A useful technique – shift to OBSERVER mode.
Have you ever caught yourself inwardly screaming “I WISH THESE THOUGHTS WOULD STOP!”
‘Who’ is it that says that?.. Clearly a part of you is NOT the thoughts. A part of you doesn’t like or WANT the thoughts. A part of you is quite rational and doesn’t want to be tormented BY these thoughts. It is like having an annoying song stuck in your head.
The next time you feel overwhelmed by disturbing or obsessional thoughts shift to OBSERVER mode. Imagine stepping back and observing the thoughts slightly in front of you or drifting by like clouds.
HOLD your attention on your observing self and let the thoughts ‘do their thing’. Don’t fight or resist them, don’t try to get rid of them – just let them be – they are ultimately JUST thoughts. If you get pulled into the thoughts step back again.
This will give you some DISTANCE from the thoughts which will stop you from adding misinterpretation and catastrophisation.
Practice this ‘observer mode’ as you go about your day and remind yourself that this is very common with panic. Treat it like any other symptom, let it happen, give it time, it will pass.