How to Regain Control Over Anxiety & Panic

I recently took a phone call from a friend, who was suffering what I can only describe as an anxiety or panic attack.

She was only able to speak to me for about 5 minutes before having to go to a meeting, but during the phone call she broke down in tears – and the rest was a little incoherent.

In-between sobs (hers, not mine) I managed to ascertain that she felt overly anxious about her new job, and some people she had to deal with. Aware that we only had a very short time before she had to go to the meeting, I gave her some information that, on reflection, I feel everyone could benefit from knowing. So here I am sharing this with you (and please feel free to pass this on to anyone who might be interested).

  • When we approach a situation with a negative expectation, we are far more likely to bring about (or even create) a negative outcome. Conversely, when we approach things with a positive expectation we are much more likely to influence things towards a positive outcome.
  • Anxiety tends to occur when someone repeatedly imagines things happening in the future, (eg a social event, a conversation, a task, a meeting) – but instead of seeing things happening the way they would like, they see it go wrong.
  • The more that this negative scenario plays on your mind, the more you will produce the emotional responses to this version as if it is happening for real – except that it isn’t! It’s just a fantasy (so why not make it a nice one!)

(The subconscious part of your mind can’t tell the difference between fact or fiction – hence why watching scary movies may have you jumping or sweating or feeling sick, producing physical reactions to the emotions produced in watching the film – interesting don’t you think??)

So here’s a few things you can do to help reduce or overcome anxiety:

  • By consciously making an effort to think about or visualise things happening in the way you would want them to, you help yourself develop a mindset that is open and more receptive to creating your desired outcome.
  • Differentiate between your “helpful” and “unhelpful” thoughts – helpful thoughts will generally make you feel more positive, open to possibilities and connected to others, while “unhelpful” thoughts generally limit you and hold you back.
  • Using positive affirmations can help to re-train the brain into a more positive and helpful mindset. Try repeating statements to yourself along the lines of “I am ok”, “I can do this”, “I am calm and in control”, “I know I am capable”, “everything is fine” – you will know when you have found a good affirmation for you as you’ll notice how it makes you feel when you say it…. 🙂 Once you have found your affirmation(s) – say it to yourself often!

I should also add that if anxiety is excessive or has reached the point of panic attacks, there is likely to be an underlying negative-pattern triggering it, in which case a couple of cognitive hypnotherapy sessions can certainly be of real benefit.

I hope this is helpful, either for you or someone you know. If you have any questions or queries regarding any of this, feel free to get in touch, I’ll be happy to help however I can.

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