Quite recently, I was speaking to someone who had adopted the attitude of asking for more panic. They were very confused and frustrated because they told me that their panic wasn’t abating.
However, what I told them was this whole approach of asking for more of what we are afraid of isn’t about getting rid of the panic, it’s about getting over our fear of the panic. It’s a big difference.
For a start, the attitude of expecting the panic to melt way through asking for more is never a productive one because we actually put more emphasis on our panic by expecting it to go.
And expectations lead to disappointments most of the time. The whole point of asking for more is to show yourself that there is nothing dangerous on the other side of a panic attack. There is no heart attack or whatever else you may fear awaiting you on the other side.
There is no other side
Apprehension is what feeds the panic attack. More accurately, fearing what is on the other side of a panic attack is what gives the panic attack more energy and food to chew on. What we need to understand is that there isn’t anything on the other side. There isn’t even another side. All that happens is more of the same.
In fact, if anything, what’s waiting for you on the other side of a panic attack is not a monster which holds all of your deepest fears, but clarity and peace of mind. When you see a panic attack for what it truly is, then you begin to lose your fear of them.
Seeing is everything. Once you see something, you’ll never look at it in the same way ever again. This was true for me in my experience of suffering from panic attacks. I used to really, really fear the experience of panic attacks.
In fact, I could not bare them. Hence why I tried to escape from how I felt on a continual basis. However, when someone told me that I was actually perpetuating the panic cycle by trying to run away from it and that instead I was better off running towards the feelings, then my whole relationship with panic changed.
It was this change of relationship with my panic attacks that ultimately allowed myself to end my fear of them. Once the fear of having a panic attack subsided, there was never any need to have a panic attack again. I actually haven’t had a panic attack in about 4 years because of asking for more and understanding why asking for more dis-empowers the panic/fear.
Do I fear the possible reemergence of a protection mechanism activation? No, because of what I’ve learnt about them and because of asking for more and seeing for myself that there really is nothing to fear whilst going through one.
See, I’m open to experiencing one. Of course, I wouldn’t actually choose having one and I don’t enjoy them but I am not trying to avoid having one because I know this actually increases the chances of experiencing another one.
Of course, I still experience anxiety from time to time because it’s unrealistic not to. However, because my relationship with it has changed, I never fight against the experience of anxiety or fear it and so it doesn’t end up leading to a panic attack (protection mechanism activation).
Until you stop expecting the panic attacks to go because you are too busy focused on trying to get rid of them, then you’ll just keep going round and round in circles. Don’t expect the panic attacks to dissipate by asking for more panic. In fact, don’t expect anything.
Just ask for more, see that there truly is nothing waiting for you on the other side and embrace the feelings that panic produces. Once you stop fearing them, then the panic attacks will fall away on their own. You won’t have to do anything more to make this happen. It will happen naturally by proving to yourself once and for all that there really is nothing to fear.
Understanding what a panic attack is and asking for more is the only way you will free yourself of them.
When we understand what a panic attack is and what it’s function is, then you will naturally lose a bit of fear. It’s inevitable. And, when you run towards your feelings of panic instead of running away from them, your brain will get the message that you are not afraid of the panic because you are no longer running away from it.
Please don’t bother trying all of these techniques like counting to ten or the breathing into a paper bag method when you are experiencing a panic attack because this insinuates that you are trying to make the panic go away.
Whatever you try to make go away will just creep into your experience again because whatever we resist, persists. You don’t need any technique to be honest. You just need to adopt the attitude of asking for more of what you are afraid of as this activates what Dr. Jeffery Hammes calls the kill-switch for panic.
With all this being said, it doesn’t mean that your panic attacks won’t end, because they can and will. However, they won’t end by trying to make them go away.
They won’t end by expecting them to die out. Your panic attacks will end when you ask for more and allow the panic to take you with it, wherever it wants to go.
This way, you are giving the panic attack the space and freedom to move through you. This is all that’s required. Think of it like a kettle boiling. You wouldn’t try to interfere and stop the kettle from boiling the water you’ve poured in, so please adopt this same approach towards panic.
Let it happen, don’t concern yourself with it going away because it will “go away” naturally, on it’s own when you drop your obsession over it leaving. Like I mentioned earlier, the reason why expecting it to go and focusing all of our energy on waiting for it to leave is what ironically puts more emphasis on the panic.
Because of this, we will be sending a message to our brain that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. How does our brain deal with such a problem? It sends a signal to our adrenal glands to activate adrenaline in order to prepare us for fending off a danger.
Keep asking for panic, not because it’s going to magically make your panic and anxiety go away, but because it helps you to lose you fear of it and that is the most important thing.
I trust this post has helped you out in some way.
Until next time