Your home should be your place of comfort. It should be your refuge when the rest of the world is going crazy.
But what if your home is just as stressful as everywhere else? What happens then?
You have two options; you can feel in control, or you can feel that you are losing control.
Having control over something can be a fine line sometimes. A small change can make a big difference. Do you recall a time before you had anxiety attacks at home? And then do you remember the moment when you started having anxiety attacks at home? I imagine that you can’t recall any significant difference in your life when the anxiety-switch turned itself on. What changed?
How A Boat Can Help Your Anxiety Attacks
Did I just say boat?
I did indeed!
Here’s the thing about boats. You can be sailing along nicely for ages. Your course can be as straight as an arrow, and you’d undoubtedly be in control of your boat at this point.
If you take your hand off the rudder for even the shortest period of time, however, you’ll find that you drift off-course slightly. A person with boating experience will quickly spot this slight mistake and will correct the direction of the boat. For a person with no boating experience, this small loss of control can spell trouble.
What tends to follow for the boating beginner, is that they overreact and steer too much in the opposite direction. What follows next is an extended period of fighting the rudder, rather than having any control over it. The same is true of a car on ice if that example works better for you.
The message is this; very slight changes in your reactions to things, can not only make a big difference, but they can also have long-lasting effects.
What Makes People Special Who Do Not have Panic Attacks?
People who do not suffer from panic attacks can be compared to people who have boating experience.
This bit is super-important —> They Do Not Overreact To Small Changes In The Behaviour of The Boat.
But, for people who do suffer from anxiety attacks, they do overreact to small changes in the behavior of the boat.
(I use the terms: anxiety attacks and panic attacks to mean the same thing by the way.)
Panic Attacks Are Nothing More Than An Over-Reactive Fear of Various Symptoms
When you start to feel an anxiety attack coming on, it isn’t actually the ‘attack’ that you fear (you think that it is, but it isn’t.) What you really fear are the symptoms that will be heading your way real soon. Who wants to feel very hot, or nauseous? Who wants to feel light-headed or dizzy? Who wants to feel that they can’t breathe or feel like they’ll lose consciousness? Nobody wants to feel these things!
[click_to_tweet tweet=”An anxiety attack (or panic attack,) is merely a name given to all the various symptoms that sufferers can experience. So the things that you really fear are all individual symptoms and nothing more.” quote=”An anxiety attack (or panic attack,) is merely a name given to all the various symptoms that sufferers can experience. So the things that you really fear are all individual symptoms and nothing more.”]
So what happens?
You grab the boat rudder, and you force it in the opposite direction, and away from the symptoms. But you have pushed it too much, and instead of making yourself feel better, you feel worse. Your boat is now heading farther off-course than it was before. Your over-reaction has made things worse rather than better.
Imagine If You Had This One Special Super-Power
Imagine for a moment that you had an extraordinary gift, and that gift gave you the power to ignore symptoms. How great would that be!
Just think… You’d have that first sense of panic, and that may be that you notice that your breathing was changing. But instead of that first symptom leading to the next symptom, you merely could just ignore the very first symptom!
If you could ignore the very first symptom, then the usual chain reaction of symptoms would be prevented.
Let’s say though, that you successfully ignored the first symptom, but the second symptom occurred anyway. Then you could use your super-power to overlook that one also.
Eventually, if all your usual symptoms had all come along, but you had successfully ignored them all, then you would have successfully beaten a panic attack. If you really had this Super Power, then you’d be completely free of your anxiety attacks!
If you have no symptoms, you have no panic attacks.
For People Who Don’t Suffer From Panic Attacks, They Already Have That Super Power.
How To Develop Your: “I Don’t Care About That Symptom” Super Power
Let’s revisit the boat for one final time.
You have been sailing very smoothly for about twenty minutes, and you suddenly notice that you are cruising slightly off-course (your first hint of a symptom.) Being an experienced Captain, you calmly acknowledge that there is a hint of a symptom coming along. You are fully aware that if you start forcing the rudder in all directions that you’ll end up even farther off-course.
So you don’t shake the rudder like a madman, you just tell yourself to let the feeling go, and you make that slight adjustment to get back to normal once again. You also tell yourself that it was no problem to drift off-course, and it’s no big deal that you felt the way that you did.
If you drift off-course again, you repeat the same process. And you’ll keep repeating the process for any subsequent symptoms.
By allowing your symptoms to feel big and important, you let them be big and important. But by acknowledging them, correcting them, and then letting them ease away, makes them insignificant. People who do not suffer from anxiety attacks do this without even being aware that they are doing it. If you take the same steps and keep repeating them, then they’ll also become automatic for you too!
The higher the importance you give to a symptom, the more powerful the symptom will be. By shrugging it off like an unwanted friend, you take away its power. Just adopt a: “So What!” attitude to all your anxiety attack symptoms, and with time, you’ll win.
Don’t just try this once and say that it doesn’t work. An experienced boatman doesn’t become experienced on his first journey.