PanicTermination » September 6, 2016

Daily Archives: September 6, 2016

Intrusive Thoughts in Panic Disorder: The Chaos You Face in Extreme Anxiety

Himanshu Dani

In almost all cases of Panic Disorder‚ the driving factor fuelling the sensations is anxious thinking. 

Without addressing these specific intrusive thoughts in panic disorder‚ there can be little success in eliminating the root of the anxiety.

People who experience anxiety and panic attacks frequently have to deal with the negative side–effects of unwanted thoughts that creep into their minds. 

These thoughts can range from worries about health‚ concern over loved ones‚ or even fears that do not make any rational sense at all but continue to linger in the mind.

Sometimes‚ the unwanted intrusive thoughts come from previous experiences; other times they are simply bizarre‚ leaving the person worried as to why such strange thoughts are occurring.

In all these cases‚ the person is upset by the anxious thoughts because they are causing distress and worry. I will guide you through a simple two–step process that is in part related to the One Move which I teach but tailored specifically to dealing with anxious thinking.

In all these cases‚ the person is upset by the anxious thoughts because they are causing distress and worry. I will guide you through a simple two–step process that is in part related to the One Move which I teach but tailored specifically to dealing with anxious thinking.

Anxious Intrusive Thoughts in Panic Disorder

Tackling anxious intrusive thinking effectively requires a two–pronged approach. To eliminate the negative thinking patterns‚ there needs to be a shift in attitude along with specific visualization tools.

The Attitude Shift is going to be the First Step

It is not the intrusive thoughts in themselves that cause you distress. It is how you are responding to those thoughts. It is the reaction you are having to the thoughts that enable them to have influence and power over you. In order to better understand how unwanted thoughts come about‚, it helps to paint a playful visual picture of how this happens. This is a fictional example and will help you better understand how to deal with the issue.

Imagine,

You are standing on a street and all around you thoughts are floating lazily by. Some of the thoughts are your own‚ other thoughts are from outside sources you access such as newspapers‚ TV‚ magazines‚ etc. You notice that when you pay attention to a thought it gravitates nearer. The thoughts you ignore float on by.

When you focus and examine a thought up closely‚ you notice how it connects to another similar thought‚ and you find yourself jumping from one thought to the next. Sometimes these are practical‚ day–to–day thoughts such as bills‚ chores‚ etc.‚ or the thoughts can theme by the past or a fantasy/daydream.

In our imagined scenario‚

You unexpectedly notice a thought hovering in front of you that scares you. This thought is called “Fear X.” X could be panic attacks‚ ill health‚ or something bizarre. You find it impossible not to look at the thought‚ and as you give it your full attention‚ this causes it to come closer and closer. When you examine the thought‚ you begin to react with fear as you do not like what you see. You further notice how that initial scary thought is connected to more worrying “what if” thoughts that you also examine in detail. The more you try to escape from the thought by pushing it away‚ the more it seems to follow you around as if it were stuck to you. You try to focus on more pleasant thoughts‚ but you find yourself continuously coming back to the fearful thought.

Intrusive Thoughts in Panic Disorder: The anticipation of Anxiety

There is an expression of “thoughts sticking like glue.”

The very act of reacting emotionally to the thought glues the thought all the more to you‚ and the more time you spend worrying and obsessing about the thought‚ the more that glue becomes hardened over time. The thought and all its associated connected thoughts are there in the morning when you wake and there at night when you are trying to get some sleep.

The thought becomes stuck because your emotional reaction to it is its sticking power! 

Thoughts are a form of energy‚ neither good nor bad. It is how we judge those thoughts that determines how much impact they have on our lives. Thoughts need firstly to be fed by attention‚ but what they really love is a good strong emotional reaction to make them stick!

Thoughts that stay with us are first attracted to us by the attention we pay them and then stuck firmly in place by the level of emotional reaction we have to them.

This is an important point

A thought–even negative intrusive thoughts–can only have an influence on you if you allow it to. The emotional reaction from us is a thought’s energy source. What’s interesting is that either a positive or a negative emotional reaction is fine for the thought. Energy and attention are what it is attracted to. Once you are having an emotional reaction to a thought‚ you will be regularly drawn to that thought until the emotional reaction has lost its energy and faded away.

For example‚

If someone you know pays you a very positive compliment‚ you may find yourself unintentionally drawn to that thought anytime you have a spare moment. You probably find it improves your overall level of confidence and mood throughout the day.

Sadly, however, we tend to focus less on the positive and more on the negative. We seem to forget those positive compliments all too easily and are drawn more frequently to what might upset us.

Taking the opposite example‚ if someone you know insults you‚ I am sure that you find the emotional reaction to that thought much more intense and probably very long–lasting.

So what has to be the best way to eliminate Intrusive Thoughts in Panic Disorder?

If you are not engaged in an activity or task‚ your mind will tend to wander to any thoughts that you are having a strong emotional reaction to. In general‚ as they are the ones that you are probably reacting most strongly to‚ angry or fearful thoughts seem to surface quickly.

Suppressing the Thoughts won’t help!

What I am suggesting is that suppressing the Intrusive thoughts in panic disorder is the most ineffective way to get rid of them.

Thought suppression studies‚ (Wegner‚ Schneider‚ Carter‚ & White‚ 1987) have proven that the very act of trying to suppress a thought‚ only results in a higher frequency of unwanted intrusive thoughts occurring.

This reoccurrence of the thought has been termed the ‘rebound effect’.

Simply put: The more you try suppressing a thought‚ the more the unwanted thought keeps popping up (rebounding).

Next readHow To Eliminate Intrusive Thoughts If You Suffer Panic Disorder

Published by:

3 Panic Attack tricks That Will Actually Make Your Life Better

Himanshu Dani

I understand it’s a very difficult condition.

I suffered from Panic Disorder for 4 years and once I coincidentally came across the techniques about managing anxiety and panic attacks taught by Anxiety Coach Barry McDonagh.

I realized that I was behaving in certain ways which were empowering my fear and frustration. Actually, I was thinking that my attitude towards this problem would help me get rid of panic. But the truth was contrary. By behaving and thinking in those ways I was actually fueling my anxiety and panic.

Therefore, examining my thinking styles and behavior patterns and changing them so as to get out of the suffering was important. I understood this thing and I implemented these three changes in my behavior whenever I had anxiety or panic attack. That resulted in a reduction in my anxiety and gave me the confidence to face my fears. Of course, it needed practice and that didn’t happen overnight.

Anxiety Coach and Author Barry McDonagh!          explains 3 Things Not to Do During A Panic Attack

If you learn and implement these three things consciously in your daily life your distress will get reduced and you will gain confidence to live your life without fear.

They are:

Panic Attack Trick 1: Do NOT RESIST a panic attack

The number one mistake people make when they feel a panic attack begin, is to try and fight or resist it. It is an automatic response to want to fight the panic off but it does not help, in fact, it makes matters worse. What we resist persists.

When you try to fight it only becomes more and more intense. You feel you are trying to save your life with this behavior but it doesn’t help. You fall into a turmoil of anxiety and panic. You need to adopt a new approach of ‘non-resistant flow.’

Whenever you feel anxious and panicky don’t resist it. Instead, welcome it. Request or Beg it to get worse. Act as if you expected it and you badly want it. As you do it, it begins to fade. This is called Paradoxical Intention and it is the fastest way to end a panic attack.

so, the first panic attack trick is – Do not resist a panic attack. Let it happen and lose power over you.

Panic keeps on getting intense because you fear it and interpret it as dangerous. When you don’t fear it and welcome it and tell it to get worse, it actually subsides. It is basically a fear of fear, and when you learn not to fear the fear intensity of panic decreases. Anxiety and Panic increase when resisted or feared and subside when ignored with proper techniques.

Panic Attack Trick 2: Do NOT fear ‘losing control’ in panic attack

The second mistake people make when having a panic attack is to fear they are going to lose control of their body or their minds.

You fear it will cause you to faint or cause a seizure or even paralyze you. You apprehend that you are about to loose your mind and you will hurt yourself or anybody.

Many people get the feeling that the are going insane. But, none of these fears are real. Nothing like this happens.

These are the symptoms of panic and anxiety. Negative feelings and perceptions are the symptoms of this problem. They are temporary and pass away sooner or later.

I understand it is extremely difficult to bear these fears when you are in social situations or outside at your workplace or wherever. I’ve suffered it. The dread is impossible to explain with words.

The second panic attack trick is – Understanding that panic attack does not cause fainting. Your body and mind are well able to handle the heightened nervous arousal of a panic attack. Learn how to let go of this fear.

Panic Attack Trick 3: Do NOT think panic attack will last forever

Panic attacks have a natural cycle of peaking and then easing off. Like a wave rising and falling, they do pass. Remind yourself of this fact when you fear the panic attack will never end. It will never escalate to the point of no return. Sooner or later our body slows down and we find the fear is subsiding.

Thinking that this condition of the panic attack itself will last forever is a kind of negative thinking. You might have suffered many panic attacks in the past and you can recall that they eventually ended. Your thinking actually empowers panic and makes you a week person. So the third panic attack trick is – You need to give up this attitude.

Anxiety is making you a strong human being because you are enduring a great deal fo fear. It takes a ton of guts and endurance to face such kind of overwhelming fear and you must be glad, you are so strong. Soon you will realize it that you can handle it and get cured.

Take care

Published by:

Recovery from Panic Attacks: Do not count Setbacks

Himanshu Dani

The process of Recovery from Panic surely has setbacks!

Have you ever wondered why people often experience setbacks when they begin to tackle their anxiety and want Recovery from panic attacks?

Setbacks happen because, as you face your anxiety and the situations that make you feel uncomfortable, the avoidant/protective side of your personality becomes active.

When you decide to tackle your anxiety issue head on, recovery from panic attacks will definitely happen.

Your protective side doesn’t like taking risks and feels better when you don’t put yourself in situations that make you feel anxious.

It’s the part of you that says:

“Let’s stay in our comfort zone today. At least we’re safe here.”

This part of your personality has your interests at heart, but you know deep down that a life cocooned from all adversity doesn’t lead to happiness.

When you begin your healing journey, it’s all new and it can feel like you’re moving into unknown territory. You quickly master areas of your life that were causing you problems.

Your protective side takes a back seat and watches with suspicion as you make this progress. Then, after a while, your protective side becomes more active for fear that, with all this progress, a great fall must be just around the corner.

As you move upward and onward, your protective side gets scared and tries to put on the brakes. This creates a conflict and fuels feelings of anxiety.

The feelings can be very intense and might be similar to what you’ve experienced before such as panic and general unease or there may be new sensations never experienced before.

You might have been doing really well for a week, but then your protective side pops its head up and says something like this:

“Okay, well done. We’re not worried about dizzy spells anymore -fine. But what’s that ringing in your ear?”

“That sounds like trouble to me . . . LET’S GET WORRIED.

“No panic attacks in a week-great. But don’t be fooled. That means a really BIG one is about to pounce!”

These thoughts undermine your confidence. Suddenly you’re feeling vulnerable again, and the anxiety can return as your confidence dips and you obsess again about the way you feel.

This kind of response is natural in recovery from panic attacks, and if you’ve experienced a setback recently, I want to show you how to best deal with it.

Recovery from Panic will only happen if you ignore Setbacks:

The first thing to remember on the road to recovery from panic attacks is that setbacks happen. Try to never let a setback convince you that you’re not making progress. It doesn’t mean that all your progress has been undone.

In general, setbacks are inevitable, and you need to have an accepting attitude toward them.

Secondly, setbacks form part of your healing.

To move beyond the anxiety, you need to work with the protective side of your personality and teach it that there really is nothing to fear.

When setbacks occur, it’s an indication that you now need to take your new understanding and work with your protective side, which is resisting the change.

You might want to think of that protective side as a small child who doesn’t want you (the parent) to take risks or do anything out of your comfort zone. Talk to this part yourself.

Reassure it that all will be well and that it’s necessary for you to work through the anxiety in order to experience more freedom and happiness.

Setbacks can feel like a big step backward, but they’re generally followed by rapid progress on many levels if you engage fully with this protective side of yourself.

There’s an opportunity here for you to create a new working relationship with your protective self, and this will really seal your recovery from panic attacks.

When you educate your protective self that you’re really safe and encourage it to take the steps with you, you become fully empowered to end your anxiety problem. All of your internal energies go in the same direction, and there’s no conflict.

Persistence is the key:

If you are determined to achieve recovery from Panic attacks, persistence will carry you through all setbacks and ensure your success.

Keep your confidence intact. Build it on the past, on each time you’ve succeeded.

Play those previous successes like a film in your head, again and again, each night as you go to sleep. All the panic attacks you’ve dealt with, all the sensations of anxiety you’ve felt and yet you still got on with it.

General anxiety disorder and, especially, panic attacks are probably the most frightening experiences a person can go through. In most cases, you feel like you’ve had a brush with death itself. That’s no small feat to deal with while on your lunch break!

Courage will give rewards:

Be proud of your experiences. You’re not a cowardly victim, but a survivor of a terrifying experience and what’s more, you probably stayed at work or collected the kids from school.

You continued living.

Sure, there may be a few hairy anxiety memories in the past that you’d prefer to forget, but the underlying emotion to build upon is that you survived and you’re here now, alive and living a new day. This attitude is necessary for recovery from panic attacks and general anxiety.

Build a wealth of memories, and they’ll be your resource from which to draw strength. Write them down, because that solidifies them and makes them more real in your mind. Read them to yourself regularly.

Be sure to keep a diary as written proof of the progress you’re making the trips you take that weren’t possible before, the special days when you completely forgot you ever had an anxiety problem.

You need to keep a record of these achievements because it’s easy for your protective side to negate the great strides you’ve made.

Confidence, just like fear, is contagious. Soon you’ll find it spreading to all areas of your life, giving you a quality of life even beyond your pre-anxiety days.

Always try to focus on the success you’ve achieved, and it will grow and expand in your life.

Persist with it

Recovery from Panic attacks and associated anxiety is possible. Turn a setback into an opportunity to solidify your real confidence. Regardless of what happens, you can handle it. Regardless of how your body feels, you’ll move through the anxiety and come out the other side smiling.

If you remain persistent, setbacks can be quickly turned to your advantage, and you’ll be strengthened by the experience.

Setbacks are delicate periods to move through, so you also need to be kind to yourself. Understand that they’re the result of YOU just trying to protect YOU.

Be your own best friend.

When you take your protective self by the hand and teach it that there’s nothing to fear, you’ll quickly march toward a greater experience of freedom.

Recovery is not a straight or linear process.

It will help if you try not to measure success on a day-to-day basis. Some days will be better than others that are just the way it is, so don’t get upset if you complete something successfully one day but fail the next.

Some days will be better than others that are just the way it is, so don’t get upset if you complete something successfully one day but fail the next.

Keep your eyes on the end goal, and persistence will carry you there.

What If My Anxiety Comes Back?

After a person has successfully moved out of their anxiety it is only natural, to at some stage, fear reoccurrence. I call this the anxiety shadow. It is a worry in the back of your mind that the anxiety could return with full force and disrupt your life all over again.

It is a worry in the back of your mind that the anxiety could return with full force and disrupt your life all over again.

Anxiety leaves such a strong imprint on people’s lives that it is normal to have such concerns. Fearing a return of anxiety is common when your life becomes stressful again. You worry that the extra stress will tip you back into a state of general anxiety. If you find yourself worrying in such a manner have faith that all will be well.

You worry that the extra stress will tip you back into a state of general anxiety. If you find yourself worrying in such a manner have faith that all will be well.

This worry is just a shadow of what has gone, it is based on the past, not the future. Generally, the anxiety shadow passes quickly after a day or two and you forget about it again. Remind yourself of the new tools and education you have. Take solace in the fact that your new understanding will lift the anxiety quickly again were it to return.

Remind yourself of the new tools and education you have. Take solace in the fact that your new understanding will lift the anxiety quickly again were it to return.

Published by:

How does Gratitude Help In Anxiety and Panic Disorder

Himanshu Dani

Let me tell you how does gratitude help in anxiety and panic disorder.

It is a great tool for ending anxious thoughts.

A lot of people write telling me how their anxiety makes them feel very cut off or removed from the world around them. This sensation can be distressing as people fear that they will never be able to feel normal again. It is like a massive wave of confusion and craziness.

This feeling is common and in my experience is mainly fueled by a cycle of anxious thinking.

A person with anxiety and panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder will spend much of their day mentally “checking in.”

Checking in is a term I use to refer to how people with anxiety constantly monitor their mind and body.

“Am I feeling ok?” “How are my thoughts ?”

“Am I feeling secure or on edge right now?”

The reason regular checking in happens is that anxiety has such a powerful effect on the mind and body.

People tell me that they can deal with the anxious bodily sensations but it is the anxious mind that causes them most distress.

That is what I want to address today.

Anxiety and panic can often feel like a thick fog has surrounded your mind.

Nothing really seems enjoyable as you are always looking out at the world through this haze of anxious thoughts and feelings.

This fog steals the joy out of life and can make you feel removed or cut off from the world.

The anxious thoughts act as a barrier to experiencing the world and this sensation of separation then leads to feeling even more upset as you fear losing touch with yourself. This is one of the symptoms of panic disorder.

So how do you get this anxious fog to lift from your mind?

When someone is very caught up in anxious thoughts they are top heavy so to speak. The constant mental activity they are engaged in has caused an imbalance where all of their focus is on their mental anxieties.

A powerful way to move out of this anxious mental fog is to switch your focus from your head to your heart.

By simply making a deliberate shift of attention to your heart you will find the anxious thoughts dissipate more easily and the mental fog starts to gradually clear.

You can make this switch by practicing the art of gratitude:

Anxiety and Panic

I am sure you have heard of people speaking about the art of gratitude and the benefits it can bring to you.

Gratitude reduces anxiety and this has been proved in numerous studies.

Did you know that it has now been scientifically proven that regular practice of gratitude can dramatically change your body’s chemistry giving you a more peaceful body and mind?

Over that practicing gratitude is highly beneficial in anxiety and panic.

The Heart Math Institute has 15 years of scientific research proving that a simple tool like the art of gratitude can dramatically reduce stress and improve performance for individuals and organizations.

Many of The Fortune 500 companies are now starting to use this technique to reduce work-related stress:

I am going to outline the technique briefly in a very straight forward exercise so you can start practicing right now.

When you practice this gratitude exercise you will feel a lightness and greater sense of perspective on any matter that has been troubling you. This activation of your heart emotion will lift the sensation that anxious thoughts create.

This is a very simple exercise but it is really powerful. Print it off and try it someplace where you can be alone.

Are you ready to learn how gratitude reduces anxiety?

Anxiety and Panic

Exercise:

-Begin by closing your eyes and moving your attention to your heart area.

-Imagine a feeling of warmth emanating from the center of your chest.

If appropriate place your right hand there. If you are around people or driving etc. simply imagine your right hand resting on your heart area.

-Imagine this area glowing warmly for one to two minutes.

-Now, begin to focus on something in your life that you feel a genuine sense of appreciation for.

This can be one or more things that you really appreciate having in your life (e.g., family, health, friends, work, your home, a beautiful day etc).

It is important to focus on things that spark a real sense of gratitude and appreciation. If you really appreciate the thing you are thinking about, you will immediately feel a response from that area by way of a light warm sensation in your chest or an involuntary smile (remember those).

It does not really matter what you think about as long as it evokes this feeling of warm appreciation from your heart area.

Don’t struggle with this exercise:

Everyone has something they can be grateful for. (Remember, the cemetery is full of people who would love to have your problems!)

Do not worry if you are thinking of your partner/family and you do not feel this. Some days it will be people close to you that will spark the heart feeling, other days it may be gratitude for very simple things like the fresh air you breathe. It depends on the mood you are in, -remember it is the feeling you after.

The feeling we are looking to achieve is unmistakable, it is a positive change in your emotional state.

I say it is best to do this exercise alone because you will need to stay with this feeling for as long as you can.

Then, when you feel you have taken it as far as you can, open your eyes.

There is no time frame on this exercise, it can be a few minutes to half an hour. Again it is about establishing a heart/mind connection and getting your awareness out of the anxious thoughts.

Getting out of anxiety and panic are often the top priorities of any sufferer.

After a few attempts, you can incorporate this into your daily routine.

Do it in the car. Do it sitting at your desk. Do it before you sleep at night.

You have to practice it frequently:

Just like a muscle your heart will get more accustomed to this state and you will be able to switch into that feeling in seconds, but it is required to practice gratitude more often for easing your anxiety or panic attacks.

With practice, you can also use this exercise in the middle of any stressful situation. You will be surprised at the positive outcome in terms of your own stress levels and the change in others around you.

This simple exercise can completely transform the outcome of interacting with other people, be it work or personal relationships.

This is especially true where there is conflict or misunderstanding between you and other people. Try it out, see what happens!

(Be creative with it and make it your own daily ritual for yourself)

I am sure you agree that it is a worthwhile exercise to incorporate into your daily life. It is my experience that most people do not have the patience or time to make major lifestyle changes. By using this one simple exercise you can make a dramatic improvement to the quality of your life and you will see a big reduction in anxiety and panic.

The simplest things in life are free and this is one of those gems.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Published by: