Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What I Can Do About My Fear

Fear. I have it. I have it so bad that I often have panic attacks.

Today I have been panicky all day because I am waiting on the bug guy to come to my apartment. While this wouldn't be a problem for some, it has me in a tizzy.

Now, what can I do about it?

1. Breathe

I breathe in through my nose for a count of five and then out through my mouth for a count of ten. It brings about a mindfulness, which you can read more about here. It makes me pause and think, "Okay, I'm not falling over dead. Things are gonna be okay.".

2. Self Talk

I ask myself what would happen if the worst thing that I am fretting about at the moment came to be. What if the manager came with the bug guy and said I had to move? Well, I would rally my resources and professional help and move. Why would that happen? Chances are it won't. When I start in with the 'what ifs' I can remember what my therapist told me and not feed my anxiety monster that lurks in the corner.

3. Distraction

I can watch a movie or TV show that I find humorous. Laughter helps a great deal. Here is an article that describes how there are incompatible mood states. It talks about anger, but I feel the same works for fear. I can go online and scroll through Facebook and Google Plus. I can chat with a friend, online or on the phone. I'm able to be quite candid about my anxiety so I can bounce my fears off another person. And it would be okay if they laugh. That helps me see that my fears are not well grounded in fact.

4. Call In The Professionals

Sometimes I find that the panic just won't stop. If that happens, I am very fortunate in that I have mental health professionals that have treated me for quite a while and know me and my situation. If you don't have a doctor that you see for your anxiety you can Google mental health hotline and centers in your area will pop up. 

I am very lucky in that earlier I chatted with a Google Plus friend. That and the act of researching this post, what research I did, has distracted me from my 'what ifs' long enough for the panic to take a back seat. It's still a passenger, though, but not such a loud, obnoxious one.

I hope that I have given you some ideas on how to handle a panicky feeling, that unsubstantiated fear. What would you add to my list?

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