Re: Hopefully Some Help Here For Some Of You
I’m finally back. There were a couple of things I wanted to say that have helped me. These tips, along with the tips under the thread I started in the “anxiety tips” section, have really made a big difference in my management of “anticipatory panic.
As mentioned in the other thread, it’s hard for me to stress how important it is for you to NOT think about negative “what if” thoughts and images, which is at the heart of the problem concerning “anticipatory panic”. Here I wanted to mention one aspect of these negative thoughts; wanting to physically remove yourself from your situation when you start feeling a bit nervous or just slightly concerned about having a PA. These feelings and thoughts can quickly escalate once they get started, and once started, it becomes hard to put a stop to it until it has ran its course. As soon as you have thoughts of wanting to escape, you will be sending negative signals to your brain, in essence, saying, “I’ve got a problem here”. The brain, of course, interprets this in a negative way and the initial symptoms of panic start to present themselves. After that initial wave of symptoms, big or small, it becomes even easier to have more thoughts of wanting to escape, which in turn, creates even more symptoms…..and on and on it goes.
If this is a problem for you, then I strongly suggest making an agreement with yourself that you will NEVER EVER physically remove yourself from a situation out of fear of a PA. Once your mind accepts that this will indeed be the case, then you will stop thinking negative, panic inducing thoughts of wanting to escape. If one of those thoughts or images does enter your mind, then return your attention back to what you were doing, or some type of distraction. This may take some time to cultivate, but I strongly feel this change in the thought process is needed. You’ll find yourself being less fearful of being out in public, or in other situations. You’ll become your own ’safe zone”. Your confidence level will also grow which is very important. Take care, Steve
By the way, you're welcome Chris.