Today we wrap up our series on Panic Attacks Info Tips. These tips are all to help clarify the post we discussed a while back on the 10 Rules for Coping with Panic Attacks.
For quick review (and please go back to read more on any point you may have missed) the 6 previous tips are:
- Tip #1: Expect, Allow, and Accept Your Fear
- Tip #2: When Fear Comes, Wait
- Tip #3: Focus on the Present
- Tip #4: Rate Your Fear
- Tip #5:Function with a Level of Fear
- Tip #6: Know that Fear will Reappear
Panic Attacks Info Tip Recap & Going Forward…
Continue to implement the 6 tips above. As you confront feared situations, remember:
The anticipation is always greater than the reality. Also, if at any time the anxiety gets too much, you can always retreat a little.
For example, if you are having a bad case of fainting anxiety, and are putting yourself out there and showing up to work regardless, for the most part you will fine. If however, your symptoms become unbearable, you can always make a quick trip into a bathroom, or take a walk at lunch to sort out your thinking and get back on track with the Tips: waiting it out, focusing on the present, etc.
This is much different than avoiding situation. Avoidance always makes the anxiety about the situation worse.
The 6 Panic Attacks Info Tips will help you to manage your anxiety and fears and also give you a sense of control over your fears. As you begin to understand your anxiety and the situations that trigger the fear response for you, you will have many small victories that add up.
As you consolidate these important gains, you will remember:
-Instead of responding automatically with fear that spirals out of control, you will begin to respond automatically with less and less fear.
-Healthier reactions become automatic. (Nice!)
-The control of the situation truly is inside of YOU.
Planning all your details in advance helps too. For example, if going to the mall or a big store like Wal-Mart is your challenge, decide how you will face this situation little by little.
Here is a suggested plan of exposure therapy you can use for this:
- Plan to make 3 trips to the mall per week.
- Start with 15 minute increments- know your goal is to function with a level of fear. (Tip #5)
- Start by going early in the morning when it isn’t too crowded.
- Start by going into one store and browsing for the full 15 minutes.
- Work up to longer and longer periods of time that you stay while feeling your anxiety symptoms without leaving.
- Work up to going to the mall when it is busy.
- Challenge yourself to stand in line.
- Challenge yourself to visit more and more stores on each trip.
- Challenge yourself to eat something in the food court.
Do not be discouraged if your progress isn’t consistent. Because you now understand the your old fear will reappear out of habit (Tip #6).
You can expect to feel more anxiety and panic initially because let’s face it- you’ll be confronting dreaded situations. Situations you used to avoid in the past.
Cope with anticipatory anxiety by telling yourself that you will deal with the situations, not now, but when they happen in real time.
Progress is highly individualized, but it is certain. If you follow these panic attack info tips and really give it good, consistent effort, you will succeed.
Know that the parameters of your world will increase as you continue to practice. If you are agoraphobic, you’ll be getting out and feeling better about it, for instance.
Remember: Avoidance Reinforces Anxiety and Panic
You can carry an index card in your pocket or purse with the 6 Tips written on it as a reminder and for quick reference.
And finally, remember that ultimately, YOU have the power to keep your anxiety from spiraling out of control. Good luck!
I wish you peace,
Recommended: Use these panic attacks info tips in conjunction with the Anxiety Self Help Road Map. Give yourself the very best chance for quick success in overcoming anxiety once and for all.