Archive for May, 2012

10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #5 (Part 3)

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

I didn’t give the fear time to pass. Instead, I sat, waited, and got angry at myself. I sat, waited, and wondered why I wasn’t calming down as quickly as I wanted to be. I sat, waited, and grew flustered as my body continued its jet stream of adrenaline rushes and wooziness.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #5 (Part 2)

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Panic is fluid. It’s not always a linear equation where Y follows X. It ebbs and it flows. It changes over time.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #5 (Part 1)

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Where was this coming from? I hadn’t even been feeling scared or anxious! I was dancing, enjoying myself, and spending time with my family-to-be.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #4 (Part 2)

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #4 (Part 2)(Note: this post is part of a series about navigating my way through the 10 Rules for Coping with Panic, which is a nifty little list I keep in my wallet. To read the introduction to this series, check out this post: Coping with Panic: Why I Can’t, and Why I Can.)

LET’S RECAP

In case you missed my last post, here’s Rule #4:

Describe what is happening. Notice what is really happening in your body right now…not what you fear might happen.

WHY THIS IS SO DIFFICULT

Look over my little elevator monologue. Only one of my thoughts comes even close to describing the “what is.” The rest only describes the “what if.” (If you had trouble picking out the single “what is,” I’ll point it out: “I’m already feeling tense…”)

If you’ve been playing the “what if” game forever, it’s not easy to shake. It’s automatic. My brownie girl scout handbook told me 22 years ago to be prepared, and I’ve taken that lesson to heart.

WHY THIS IS SO EASY

But here’s the thing about being “prepared” (and yes, if you heard me read that sentence aloud in real life, I would do air quotes for “prepared”): it’s not always good to be prepared for everything.

Yes, you heard me right: sometimes, being prepared is not a good thing. Sometimes, being prepared can take us away from the present moment.


Video: Why Do I Blog About (My Own) Mental Health? #mhblogday

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Watch as I explain why I do what I do and why I feel so comfortable sharing all of my panic and anxiety-related sorrows, triumphs, dilemmas, and baby steps with the world.


Join Us! Blog About Mental Health on Wednesday

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Tell your story. Share your experience. Mental health affects everything we do.


10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #4 (Part 1)

Monday, May 14th, 2012

10 Rules for Coping with Panic: Rule #4 (Part 1)(Note: this post is part of a series about navigating my way through the 10 Rules for Coping with Panic, which is a nifty little list I keep in my wallet. To read the introduction to this series, check out this post: Coping with Panic: Why I Can’t, and Why I Can.)

THE FOURTH RULE

This is the rule that pits “what if” against “what is.”

And, of course, it’s the “what is” that’s supposed to win. Falling into the great trap of “what if” only helps our mind to spiral downward into a dizzying fiction.

Case in point: the other day, I had to ride an elevator in an office building to the 8th floor. (I sure as hell wasn’t going to walk — I’m out of shape, and a rapid heartbeat is a panic trigger for me!)

The interior of the elevator was pretty tiny — tiny enough that only three or four adults could fit comfortably. I stepped in, hit 8, and waited for the doors to close.

At the very last second, some guy scurried between the closing doors and snuck in. He pressed 4.

WRITING A WORK OF FICTION

Immediately, my mind went off into a world of made-up scenarios: what if this guy tries to talk to me? What if he’s creepy? I mean, I’m already feeling tense and nervous being here in this tiny elevator. And now, it’s a longer ride because we’re going to stop on the 4th floor too — what if I can’t handle being on the elevator for that long?

What if I have to stumble out on the 4th floor and then watch this mean watch me as I feign confusion and head to the stairwell? He’ll wonder why I’m headed down. And what if he asks me what I”m doing? Or tries to correct me? What if I get lightheaded and I can’t answer? What if I start to over-breathe? What if I feel like I’m going to pass out?


The Sound of Rain: Soothing, or Anxiety Trigger? (Part 2)

Friday, May 11th, 2012

There wasn’t a single place I could go during a rainstorm and feel safe. There wasn’t a single place in that damn office where I could allow my panicky feelings to de-escalate.


The Sound of Rain: Soothing, or Anxiety Trigger? (Part 1)

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Each downpour filled the entire office with an ambient white noise that spiked my adrenaline level. When it rained, I couldn’t sit still.


The Slow Eating Challenge: How to Mindfully Eat a Single Raisin

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Instead of paying attention to my breath or my heart, we paid attention to a raisin.


Panic
About Anxiety



Subscribe to this Blog:
Feed

Archives


News



 

Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Jenny: Ah-ha! Thank you!! I’m 37 and have had serious hypoglycemia my whole life (it was diagnosed in...
  • Anna: I always get so scared and nervous when someone in my family gets sick and normally I cry a lot I don’t...
  • Sadsak: Just learning meditation, I am using it to overcome” The Monkey Mind” which inhibits my ability...
  • Philip: Dan Harris is a testament to panic sufferers being strong and brave. Going through his ordeal live on tv and...
  • Philip: Hi. Yes I agree that forming the positive habit of regular meditation can be quite difficult because you do...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!