Tip #9: Learn everything there is to know about panic disorders. Become an anxious expert…I mean, an expert in anxiety.
The Why: As has been said many times thus far, knowledge is power when it comes to defeating your anxiety.
Feel a symptom? Google how anxiety can cause it.
Feel a panic attack coming on? Research the brain and bodily functions that cause them to strike.
Knowing the enemy inside out is a classic military tactic that has been used for centuries. If you know what you’re up against, if you know its capabilities, what it can do, its main weapons, what causes it to strike and so on, you’re better equipped to defeat it.
One of the scariest parts of anxiety is not understanding what is happening to you, or why it’s happening to you. Arm yourself with research and knowledge.
Instead of me saying:
“Ah! Why can’t I breathe, what’s happening to me, I don’t feel good. Something is terribly, terribly wrong.”
I now say:
“Ah, anxiety strikes again. It’s my autonomic system reacting to a perceived threat and going into fight or flight mode. Adrenaline is rushing through my system making my heart race. I can’t breathe because I am hyperventilating so my body feels it’s not breathing enough. It’s just natural responses that have kept my species alive for so long. No danger here brain, time to calm it down now.”
As real as it feels, it’s just chemicals.