Like learning any new skill – the more you PRACTICE the easier it gets but be prepared that it TAKES TIME. To begin with it feels like a struggle to remember anything you have learned and your mind feels torn between catastrophising and practicing Let’s look at how practice develops over time..
1. Prior to knowing the truth about panic attacks
AUTOMATIC REACTION – (we tense every muscle in our body)…
THOUGHTS – “Oh no here it comes..this feels like a REALLY bad one…what am I going to do …got to get away…get out of here..what if I can’t get through this…Oh my god this is horrible..I can’t go on like this…why has this happened to ME ??!! etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc,”
2. After putting in some practice
REACTION – Oh no ..here it comes (we tense up)
PRACTICE – “Hold on – catch it, stop fighting – it’s just adrenaline
REACTION – This one feels really bad…maybe I can’t get through this one..
PRACTICE – There I go again…catch it .. ACCEPT – LET IT HAPPEN relax TOWARDS the feelings even slightly
REACTION – I STILL feel awful …this isn’t working …I’m HOPELESS at this …I’ll NEVER be able to do this …
PRACTICE – I HAVE to TRY…I was told I might feel like this …this is how it happens with everyone …the PRACTICE will take time to work .. Fighting it or running away is what is keeping it all going …there is nothing out to get me ..I’m just adding fear and getting caught up in the anxiety cycle…if I choose to experience the feelings even slightly I won’t have as much fear…
REACTION – I really HATE THIS !!!
PRACTICE – Stop stirring ..it will pass…got to PRACTICE.. have to CHOOSE now this minute to PRACTICE
REACTION – this has gone on SO long …what will become of me?
PRACTICE – STOP – THIS MOMENT is all that matters HERE…NOW.. I can choose to PRACTICE with this NOW. It is just anxiety / adrenaline – it WILL pass if I wait..
3. After a LOT of practice
REACTION – Oh oh.. Here come the feelings
PRACTICE – Okay …stop fighting …let go all over like a sponge … Let the feelings happen …relax TOWARDS them …let go…it will pass …it will be okay ..I am in no real danger …it is just adrenaline…stop stirring it up…it will pass …
REACTION – (sensations with a bit of fear)
PRACTICE – Let go …let them BE…you have got through this many times before…this TOO will pass
REACTION – FEELINGS SUBSIDE – Get on with your day….rehearse the truth…PRACTICE on mild anxiety…do awareness exercises …read..study….play…….
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