In our last post, we talked about using inner body awareness to prevent panic attacks and stave off anxiety. Today we’ll look at another helpful ‘trick’. This is putting human awareness into proper perspective.
Anxiety puts you in a heightened state of awareness. We may also falsely assume that others are at least as aware as we are. That is why with social anxiety, we feel that others are watching our every move or noticing our every word.
This assumption is what we must challenge for this perspective is not correct….
The truth is, most people are self absorbed. Everyone has their own inner world and is thinking their own inner thoughts, just as you are.
**The only person who is truly scrutinizing your thoughts, words and actions is YOU.**
Think back for example to a recent conversation you had while not anxious. Were you 100% engaged the entire time? I bet you weren’t. I’ll use two recent examples of my own to illustrate this perspective.
Yesterday I was talking to my friend Pam. She was telling me how she won her court case for more visitation for her daughter, then she completely forgot about taking her daughter to dance class later that afternoon. While she was talking, I found myself thinking about taking my daughter to track try outs at school later that afternoon.
Over the weekend I was talking to another friend, Kim. She was telling me how she couldn’t believe she forgot to pass the topic calendar around at our Al-Anon meeting. She also forgot to do the closing prayer. She was really beating herself up about it. The truth was, I didn’t even notice this faux pas which was causing her angst. And I doubt anyone else did either.
The point with Pam was, even while I was supposedly engaged in conversation with her, my mind was wandering to my daughter.
With Kim, she was describing some things that made her embarrassed. Here I was, sitting in the same room, supposedly so keenly attuned my environment, and I didn’t even notice.
Pam and Kim were scrutinizing their own thoughts words, and actions, not me. Neither of these ladies suffers from panic disorder.
What Can We Learn From This?
A simple but profound truth: everyone is pretty much thinking about themselves for the most part. Everyone is very caught up in their own thinking and the stuff that makes up their daily lives. This is a wonderful reminder when you are in a situation where you are anxious or feel you may have a panic attack.
No one is really that focused on you, even if they are engaged with you in conversation! Other people, not engaged with you, may hardly notice your presence at all. From a social anxiety perspective, that is wonderful to realize!
Last week in church, I cannot recall even one person who sat around me. I vaguely remember a set of toddler twins a few rows ahead of me, and that’s it. If the person sitting to my left was having a panic attack (or a heart attack for that matter) I sure didn’t notice.
In closing, the next time you start to feel anxious, or don’t know what to do because you feel a panic attack approaching remember to keep human awareness in proper perspective: no one is really that focused on you, except you. Take heart! 🙂
I wish you peace,
Want to know how I’m doing so well after suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for so long? I recommend and use Panic Away. Click on the link to get started today and reclaim your life from fear.