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  • My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts



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    Old 05-02-2007, 04:25 PM   #46
    V_dubgurl
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    I love your outlook on things! Now I have to put your word into my actions. I prefer not to take meds either. So I am fighting this battle once again!

     
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    Old 05-04-2007, 09:55 AM   #47
    osteoblast
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Hi all-I saw this interesting thread and wanted to add something on the topic of meditation. Someone made the comment that while meditating they now had been able to get to a count of eight without any thoughts interfering. I have meditated for years and done alot of reading on the topic. Also I have listened to a number of the tapes and cd's put out by Pema Chodron an excellent buddhist teacher and Jon Kabat Zinn. There seems to be confusion regarding thoughts that come up while meditating. People newly taking up meditating think that the goal is that their mind will have no intrusive thoughts, it will just reach a total quiet time. When this doesn't happen they think meditation won't work for them. The way I have understood it is that the mind will go on thinking , that is its nature but you don't engage or elaborate on the thought. For example, you are meditating and the thought comes up " I am hungry" before you know it your making your grocery list in your head and thinking about a cooking show you saw on tv and away your mind goes. The meditation teachers seem to say that when you notice the thought " I am hungry" or wherever you notice the train of thought you say to yourself thinking and bring your attention back to breathing. The meditation teachers say that your mind will wander , you say thinking and go back to the breath again and again. This is not a task that you will just get through once and for all. Your mind wanders 1,000 plus times you just go back to the breathing 1,000 plus times. And , especially Pema Chodron talks about doing this gently and kindly with yourself not like a strict disciplinarian in your head. She said learning kindness starts here with yourself. Also, she talks about the thoughts like clouds moving in a huge vast sky. There is room for the thought as there is room for a cloud in the sky. That there is a vastness that we can rest in.

    Also there is a buddhist thought that just as there is not one medicine for all ills- that is you have a particular illness, it calls for a particular medicine. So, in our own growth as spiritual beings there is not one way that works for all .
    What works for me may not work for you. We shouldn't try to follow someone else's path if it doesn't seem to fit us.

    One thing that I have found for myself is that a practice like yoga or tai chi -what I consider meditation in movement works better for me now. Sometimes,some people may need to quiet their physical body through gentle movement and thereby work to still their mind and body through movement(it is somewhat of a paradox stillness through movement). Others might like to have the body still. See what feels right to you. There is not one right way.

     
    Old 05-06-2007, 11:37 AM   #48
    SteveGn
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Leigh, I know you’re feeling frustrated, as well as probably frightened right now, because you feel limited in some of the things that you would like to do, but trust me, you can get through this.

    Notice in your post, when describing your trip, how often your mind is dwelling on negative thoughts, images, outcomes, etc… I’ve tried many times to think of the most important thing I could tell someone who is having problems with negative thoughts which are leading them to stress, anxiety, and panic. I tend to waiver back and forth as to what has been most important for me, but one thing is for sure, NOT dwelling on those negative thoughts has to rank at or near the top. Having said that, it’s only natural for those thoughts to enter your mind, especially if you’re still sensitized to them. The key then becomes to not dwell on them. Instead, you want to become good at directing your attention elsewhere, preferably in the present moment. You also want to become good at not having a negative reaction to those thoughts when they do surface. This all takes practice. As your confidence grows, the thoughts will become less intrusive.

    When I first started traveling again, especially when I was way up in Maine, I had already made big strides as far as becoming desensitized to the negative thoughts and images that were plaguing me, but I still had occasional moments when I would find myself dwelling on them, and that’s when inevitably the physical and mental symptoms (dread, gloom and doom) that accompany the beginning stages of anxiety and panic for me would be felt. I would then quickly remind myself that dwelling on them is what started the negative process and then switch my mind over to “just being”. There’s more on not dwelling, not reacting, and “just being” in my first post, but it’s worth repeating here, in my opinion.

    You mentioned not feeling safe when you were away. I truly think that a big part of getting good at “just being” in the present moment is to train yourself to think of your safe zone as being right there with yourself. In other words, there’s no need to be anywhere else but right there where you are, because that IS your safe zone. So you might start with CBT training, such as “this is my safe zone, right here, right now“, and then switch to practicing “just being” there in the present moment. Again, your confidence will start growing more and more, and as time goes on, it won’t matter where on this planet you are, that feeling of security and safety will accompany you. Hang in there and don’t get discouraged if you hit some rough spots. Steve

    Last edited by SteveGn; 05-06-2007 at 11:39 AM.

     
    Old 05-08-2007, 10:59 AM   #49
    shorebird
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by V_dubgurl View Post
    I love your outlook on things! Now I have to put your word into my actions. I prefer not to take meds either. So I am fighting this battle once again!
    Just do it I know you can!

     
    Old 05-15-2007, 10:27 PM   #50
    Leigh83
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Thank you for your advice, Steve, I'm definitely going to take your words with me. I'm nervous about this trip, but I've got high hopes for getting through without every day being a struggle, and maybe even enjoying myself!

     
    Old 05-17-2007, 03:08 PM   #51
    shorebird
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    You'll be fine Leigh

     
    Old 05-20-2007, 07:09 PM   #52
    SteveGn
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    A few thoughts I wanted to share here. In my opinion, anticipatory panic is the most common type of panic. There may be some situation or thought that acts as an initial “trigger“, which is then immediately followed by the anticipation of possible panic, as a result of past conditioning, that can push the fear response to a point where panic actually occurs - like some self-fulfilling prophecy. If it wasn't for the fearful anticipation of having a panic attack, most people simply wouldn't have one. This is actually called agoraphobia - fear of the panic, fear of losing control, fear of going crazy, fear of dying, etc. Thus, anticipating the possibility of these things happening, creates the fear response.

    The main point I wanted to make with this post is that, in reality, you're only going to make yourself highly uncomfortable (understatement} during panic (both mentally and physically), but nothing worse. In other words, you’re not going to go crazy, die, or anything such as that. This is well documented. Realizing that no worse is going to happen, regardless of how full-blown the panic gets, or how much mental anguish and anxiety you feel day after day from worrying about your situation, can go a long way toward lessening the fear response, gaining confidence, getting desensitized, and thus getting on the road to managing the agoraphobia. Steve

     
    Old 05-21-2007, 06:46 PM   #53
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Another great post Steve

     
    Old 05-25-2007, 11:12 AM   #54
    SteveGn
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Thanks Eileen. Good to see you're doing well. Enjoy the holiday weekend there in Hawaii. Several years ago, I lived in Kuaui (mispelled, I'm sure) and the Big Island for about 6 months. Steve

     
    Old 05-31-2007, 11:29 PM   #55
    SteveGn
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Do any of you feel a passion for something in your life? Lately, I’ve been thinking about the concept of having a passion for something, and how that passion relates, at least in my case, to the subject of anxiety, panic, and obsessive thinking. It becomes very easy when going through a rough time to get caught up in negativity and obsess over the state of things…. past, present, and future. This, of course, only makes things worse.

    When I feel passionate about something, whether it’s learning something new and interesting, undertaking a fun hobby or trade, starting an exercise/health diet regimen, etc., etc., it’s almost as if this passion naturally brings me in the present moment when I‘m directly involved with it, and can even be an excellent distraction, if needed. Even during the moments when I’m not directly involved with the activity, my enjoyment of life seems to move to a higher level. There seems to be an extra “bounce in the step”, as the saying goes. This passion could maybe even act on some level, as a form of CBT, since negative thinking and obsessing tend to suddenly get replaced with positive thoughts and actions. Also, I’ve noticed that I become bolder when I’m passionate about something. In other words, I’ll deliberately get out of my comfort zone a lot more quickly if it means being able to continue pursuing my interests. Getting out of your comfort zone can be very therapeutic.

    As an example, just some of the passions I’ve had over the last several years include wilderness survival training, organic gardening, chess, poker, stock market, teaching golf, and currently I’m learning Spanish. I usually start out by buying two or more carefully chosen books on the subject and have at it. Sometimes the passion may not last that long…. so what! …. as long as I had enjoyed myself, and besides, there is always another one to move on to, plus I would learn a lot during the time that I was involved with it. Also, there were times when I would find my interest rekindled down the road, and I would start back where I left off.

    One of the mistakes I made when I was going through a rough time was that I pulled back and started obsessing about what was happening, as well as what I thought might happen. Even though I got my situation under control with the suggestions I’ve made in my other posts in this thread, I feel I could have accelerated the process by also finding something that I felt a passion for during that time period, and incorporated it with the rest.

     
    Old 06-01-2007, 07:31 AM   #56
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    That is exactly right. Having a passion for something helps. When times were at its worst nothing gave me pleasure, even things that used to a lot in the past. Now I find that when I have a passion, such as fixing up the house, it helps keep my mind occupied and helps me feel good about myself overall. It took a little while for me to get up the motivation to do anything and get over the fear of trying something.

    Very good pt Steve that I had totally forgot about and sometimes didn't even realize.

     
    Old 07-11-2007, 04:23 PM   #57
    shorebird
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    Re: My Suggestions For Anxiety, Panic and Obsessive Thoughts

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SteveGn View Post
    A few thoughts I wanted to share here. In my opinion, anticipatory panic is the most common type of panic. There may be some situation or thought that acts as an initial “trigger“, which is then immediately followed by the anticipation of possible panic, as a result of past conditioning, that can push the fear response to a point where panic actually occurs - like some self-fulfilling prophecy. If it wasn't for the fearful anticipation of having a panic attack, most people simply wouldn't have one. This is actually called agoraphobia - fear of the panic, fear of losing control, fear of going crazy, fear of dying, etc. Thus, anticipating the possibility of these things happening, creates the fear response.
    Excellent point again here Steve. If you can counter the anticipatory thoughts with thoughts like, it's not dangerous etc. you will never have a full blown panic attack. It was once I learned this that I was able to gain the upper hand on my panic and anxiety.

     
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