Coping With Panic Attacks and Anxiety- 18 essential tips
page 5

The last of our essential tips for coping with panic attacks and anxiety.

(see Coping with Panic Attacks and Anxiety page 1  /  2  /  3  /  4  )

16. Notice times when you feel slightly less anxious and terrible than at others. 

  • Even though you may feel constantly anxious and terrible, there will still be times when you feel slightly less so.  
  • Notice how it's when you are more engaged with something else that this usually occurs - maybe when you are with friends or watching TV.  
  • This is because you are not giving your symptoms so much attention at these times.  
  • Use this knowledge.  
  • Encourage yourself more and more to get on with your life and allow your symptoms to exist whilst you get better.

17. Take it all one day at a time...

∙∙∙ but make some plans for the future that you can work towards and look forward to.  You won't always be coping with panic attacks and anxiety.

Allow the process of recovery to take as long as it needs to take – it won’t happen over night but it will happen.

18. Don’t give up!

  • Practice all of these techniques over and over and over again.  
  • At first it may not seem to make much difference.  
  • Your anxiety is most probably a result of a lifetime, deeply entrenched, habitual way of dealing with the world.  It will not be undone over night.  
  • What is required is an acknowledgement that the old way you had of being in the world has got you to a position where you are now coping with panic attacks and anxiety, this state that you are finding so uncomfortable and that you and you alone have the power to do something about it.  
  • It will take a consistent and determined desire to change.  
  • If you keep practising it is absolutely inevitable that you will start to feel better.
  • It is impossible for it to be otherwise because once you start to relax the body and stop giving unhelpful thoughts attention you are breaking the cycle that keeps anxiety and panic going.
  • The mechanisms of anxiety are quite simple and you are practising the logical way of reversing these mechanisms.

If anxiety problems are related to childhood or other traumatic events, which have created a feeling of not being safe in the world, it may be very beneficial to seek expert help.  

Ultimately, however, every form of effective therapy, counselling, 12 Step Programme or self-help technique works because it helps you to get to the point where you are able to change your thinking.  

This always involves allowing yourself to ‘let go’ in some way –

  • of old patterns of thought,
  • of the past,
  • of hurts,
  • trauma,
  • resentments or disappointment,
  • of the need to control,
  • of anxiety over what can’t be controlled,
  • to accept what can’t be changed

and to stop resisting life. This is, of course, often easier said than done on your own, but nonetheless is definitely possible and all of the tips I've spoken about will help that process.

The 18 key points:

  1. Cultivate the ability to monitor thoughts.
  2. Use the Rag Doll technique.
  3. Practise checking breathing, body tension and thoughts regularly throughout the day.
  4. Write your worries down.
  5. Use the God Box
  6. Allow time to restore balance.
  7. Keep occupied.
  8. Acknowledge and accept your symptoms. 
  9. Don’t give your symptoms too much attention, or take them too seriously.
  10. Treat yourself with great compassion
  11. Try not to spend time talking about your symptoms or looking for sympathy.
  12. Don’t spend time any more time trying to figure out what exactly it is that’s making you feel so scared. 
  13. Don’t believe any little welling up of fear that occurs as you are getting better. 
  14. Take responsibility for your condition and make changes.  You are scaring yourself with your own thoughts.  Unwittingly, you have created this situation and you have the absolute power to uncreate it. 
  15. Don’t flit from therapist to therapist looking for the treatment that will ‘cure’ you; don’t rely on someone else to heal you. 
  16. Notice how even though you may feel constantly anxious and terrible, there are still times when you feel slightly less anxious and terrible than at others. 
  17. Take it all one day at a time. But make some plans for the future.  
  18. Don't give up! Practise these techniques and tips over and over again.

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