As sufferers and ex-sufferers of anxiety and panic, we know that it produces some uncomfortable sensations and scary thoughts.
Before we understand that anxiety and panic, although a nightmarish experience, is harmless, we fear for our own sanity and psychical well being.
This is completely understandable because – who knows, we haven’t been informed that all is well even though we feel like it’s the end of the world. And no, we are not being dramatic. At this stage, this concern is definitely coming from our logical and rational mind.
However, even when we have had check ups and found out that it’s just anxiety and that our body is in good condition, we are still not convinced that no harm is being done. This is when the anxiety is speaking through us .This isn’t our logical and rational part of ourselves, no this is the anxiety speaking through us.
We have to remember that our anxious mind is constantly scanning for danger. It’s constantly trying to keep us safe and often throws up worst-case scenario thoughts.
So, as time goes by and we have felt the relieve that comes from understanding that we are safe, it’s very common for these worst-case scenario thoughts to creep in and cause us to react with fear.
It’s not us doing this to ourselves, it’s the anxiety. Part of the anxiety mechanism is to focus on the negative in order to mitigate risk. This is why even long after we’ve been told we are not coming to any harm, we still question and worry that we might.
What if I told you that this was just the anxiety doing it’s job of trying to maintain our survival and that you didn’t need to buy into this uncertainty.
When you feel the fear of the unknown and you’re still fearful that you might be in danger, then this is just the anxiety response talking through you.
Having the fear of being killed by anxiety is common
I just want to point out that having the fear of being killed by anxiety is extremely common. However, just because we have this fear which is common in most cases, doesn’t mean that it has any bearing on reality.
The reason why you keep having these worst-case scenario thoughts pop up in your mind is because the anxiety is trying to keep you safe. It shows you these fears because it’s trying to problem solve. It’s doing all it can to mitigate risk. This is the only purpose anxiety has.
So, if we fear the feelings of anxiety and the thoughts that come with it, our subconscious mind will decode this as problematic.
How can we prove to ourselves that all is well?
The only way that we can convince ourselves that we are fine is by letting the experience of anxiety and/or panic happen without trying to interfere.
Not trying to stop it or doing anything about it that would insinuate the experience of anxiety/panic being a problem. Only then does the brain get the message that there is nothing to be afraid of.
This isn’t easy, especially to begin with because it’s still going to feel very unpleasant and scary. But… and this is a big but, you have to fully put your trust in me and yourself that no harm is going to come to you.
If you cannot trust yourself yet, you can trust me because I’ve been through the experience of high anxiety and panic so many times I’ve lost count and not once did I come to any harm.
You will have the urge to mentally run away from the feelings of panic/anxiety, you will have the urge to get upset by the experience and fight with it. All this does is tell our brain that there is a danger and so our anxiety will go to work in keeping us safe from… NOTHING.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could just switch our anxiety off by consciously telling ourselves that “everything is just fine” despite the anxiety being present?
It would be lovely, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, the brain doesn’t listen to the commands of our conscious mind because the limbic system (emotional brain) isn’t connected to our conscious part of the brain, it’s connected to the subconscious mind.
If the brain did listen to the commands of our conscious mind, then we would of all been recovered by now.
The only way we can tell our subconscious mind that all is well, is by changing the way we respond to the anxiety and behave as if we are in no danger.
Accepting the anxiety, allowing it to play out and manifest in whatever way it sees fit, shows our brain that we are not afraid of the anxiety and because we are not afraid of it, it understands that there’s no reason for the fight/flight response to stay activated.
Of course, it takes time for the brain to get this message that no danger is actually present but through repetition, it will become a reality.
I trust this post makes sense to you and has given you the reassurance and knowledge.
Feel free to ask me any questions if you have any. What did you think of this post? Was it useful? What did you feel was missing from this post? I would love to know as your feedback is very helpful as it allows me to improve and refine my message.
Until next time