many people just concentrate on one thing. This could be work, bringing up their kids, DIY or whatever it maybe. I totally advocate having as many interests in your life as you can. Besides making you a much more balanced individual, if one interest goes wrong (i.e. you lose your job) you have other interests to fall back. Susan Jeffers in Feel the fear dedicates a chapter to this which I recommend reading.
Having stressful thoughts causes the individual to pointlessly go over their problem until they feel like their head will explode (I can sympathize I have been there!). The very fact of writing the problem down and then scribbling underneath the possible solutions to the problem helps to determine a course of action. Often all solutions are not ideal but at least once you have written them down you can cross off ones that are just not an option. Whatever you have left it’s what you have to work with. Choose your best option and go with it. Then don’t lose any more sleep over it.
Finally keep a positive attitude. People who cope with stress better tend to have a more positive attitude and determination to overcome things. Look after yourself as well. Try to avoid stress and eat healthily. Don’t skip breakfast and snack on junk food throughout the day. When your body is in a better physical shape you will be able to cope with stress much more.
Your Doctor knows best
Panic attacks are extremely common. About one 1 in 3 people will have a panic attack once in their lives. This can be due to an accumulation of stress, tiredness and feeling run down. For most of these people it’s not an illness and will not develop into a serious problem. But around 30-40% of these people will continue to suffer panic attack type sensations for a period of time.
You may ask why are so many people are suffering from panic attacks and anxiety?
Well everyone is different but there are common themes. There seems to be a lifestyle issue which they have unwittingly fallen into. Their external environment may not also be helping. This may be family issues or pressures at work. Usually a major problem is the individuals pre-occupation with their internal sensations or feelings. The more you internalize what is happening to your mind and body, the worse it tends to get. It can often lead to hypochondriac tendencies. Also the internet has opened up our world. You can now Google symptoms and have a variety of diagnoses at your fingertips.
Once our sympathetic nervous system starts to override our parasympathetic nervous system our bodily sensations become more evident to us. The heart will feel like it’s going to explode out of the chest, breathing becomes shallow, sweaty palms, etc. Most people who feel this would probably become concerned – it’s only natural.
My advice to you is once you have seen your doctor and he or she has undertaken tests on you to rule out other causes, please accept their diagnosis if its anxiety or panic attacks. If you don’t you will only delay your recovery.
- Had every blood test imaginable (Over active thyroid gland can cause similar symptoms to anxiety)
- Undergone an ECG
- Ended up in A&E gasping for breath
- Seen about 5 different doctors because I didn’t believe it could be anxiety
- Experienced Various medications
I can thankfully say none of the above had ever showed there was anything seriously wrong with me. I should have been happy, but too often anxiety sufferers want to believe that it can’t be as simple as anxiety. Basically their own thoughts and body are doing it to themselves. Its unimaginable that we would have a self-destruct button within like this, but it’s true.
If the right buttons are pressed due to stress, lifestyle, diet, negative thinking, etc your body will react in an unpleasant way.
So if you visit your doctor and he reassures you after various tests that your heart is healthy, you have not got a brain tumour, multiple sclerosis or whatever you think, then believe him/her. Once you commence the program of recovery, you will understand how to relax and calm down your nervous system so you start feeling like your old self again.
Perfection is a source of stress
I am going to give you a compliment that panic attacks only tend to happen to people with higher than average intelligence (which you knew already!). Another trait in these people is the need to be perfect. I would certainly fall into this category. If I or somebody I was working with would not live up to my expectations this would cause stress.
The need to perform at a high level and to juggle several balls in the air at once is very tiring. Your mind isn’t really of aware of the nature of the tasks, it just sees you constantly in a world of turmoil and pressure. Family is another source of stress. You may expect your family to do certain things in a certain way and try to control their behaviour. When they invariably don’t live up to your expectations you feel your blood pressure rise. This pattern of perfection starts entering other areas of your life and spreads which ultimately leads to further stress.
You may even start not entering certain situations as you feel your anxiety levels reaching ever higher levels and bubbling over in panic attacks. Being the perfect person that you are you cannot let people know exactly how much tension you have inside you. Showing that you are far from perfect, just adds more stress. The reality of life is that no one is perfect. We all see celebrities on TV that have everything but they have the as many problems as you and me. The expectation of being perfect is a symptom of you not being happy with where you fit in the world.
It’s much better to let go of being perfect. Why strive for things which are unattainable. You will ultimately only disappoint yourself. Nobody is perfect and although we should care, we just cannot put all the wrongs in the world to right.
So there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best you can. But once you have tried your best and things maybe did turn out as well as expected, you can at least look on the positive that you did try your best. The trouble with being perfect is it leads to you criticising yourself. If you did your best and you think next time I will learn to do it slightly better, then that’s a positive statement.
YOU’RE not going mad
One of the many symptoms of panic is the fear of going mad or crazy. People think when the anxiety reaches a certain level or they experience the condition for a certain length of time, they will do something stupid. You may think you will harm yourself or other people, or something more bizarre like tearing your clothes off and running around the park naked!
Mad crazy thoughts are kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. We start feeling unwell and start to imagine all sorts of weird and horrible thoughts, and they start to play on our minds. We try our best to ignore them, but the more we worry about them the more thoughts we have. In my program I will teach you about distraction and challenging your thoughts which will counteract worrying thoughts. In some cases it’s just best to accept your thoughts. In Claire Weekes book Hope and Help for your Nerves she advocates acceptance. By accepting your thoughts you can relieve your anguish. By not fighting or trying to push them away they will come naturally and fade away. Just accept them and move on. There is certainly nothing wrong in affirming you are a healthy, sane person, but the more you get upset by these thoughts the more they tend to happen.
Being under great stress can cause a lot of crazy thoughts, but thinking and doing are two different things. The people who are really dangerous are not panic attacks sufferers but people with serious mental illnesses of a psychotic nature. Panic attack and anxiety sufferers have a completely different medical condition. They are separate illnesses. Someone with anxiety is no more likely to develop psychosis than the average ‘normal person’.
Anybody who’s stressed and feeling down will naturally not be thinking that straight – it’s completely normal. Remember, people who are perfectly healthy have crazy thoughts now and again. It’s normal and part of how this world is made up.
YOU have a habit
I have given you a lot of information so far but this is a really important point. For me it was good to know that my symptoms fitted into patterns of anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia. However it’s all too easy to start thinking yourself as a victim who is ‘agoraphobic’ or has ‘anxiety attacks’. If you give yourself a label you will be stuck in a box.
Think of yourself as having a bad habit (which is exactly what it is). You have probably had bad habits in the past and broken them, so you can do it with this one. This way of thinking helps to improve your mind-set and gets you prepared for behavioural changes, which will help you break free from this bad habit.
“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
THE KEY TO STOPPING PANIC ATTACKS - First Fear and the Second fear
This is why I recommend Claire Weekes books so much. This is critical in your recovery and you must understand this. Dr Claire Weekes identified in her book that panic attacks come in two stages - first fear and then the second fear.
The first fear is the sudden feeling of panic when you first feel a panic attack developing. The second fear is your reaction to it.
I discuss people’s reaction to panic in my Golden Rule – Challenging your Thoughts, but there characterized by thoughts such as
- “Here we go again the panic is here……”
- “Oh my god this time I’m going to die”
- “This time people will know something is seriously wrong with me……”
This was a great observation by Dr Claire Weekes as it broke the fear into manageable segments. If you don’t add fuel to the fire by reacting with second fear you can stop the panic attack.
The First Fear
All too often your GP will reach for medication to help you stop the first fear. Fact. They do this because they do not have the resources available to help and drugs can help to reduce the initial fear.
We know panic attacks are caused by
1 Stress over a period of time
2 Not looking after yourself by eating poorly, taking drugs, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, etc.
So by increasing your nutrition, exercising, decreasing stress, changing your attitude and relaxing you can change how you feel. We know through research and all the people that have adhered to the approach I advocate, that the first fear can be diminished in intensity and frequency or reversed all together. THEREFORE YOU DO HAVE CONTROL OVER OUR ANXIETY LEVELS BY CHANGING OUR LIFESTYLE.
The Second Fear
Trauma can have a dramatic effect on our behaviour. If you were involved in a bad car accident it may be difficult to drive gain. If we keep having car accidents then it’s going to be extremely difficult to drive again. Panic attacks are like this. The trauma of having an attack time and time again conditions us to avoid certain places.
Dr Weekes states ‘you must let the panic come and do its worst.’ When you start following the program you will find that you have more resilience to withstand stresses than before. This is needed because you will need to stand and face your fears. The intense fear you probably felt before can only last a short period – maybe a few minutes at most. By knowing panic cannot last forever you have a powerful tool. If you’re not stoking the flames with irrational thoughts the panic cannot continue.
In Simple Effective Treatment of Agoraphobia, Dr Weekes writes “……[The Agoraphobic] should be taught that panic can only come in a wave and must always die down if he but waits and does not fall into the trap of stoking his fires with second fear….[without second fear] the panic will not mount.”
I can’t really add any more than that!
PLEASE SEE THE DIAGRAM BELOW TO HELP SHOW YOU THE STAGES OF PANIC AND ANXIETY.
BREAKING THE ANXIETY CYCLE
The following diagram shows how to break the cycle of anxiety. The Positive Changes in my program will enable you to break the cycle and YOU WILL BE ANXIETY & PANIC ATTACK FREE!
If you have experienced others ways YOU have dealt with anxiety, stress and panic attacks, then please leave your comments in the box below.
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