Life brings a range of different challenges and some of the biggest involve nervousness and panic. Going for a job interview soon? Do you have to stand up and give a speech in front of people? What about simply going into a crowded shopping mall? Each of these things are easy for some, but they’re anxiety-inducing for others and that’s exceptionally hard when you need to do any of the above things. Events and big changes in life can send you into a panic, and when it’s happening, you can feel it coming. Anxiety disorders are not a joke, and for some people, they can feel like a heart attack waiting to happen.
For those who deal with a panic disorder, life is a lot harder to navigate. The crowded shopping mall ends up with the walls feeling like they’re closing in. The speech you have to give can leave you tongue-tied and unable to move your mouth. The job interview you desperately want to attend can feel impossible. You can read more about the ways that you can temper your panic and close it down, but it’s equally important to note how to get rid of the panic before it truly hits you. If you can head it off when the initial warning signs of a panic attack kick in, you’re going to be successful in managing it. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can stop it before it sets in.
- Kick yourself back to the present. One thing that is common with all situations of panic, it’s that we panic when we think about what will happen next, not now. We worry about the future rather than the present, and that’s where the panic sets in. We think about whether we are safe, whether we are okay with what’s happening in life right now and whether we can manage our feelings. If you feel that worry building up, stop thinking about the thing in the future that hasn’t happened yet and bring yourself back into the room you’re in. It’ll help!
- Use safe words. When you are having a panic attack, you may think your heart will beat out of your chest, that you’re going to die and that you’re in pain. Panic attacks can feel that way, but if you want to reel in the panic, you need to relabel the experience. Safe words to tell yourself that yes, you’re having a panic attack but that it’s not going to last, that it’s not going to kill you, that it will be over soon – all of these words will help you to feel better.
- Turn to facts. Worst-case scenarios are very popular with anxious individuals. Their minds instantly go to the very worst thing that could happen, and this anxious thought plays out like a movie in the mind. Instead of leaning into these “hallucinations”, consider the reality. If you’re nervous about a job interview and your anxiety takes you to you accidentally puking on yourself, remind yourself that you are a grown adult and this is not going to happen. Remind yourself that you are prepared for anything no matter what and remember that when you walk into the room, you walk in without the job. If you don’t get the job, you haven’t lost anything either!