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  • My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts



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    Old 02-25-2007, 06:05 PM   #16
    SteveGn
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Jodianne, Thanks for the kind words! More parents should be like yourself. Your desire to be there for your family as provider and protector is very admirable. Of course, being concerned to a degree that it creates anxiety is a matter that needs to be addressed and that is something that you are doing here, so I give you a big “thumbs up” for caring and addressing the issue, and hope you do the same. Please don’t get down on yourself; you don’t deserve it.

    I think that a part of the meditation/mindfulness practice is accepting the fact that sometimes things happen in this world that are out of our control. As much as we would like our life to go a certain way, sometimes they simply don’t, regardless of the effort. When all is said and done though, a person who believes that spiritual/personal growth is paramount to anything else, can look back and see that more growth was obtained not only for themselves but for those around them, as a result of what happened. I personally have obtained way more personal growth the last year than maybe all the others put together, yet there was a period of time that I would have traded what I was going through for just about anything else. That doesn’t mean that we wish things to go badly, but by realizing that the outcome actually can result in more growth, then hopefully a “letting go” toward future events will occur, thus making it easier to not dwell or negatively react, for even a moment, on intrusive, worrisome thoughts.

    This is where some form of CBT can be useful to use in conjunction with a meditation/mindfulness practice. When I was going through a hellish time, I finally started saying to myself that I wasn’t put on this Earth to dwell on negative thoughts and images, as well as be anxious, panicky, and in a seemingly hopeless gloom and doom state. I would then change the mental channel and go about my business. It was also very, very helpful for me to take on the attitude, as mentioned above, that what I was going through had a purpose, which, in my opinion, was spiritual growth. I’ve gotten really good at not worrying about possible negative future events, since they’ll end up accelerating my growth when all the smoke has cleared. In that regards, calling them “negative” is no longer appropriate. Referring to them as “opportunities for growth” is more accurate, in my opinion. The bottom line that I’m getting at here, is to not dwell on possible negative outcomes (or opportunities for growth, right) since it may be exactly what needs to happen in the first place. Yes I know - easier said than done! In my strong opinion, what you’re going through now, Jodianne, is needed for you to get to the next level. Perseverance is the key!

    By the way, you mentioned meditation vs. mindfulness. They’re actually the same thing - learning to “just be” in the present moment. As I mentioned in my last post, I prefer to use the word mindfulness when referring to practicing “just being” in everyday living. I think that there are different levels of meditation/mindfulness practice though. There was a time when the best that I could do at any given moment was to try and avoid thinking about the negative thoughts and images that were causing me much anxiety and panic. I was in too much of a sensitized state to do much more than that. As a result of not feeding into or dwelling on those negative thoughts and images, my nervous system was allowed to gradually calm down and become less sensitized. It then became easier for me to calmly practice “just being” in the present moment which is how meditation/mindfulness is more commonly thought of. Therefore, I suggest starting with getting desensitized through “not dwelling” and also “not reacting” in a negative way, if and when some worrisome thought or situation emerges. Work at maintaining a calm, even flow - “just be”.

    Also, some form of CBT, such as some of the self talk that I mentioned, or the CBT suggestions that others have made on this thread may be helpful to you. There was a time when I would keep an index card in a location where I would regularly see it, that would have words or phrases on it as reminders. The words would change as time went on according to what I felt was needed at the time. I’ve mentioned most of them on this thread.

    Another thing that helped me was to take advantage of the times when I would wake up at night and be trying to get back to sleep. I would focus on my breath (low in the abdomen, which is the correct way to breath, by the way), the same as I would do in a formal meditation until I fell back to sleep. This creates a win-win situation. Either you’re back to sleep or meditating. Hard to go wrong there! Take care, Steve

     
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    Old 03-01-2007, 05:41 AM   #17
    BellaM
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Dear SteveGn
    What a fantastic post your first post on this thread is - I actually printed it out and carry it around with me. Although I am not into meditation and CBT etc. and never have been, my anxiety issues caused me to have counselling for seven years. That did help a huge deal, but of course when you finish, you are on your own. Ever since then, I was over-analysing everything - but since reading your post, I carry around in my head the words JUST BE, and it really helps. I have also felt a whole lot better since taking on board the concept of rather than desperately trying to put the whole big anxiety problem behind me and trying to make it "something that happened in my past", something at which I have never succeeded because it is still a problem in the present, but instead, I tried turning my thoughts around and saying, "hey, I guess I may never be 'cured' " (which used to be my complete and total aim), to now saying "well, I may not ever be cured, but at least I can manage this condition". And do you know, I feel a whole lot better for thinking that.
    Many thanks again.
    Bella

     
    Old 03-02-2007, 11:17 AM   #18
    shorebird
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    What a great thread this has become. The cbt exercises are what taught me how to stop worrying so much and "just be." Now I am living in the present rather than fearing everything in the future.

    Last edited by msmod; 03-02-2007 at 12:43 PM.

     
    Old 03-07-2007, 08:16 AM   #19
    SteveGn
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    BellaM and Shorebird, I’m very glad that something I said has been of help to you. What a great tool the Internet and this healthboard are for helping and supporting one another!

    I started thinking some more on some of the things that helped me out when I was going through a rough time and was surprised that I had forgotten them when I originally posted on this thread. I thought I would share them here because they were very helpful to me.

    The following helped to take some of the power away from the negative thoughts and “triggers” that were eating me up. Instead of seeing them as some six-headed dragon that was trying to knock my front door down and gobble me up, I finally started seeing them as teammates (or coaches, allies, reminders) that were pushing me toward more personal growth and the practice of mindfulness ( or “just being”). I would thank them for helping me, instead of an opposite type reaction. When something is thought of in a negative fashion, it tends to holds its power.

    When I would get in a situation such as a social setting, or on my way to one, and anxiety would start flaring up, I would replace the word “anxious” with the word “excited”. In other words, I would think, “I’m excited to be here”, or “This wedding that I’m going to is going to be exciting”. This really helped to take the edge off of the anxiety. I’m pretty sure I read about this technique in a book on phobias.

    Along similar lines as the above paragraph, it’s only natural to feel anxious at times. Instead of saying to yourself, “Oh heck, there’s my anxiety or panic problem trying to come forth”, substitute that with words such as, “This is a common situation for people to feel nervous and anxious”. In other words, be careful not to blame the anxiety/panic problem every time you feel uncomfortable, when you may simply be experiencing a somewhat natural and common reaction.

    Slowing down my physical movements helps to calm me and remain more in the present moment. I’ve always seemed to suffer from “hurryupitis”. This is actually a common mindfulness practice which really works if you can stick with it. I’m still surprised at how easy it is for me to find myself back in a hurry up mode - and for no apparent reason.

    Don’t know if this will be of any help but feel a need to add it here. I personally seemed to be helped by taking magnesium. I still take about 400 mg a day, along with the same amount of calcium ( supposedly the calcium is needed in order for the magnesium to be effective). The magnesium seems to be especially helpful with heart issues, such as rapid and/or irregular heart rate, and also seemed to take the edge off of some of the anxiety and panic for me. Some feel that a deficiency of magnesium IS the reason for some of the above problems and many other health problems. Our soils are becoming depleted of this important mineral, according to sources that I’ve read.

    Well I have to hit the road for a few days. Hope some of these suggestions will be of help to someone - they certainly have helped me. Take care, Steve

     
    Old 03-08-2007, 10:21 AM   #20
    shorebird
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Hi Steve, I hope your trip goes well and I bet you are 'excited' about it rather than 'anxious' about it These are great tips and very similar to some of the techniques I have incorporated into my life. I like the excited one because I often have to remiund myself that situations I dread often turn out to be the most enjoyable for me and that happened to me just last night!
    P.S. Where did you travel to?

     
    Old 03-10-2007, 02:04 PM   #21
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Steve,

    I am very new to this I have never been to a doctor or therapists about my anxiety but it is almost get to be too much to bear. It is not all the time it is just in certain circumstances. I really don't feel like I need to be medicated because of it's randomness but I guess I'm not ruling it out if that's what it takes. I just need some advice from you or anyone else that can point me in the direction of what I should do. Also I would like to hear more specifically about what I can do to as you said "just be in the moment". I feel like I am a very strong person mentally and would like to give that a try. My sister recommended yoga to me but I have such a busy schedule I need something I can do on my own on my own time.

    This is something I have struggle with for about a year now. I don't want to say it makes me feel like dying all the time as some people have said but on the occassions that it comes I feel completely miserable and overwhelmed so I really feel what they are saying. I have to do something about this because honestly I don't want to live with this anymore. I thought it was something I could just deal with and I would get over it but it's just not that easy. I appreciate any advice anyone has to offer. Thanks everybody.

    Marc

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 10:08 AM   #22
    shorebird
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Bayou, the cbt exercise called the tea form teaches you how to get out of your head and live in the present and you can do it on your own time. They eventually train you to be this way naturally without needing to do them but I still use them all the time. Give them a try.

     
    Old 03-17-2007, 07:33 AM   #23
    SteveGn
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Shorebird, I’m glad to report that I didn’t need to replace the word “anxious” with “exciting” during my trip since I felt very relaxed the whole time. Good to hear about your positive experience the other night . By the way, I was in the OH and PA area. I travel all over the U.S., but it varies from week to week.


    BayouBound, Sorry you’re having a rough time. This whole anxiety thing seems to have many different faces to it. Some people have a generalized anxiety (GAD) that seems to be present for no apparent reason - or maybe reasons that aren’t yet detected. Others seem to have panic attacks for no apparent reason. It sounds like you may know the reasons for your anxiety, which at least gives you a head start in getting through it. Either way, a meditation/mindfulness practice is something I would highly recommend to anyone, even if they weren’t feeling any anxiety.

    Jon Kabat-Zinn has a book called “Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You From Anxiety, Fear, and Panic (co-authored by Jeffrey Brantley). I haven’t actually read this book, but years back I read a book on mindfulness by Kabat-Zinn and found it very helpful. The title of the book started with something such as “Wherever You Go, There You Are…“. He also has a CD-Audio called “Mindfulness For Beginners”.

    For someone who wants to not only read about the basic how-to of meditation and mindfulness, but also wants to read about the spiritual aspects of it, the book “Mindfulness In Plain English” by Bhante Gunaratana, is hard to beat. Chapters such as “Mindfulness vs. Concentration”, “What’s In It For You”, and other very useful chapters help make this book one of my favorites. As the title suggests, it really is worded in a very understandable manner.

    I don’t know specifically the circumstances that are causing your anxiety, but a CBT book such as the one Shorebird suggested may be very useful to you. The “Anxiety & Phobia Workbook” by Edmund J. Bourne, may work well for you also. Hang in there Marc and keep us posted. Steve

     
    Old 03-18-2007, 09:56 AM   #24
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    I just ordered the book "wherever you go, there you are" from ****** since you said it helped you out alot steve. I would rather take the approach that you have taken and not turn to medication rather focus on meditation and being in the moment. I really think that even if I wasn't having these anxiety problems this is something I really need in my life. I need to be able to live my life in the moment because I generally worry too much about things and how they are going to work out for me. I am still in college so though this is one of the funnest times of my life it is getting closer and closer to the real world for me and honestly my worrying is just taking away from the fun I am supposed to be having right now. I just worry about things that I cannot control in my life and it is just hard on me. I just need to live in the moment as best I can. I know this won't be easy but I'll keep yall posted on my progress thanks for the help.

    Marc

     
    Old 03-18-2007, 10:03 AM   #25
    BayouBound
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Shorebird,

    can you tell me more about these CBT tea exercises and where I can find material on them? Thanks for the help

     
    Old 03-19-2007, 08:19 AM   #26
    SteveGn
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    BayouBound, Good to see that you're taking charge of your situation. In my opinion, that is the first and most important step along the way. Good going, Steve

     
    Old 03-20-2007, 10:29 AM   #27
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    What a wonderful post! It was calming to read it. Thank you. I really want to print this out, but I don't think that is allowed so I won't do it. Hopefully I can remember to "just be." I like that a lot.

     
    Old 03-20-2007, 12:17 PM   #28
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Oh yea. Thank you.

     
    Old 03-26-2007, 03:14 PM   #29
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Hey Steve. Just wanted to thank you for your post, it has been the most help for me in conquering my anxiety. I will also be seeing a counselor as well. Any more helpful hints you have, Id love to hear. Thanks again!

     
    Old 03-28-2007, 01:26 PM   #30
    shorebird
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Steve I'm glad your trip went well and you were relaxed all through it. I am sure it can get pretty stressful traveling that much if you don't stay on top of yourself and live in the moment. This is really a great thread and thanks for all of your suggestions!

     
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