There is good news right from the start here, none of us are born with anxiety and panic attacks, we are not born anxious we learn these things through life. The last post was about creating positive anchors well anxiety and panic attacks are anchors in their own way, we associate and incident or situation and create anchors that trigger the panic and or anxiety.
The anxiety and panic attacks arrive from experiences and behaviours, and if they arrive from experiences and behaviours they can be despatched. In simple terms, they are learned behaviours and learned behaviours can be unlearned.
They arise because of a triggering event which we replay over in our minds and we then adopt defensive habits which we rehearse over and over again. They create neural pathways in our brain which leads to the anxiety-forming habit or panic attack.
One way of helping with anxiety and panic attacks is the following method. Read the whole passage before doing it.
First, anchor a really good feeling. Then imagine yourself sitting in the front one or two rows of a cinema watching the big screen.
The movie you are now watching is one of the events which caused all this to happen.
This works on phobias as well, I used this on myself with snakes and have used it with several people on other phobias and anxiety issues.
Watch the complete movie through from start to end and freeze the last frame.
Running the film backwards to cure anxiety and panic attacks
Now run the film on rewind from the end to the beginning only make it fast and as the film runs backwards make it go faster and faster.
If you’ve got some funny music, play that at the same time, otherwise play it in your head.
When you get to the start of the film, go immediately to the end and run it on rewind again, faster and faster. And then do it a third time. When you have finished, fire off your good anchor again.
Spinning the feelings and controlling anxiety and panic attacks
While you are watching the movie go forwards notice which way the feeling is spinning in your body. It will be either moving backwards or forwards or from one side to the other. Whichever way it is, speed it up.
The feeling will seem worse. Now slow it down. Move it in the opposite direction. You will feel it getting a little better the more you do it in reverse. This shows you that the feeling can be controlled.
Now, you are going to watch the film again but this time imagine you are in the projection control room upstairs and as you look down into the cinema you can see yourself in the front couple of rows watching the screen.
Play the movie through from beginning to end and as you get towards the final frames gradually draw out the colour in the film and fade it to white.
Now play it back three, four or five times really fast with funny music if you have it (or imagine it in your head). Don’t forget to make it go faster and faster and faster.
Disrupting the neural pathways will help with the anxiety and panic attacks
The more you practice this exercise, the more you will disrupt the neural pathways. It is a good way of diminishing the effects of your anxiety.
Don’t forget this major fact though. As you begin to get over the anxiety or panic attacks – and it may happen faster than you imagined – you will find you have time for far more enjoyable things now that you are no longer anxious now.