You’ve experienced it before. Racing heart, sweaty palms, and a feeling of dread envelopes you. You know this is another panic attack because it has happened before. Perhaps these attacks began during a stressful period in your life and now they pop up at haphazard unexplainable times. If this describes you I have a few suggestion for you.
Don’t fight it. Feel it.
You heard me. Stop fighting the anxious thoughts and feelings. Half of anxiety stems from the worry you have about it escalating, not from an actual stressful event. So when your chest starts to tighten up and breathing is difficult, stop, slow down, and allow it to come. Recognize that this is how your body deals with stress. The less you fight it the quicker it will subside.
Talk yourself through it.
Change the internal dialogue in your head. Everyone has an internal “tape” in their mind depositing either positive or negative messages that tell you how to view the world. Instead of recycling pessimistic messages tell yourself “it’s going to be okay.” Develop an internal dialogue with yourself. Tell yourself, “I’m having a panic attack. This is how my body deals with stress. It won’t last. I will slow my breathing down and it will pass.” Changing your mental dialogue to a positive, affirming one will help decrease the quantity and level of the panic attacks that seem to rule your life.
Looking for more tips and tricks to reduce your anxiety? If you live in the metro Detroit area call me or fill out the form on the right. I look forward to helping you live a more joyful life!
Melanie Cohn LMSW