Searching for panic attacks info can sometimes be anything but easy. You may Google your symptoms, read a good article, or be lead to an anxiety forum where you hear conflicting advice. And sometimes the stuff we read on the internet can be downright scary. As if we’re already not scared enough!
One of the goals of writing PanicFreeMe.com is to help demystify some of the confusing information floating around out there. Someone asked me recently how I know so much about panic attacks and anxiety. The answer is just this- I’ve lived it.
In our last post we looked at an outline of 10 Rules for Coping with Panic Attacks. We used positive coping statements throughout. The positive self talk statements were simple, concise and to the point. Today we will delve a little deeper into some basic, but important panic attacks info.
The funny thing is, most of us already “know” all these things on some level. It’s remembering the stuff when we’re struggling that can be so difficult. when you feel anxious all rational thinking goes right out the door. That’s why keeping it simple is so incredibly important.
When you have your first victory over panic and anxiety, where you were able to stay in a trigger situation and let the feelings wash over you and fade (instead of bolting out the door), or where you just knew you were going to have a panic attack, but didn’t, you know how wonderful that feels. It’s like walking on air. It’s a little slice of heaven.
And we wish every time would be like that. We wish our anxiety recovery were smooth sailing, but that is probably very rarely the case.
Panic Attacks Info Tip #1: Expect, Allow, and Accept Your Fear
As you continue your journey of recovery, you must expect, allow, and accept that fear will continue to arise. Your anxiety is a habit, and until you can act your way into new and better behavior, it’s going to stick around for awhile.
When you go into feared situations (where you know your anxiety will be triggered), expect to be afraid. Don’t pretend you’re not afraid, and don’t fight it.
Fighting anxiety makes it worse. Resisting fear makes it worse.
Realize that your reactions are automatic reactions. You will feel physical anxiety symptoms (a racing hear, a churning stomach, dizziness, jelly legs, chest tightness, etc). Your past experiences trigger these physical reactions. As you experience the fears you’ve been running from, you will begin to understand that your fear and anxiety is a product of your imagination.
An anxious mind predicts dire and scary events and that is exactly what you have experienced and will continue to experience for awhile.
Why is this so important to know?
When you expect, allow, and accept that fear will continue to happen, it sort of helps knock the wind out of its sails. You will have that initial victory over your anxiety, but you won’t be deluded into thinking that it’s gone for good.
Anxiety doesn’t disappear like magic. You cannot simply turn it off at will. When you have acceptance for the healing process and give yourself all the time you need, you really do yourself a tremendous loving service.
And the cool thing is: once you adopt this attitude of acceptance, that’s when you really can start to see some amazing progress. It’s a little shift that happens- one of – “Ok this is what I have before me, I’m going to do my best to feel better, and if I fall short, it’s ok. I’m still moving in the right direction.”
How long am I going to feel afraid?
I guess it depends. I spend the first 40 years of my life fighting anxiety the wrong way. By resisting it, pretending it wasn’t there, or medicating it away and not thinking about it.
If it takes me a few years to get better- hell if it takes me 10 years, I don’t really mind. I am a million times better today than I was back then. Acceptance and self love has put me in a position of power over my anxiety and panic attacks.
Some days, I might still get knocked on my ass because of anxiety, but most of the time I am in control of my thoughts and my actions. Or I can identify when I’m not and take action to correct myself.
This is me before age 40:
“I HATE living like this. I can’t stand it one more second. Anxiety has ruined every good thing in my life, it has messed everything up. Sometimes I wish I were dead. I am sick of dealing with it every day. I never asked for this! Why is every day such a struggle??”
This is me now, accepting, allowing, and expecting the anxiety- however it may come:
“I may or may not have anxiety today. It’s not a big deal. I will get through it. I always do. My life is opening up more an more every day. Yes I had 2 panic attacks last week, but so what? I used to have at least 2 an hour. I’m making progress. I’m doing great. I’m a powerful, competent woman.”
Guess which frame of mind is more helpful to my recovery?
Can you see how today’s panic attacks info tip to expect, allow, and accept your fear can help serve you too?
I wish you peace,