How to stop panic attacks is an important topic for many people. Many quietly suffer from these attacks. They can keep them from achieving greater success, harm their health, or perhaps ruin a relationship. If this is a problem for you, stop panic attacks now so they don’t derail your future! Because many people find this topic to be embarrassing, it’s as if this is a big secret. It shouldn’t be. Let’s talk about it and identify some productive solutions!
Most of us have experienced panic attacks from time to time. They can be frightening, stop us in our tracks or get us off track. They can cause us to be temporarily “mentally paralyzed”. But why is this such a secret? Because it’s not pleasant to admit that we’ve actually been out of control. We don’t want to come out and say how scared we were at the time. We don’t want to admit the extent of the anxiety.
My aim here is to give you a few simple steps that can help you deal with such attacks. However, even more importantly, I want to share with you some powerful ideas that can help you become “immune” to panic attacks.
The Oxford University Press defines “panic” as a sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety. It states that the origin of the word is from the name of the Greek God Pan, noted for causing terror. Panic attacks can feel like emotional terror.
Stop panic attacks by realizing that they are based on worry and fear. Whenever I’ve had a panic attack, it has always been preceded by thoughts of worry, fear, apprehension, and a lack of confidence. My mind was controlling my body. Have you ever heard of two people who have the same terminal disease and one lives and the other dies? What was the difference? I believe it’s how they saw their illnesses. One accepted the fact that he was going to die and the other decided that he was going to live. Their minds dictated the outcomes to their bodies.
I believe that most panic attacks begin with worry. Our mind can go in circles when we worry about something and we often think of the worst. That could make us panic. Dale Carnegie, author of the famous “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book, wrote another book which I feel is a great resource to help with worry. It’s called “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” In that book, he suggests living in day-tight compartments. Focusing on doing our best today. He also suggests that we write down a clear description of what we’re worried about, what we would do if the worst were to happen, and then write down a plan to deal with the worst outcome. That process could help tremendously in averting panic attacks.
How to stop panic attacks with positive affirmations? What is the opposite of worry? Confidence. If you were totally confident about your future, would you worry about anything? I don’t think so. Would you live a more calm and peaceful life? I do believe you would. Would you be prone to panic attacks? I don’t think so. Thus, let’s start improving your life immediately by giving you some positive affirmations that I would ask you to read, out loud, the first thing every morning and the last thing each night. Those are the two times your subconscious mind is most open to suggestion. By the way, the first 15 minutes of every day will set your mood for the whole day!
By declaring positive, productive affirmations on a daily basis, we can re-program the subconscious mind just the way we would re-program a computer with better software. Create a laminated card, about the size of a business card, which will become your “Power Card”, and type the following affirmations on it:
“Everything I touch prospers and succeeds! I am a calm and peaceful person, make good decisions, create great relationships, and take care of my health. I am confident about my life and my future and I am a Champion!”
Keep this card with you at all times. Whenever you may feel anxiety, take this card out and declare the positive affirmations without analysis. Just say them out loud. This will become a strong antidote to help calm things down.
How to stop panic attacks was an important subject for me in the past. Having experienced a number of panic attacks during my life, I can tell you that, to me, they felt like a freight train coming right at me. It was as if that train was going to run right over me. The anxiety level was way out of control. Does this sound familiar? When the process begins, it is usually as a result of high anxiety. Anxiety is a response to a danger or a threat. As thoughts of fear and confusion flood the mind, the body responds accordingly. It’s as if that freight train is speeding down the track, totally out of control!
A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Therein lies one of the keys to panic attacks. We feel that we have no real control over the situation and we literally let the situation get out of control. After all, there is that freight train coming right at me. I used to envision a panic attack as a big monster over which I had no power. I thought that monster was going to inflict on me some serious physical harm with some life-threatening conditions. That was my mind speeding along, out of control, like that freight train I envisioned.
I was sure that my fast heartbeat could lead to a heart attack, that I might die from the panic attack and that I’d stop breathing. Sometimes, my vision would get blurred, I’d feel nausea, sweating, trembling, shaking, and my muscles tightened up. I’d feel very hot or very cold, as well as tired and drained.
I eventually went to a doctor and had a physical. I was fine. A visit to a cardiologist proved that I had no heart problems. These are very important steps to take so that you can put your mind at rest about any medical concerns.
How to stop panic attacks? You’ll help stop them by seeing a doctor. It was valuable to learn from my doctors that a panic attack cannot stop one’s breathing. It is just physically impossible. The parasympathetic nervous system acts as a safety brake and returns the body to normal functioning whether we command it or not. In fact, we humans have numerous built-in systems that protect us and help us survive. It’s like a scale that’s tilted too heavily toward one side and then, automatically, it levels out and becomes balanced.
Thus, when a panic attack occurs, there is no real attack or attacker. There is no real threat and no real danger. The body is simply reacting to destructive thoughts with a series of very disturbing bodily sensations. That perceived freight train is not going to run over you. There will not be a damaging collision that will cause you psychological or physical damage. Now that we’ve cleared the air about what will not happen during a panic attack, let’s shrink this perceived monster down to size.
How to stop panic attacks by changing the way you perceive them? Once I realized that there was nothing physically wrong with me, by seeing several doctors, I had to change my view of a panic attack. Since no actual physical or psychological harm could come to me from such an attack, why was I seeing a panic attack as a monster? I decided to start seeing it as a disrespectful, defiant, obnoxious little child. And, whenever I felt a panic attack coming on, I pretended to talk to that bratty child by saying: “You’re having a temper tantrum again, aren’t you?”
That’s when I created my highly-productive process for overcoming panic attacks. I called it The Time Out Theory or simply The TOT System. If your child was disrespectful, defiant, and obnoxious, wouldn’t you resort to a little TIMEOUT?
When my children were small, that’s exactly what we had to do sometimes. And that’s what I suggest you do with your anxiety attacks. Here are the specific steps that I suggest you follow if you feel a panic attack coming on:
How to stop panic attacks? By doing the above 3 steps. You’ll shrink the perceived monster down to size and give it the identity of a small, disrespectful, defiant, and obnoxious tot. What do little kids do when we encourage them, while in the corner, to be even more obnoxious? They eventually get bored and stop.
You’re literally telling your body that whatever bad symptoms you’re currently experiencing, you’re not afraid of those symptoms intensifying because you now know that no physical or psychological harm will come to you as a result of this.
In addition, by seeing that whiny child in the corner, you have physically taken the perceived panic attack out of your body and put some distance between you and it.
By allowing a panic attack to run its course without fear, you are literally getting on that train that you thought was coming right at you and you’re going to take it for a ride.
The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between something real and something imagined. Thus, the more times you follow the TOT System, the more real your perceptions will become and the more effective this process will be.
How to stop panic attacks? Use these simple ideas on a regular basis. One day you may find that you have become so good at this that you’ll be able to stop a panic attack before it even gets a chance to get going.
“I’m a calm and peaceful person. I am confident about my life and my future! “
Related Article: Peacefulness is Important!
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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger