Try to avoid becoming an ‘expert’ on symptoms!

You may wonder when you read through these workbooks why we don’t go into more details about the various anxiety symptoms. There is a VERY good reason for this. It is the amount of IMPORTANCE that you attach to a symptom that increases it.

While it IS important to explain that a particular symptom is actually harmless it is EQUALLY important to drop your focus on it.

I read posts on anxiety forums and people go into such DETAILS about symptoms – even when they are trying to help. – but the focus is on the symptom and the technical medical terminology and so on – NOT on letting GO of the FOCUS on the symptom – which is actually the ONLY problem.

I too remember wanting a NAME for what I was feeling – I thought that would make me feel better – but the truth is we are caught in a cycle – we don’t ‘have’ anything – we THINK we ‘have’ something and that’s the problem – that thought increases our anxiety which increases the symptom.

The IMPORTANT part is stepping BACK – moving on – letting it be – allowing it to exist – because, with panic disorder, the symptom is merely exaggerated bodily sensations that can’t do you any actual harm.

Look at it this way – people who have overcome panic through exposure and acceptance strategies no longer give a HOOT about the details of physical or mental sensations.

It is ANXIETY that makes you want to know more – it is a form of reassurance seeking.

We imagine that if we find out more technical details about symptoms it will help us get rid of them. But it actually works against us.

I know you won’t believe this but you would RAPIDLY accelerate your recovery if you NEVER again bothered about the intricate details of any symptom and instead concentrate on GETTING USED TO symptoms as simply being harmless (albeit alarming) sensations.

It takes courage to begin with to stop trying to ‘figure it all out’ and find answers. You think if you do that something bad might then happen. It won’t. We all think that. Think of how many times you really believed you were seriously ill – yet here you are – NOT seriously ill.

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