It seems to come out of the blue…suddenly you feel afraid, short of breath, maybe your heart feels like it’s beating our of your chest, you feel dizzy, or cold and shaky. That’s a panic or anxiety attack beginning. Before you let it spiral out of control, there are three immediate steps that can help you quickly recover.
Before I explain the steps, it is important to realize that your body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do when you tell it there is danger (by your rapid-fire thoughts that are ‘terribilizing’ or making a stressful moment into something much worse). From your body’s standpoint, it is responding to the thoughts of danger you are sending it. To its ancient programming, there might be a lion outside your cave entrance, or a neighboring tribe ready to attack…danger, danger danger! So unknowingly you are mobilizing your body for fleeing, freezing, or fighting, none of which is actually needed. What to do? Here are three simple strategies that are easy to remember and do the next time fear knocks at your door.
I call this the STOP-LOOK & LISTEN technique:
- STOP. The first thing to do is just simply shout “STOP” to yourself, or see a big red STOP sign. Some people may snap a rubber band on their wrist. The ideas is to STOP the runaway train of terribilizing thoughts and do one other super important thing…BREATHE slowly and deeply several times.
- LOOK. Now come back to the present moment. Fear is all about the future and the “what if’s.” Look around where you are and name some objects, count something, or just focus away from the scary body sensations and more on something else. Move around if you can and talk to someone or sing or count backwards from 100. BREATHE slowly and deeply!
- LISTEN. Now is the time to speak to yourself compassionately. Say “so what!” to the “what if’s.” Here are some things you can say:
“This, too, shall pass.”“I am safe and I am fine.”
“All is well.”
“I’ll handle it, always have, always will.”
One of the things to realize about an anxiety or panic attack is that they are an SOS from your inner you, i.e., a “Stressed-Out-Symptom.” So after you recover from feeling bad, remember to do a little personal inventory and ask yourself:
“How can I take better care of myself?”
“Am I getting good amounts of sleep and the right type of nutrients”
“Am I having too much caffeine or nicotine or both?”
“Am I exercising or allowing myself some down time?”
Always take some time out after you’ve had a bout with anxiety to pamper yourself. Take a warm, relaxing bath, light candles and play music. Take the day off, play with your pet, do something you find enjoyable. Go fishing, do gardening, or connect with Mother Nature. Becoming more peaceful, focused, and serene calms the pangs of apprehension. Where there is peace, there is no need for fear.
Remember, your thoughts create your life…choose them wisely!
Join me at the Working Women’s Survival Show (http://www.wwssonline.com/) Saturday February 22nd, at 5 pm in Seminar Room 103. “Stress Smackdown: Five Keys to Mental Fitness” will describe how to rewire your brain out of stress mode into becoming a peaceful warrior! Learn how to turn on your Happy Genes. I’ll demonstrate the amazing Five Minute Mental Marinade guaranteed to instantly melt away your stress. Learn the super easy “Stop-Look-Listen” technique.
The WWSS is the premier event for FUN, FASHION, and FITNESS. This year it will also feature Bob Harper, star of “The Biggest Loser” and Barry Williams “Greg” of the Brady Bunch.
I’ll sign books, hand out some free stuff, and chat after my talk. So come on by and pick up some great tips, tools, and strategies to be happier and less stressed!
Sun Valley Wellness Festival, Sun Valley Idaho May 23-27, 2013
Kathryn Tristan Presented Sunday May 26th, 2013
Why Worry? Stop Coping and Start Living We live in an age of global anxiety. Uncertainties and challenges from finances, relationships, work and home can leave us feeling constantly stressed out, worried, and tense. If feeling edgy is the new norm, are we really happy or merely coping our way through life? This talk discussed how to turn old ways of coping upside down and showed how to create calm during chaos by using powerful tools and practical mind-body-spirit centered strategies to overcome chronic worrying. Participants learned how to recognize and eliminate automatic inner trash talk and negative thinking. Kathryn also showed how to quickly stop worry before it hits the red zone; understand how your psychological immune system seeds worry as it tries to protect you; and how to Master Sure-Fire Worry Busters. Participants loved her presentation and went home better able to deal with stresses and worries.
Kathryn Tristan also conducted a workshop on Monday, May 27th
Kathryn loved the entire festival and especially her discussions with Keynote speak and luminary, Dr. Eben Alexander.
Is it me or has anyone else noted the shift in how credible people are now quickly appearing in the area of spirituality and new thought consciousness? “Woo-Woo” is now becoming evidence-based “Wow.Case in point. I attended a wkshop given by retired U.S. Navy Commander who served as a commanding officer, as special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, and as the aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9/11 (2001) with a ‘beyond-top-secret’ clearance. And in case your mind immediately drifted off to the testosterone side, let me point out the commander is a woman. After a family tragedy in 2006, Suzanne Giesemann discovered abilities she had not been aware of and subsequently the multi-decorated veteran left her military career and now works within the field of spirituality and self-empowerment. Oh yes, she is also a gifted medium who sees, hears, and speaks to the dead.
At the workshop held at the Center for Spiritual Living (St. Louis), Suzanne shared stories of her very detailed connections to those who have died who came across during compelling readings . She also discussed ancient spiritual wisdom and blended all that with discoveries of modern day science and consciousness. I, too, found amazing coincidences began happening to me as I recovered from anxiety/worry and began to incorporate a deeper connection to my inner spiritual dimension. Bridging that gap was my gateway to healing. See Chapter 9 in my book, “Why Worry?”
I believe a very concrete spiritual shift has begun in the world. I see many new thought leaders emerging to help guide us on that journey. Suzanne Giesemann is one of them and top notch at that! Let us pay attention and begin to more deeply cultivate a connection to our own spiritual side. In my experience and those of others, when left brain meets right brain, reconnects with the heart, stand back…‘woo-woo’ goes to ‘WOW’!
Maybe it will for you, too! Check out Suzanne’s web site at www.LoveAtTheCenter.com . There is also a free download for meditating to specially crafted music of Frederic Delarue. Also see her “coming out” as a medium http://t.co/SOxaF220P
The “Five Minute Mental Marinade” Can Change Your Life!
Worry, stress, and anxiety have no place in your life, except as brief emotional messengers beckoning you to find solutions to a difficulty or challenge. These natural emotions, however, can harm, subvert, and destroy your happiness unless you learn to manage them. In “Why Worry? Stop Coping and Start Living” I provide lots of ways to do just that… http://www.whyworrybook.com/buy-the-book .
But here is another and, believe me, it can change your life! It draws on resources from your mind, body, and spirit. This triple whammy creates a powerful energy to help you solve your issues and manage your emotions. Without engaging these subtle resources, much of the time, our brains react negatively primarily because we have unconsciously programmed it to do so. It’s the way we are brought up, the example we mostly see, and because we are unaware of a powerful truth….Worry is a Choice! You are not the victim, you are the chooser of your reactions and which thoughts you pay attention to.
One powerful way to begin becoming the leader of your thoughts and not the follower of your fears is to re-program that automatic negativity, which I call “terribilizing” (making something that is a problem into a catastrophe) and overwrite that response with “possibilizing” (creating a mentally positive possibility that things will be just fine or you can handle whatever you need to handle).
What’s the Secret? Here is a great way to begin reprogramming your mind to react in a way that will allow you to feel happier, more in control, and feel more grounded:
This is the FIVE MINUTE MENTAL MARINADE. Do these before you go to sleep each night:
- RESTING in bed, place both hands across your chest in your heart area (one on top of the other and resting your arms on your chest).
- CLOSE your eyes and take 5 deep, slow breaths.
- RECALL 5 positive things that happened during the day (we usually recall everything that annoyed us…don’t go there!).
- FOCUS on someone or something you really LOVE! Focus on that feeling and those thoughts for a few minutes. Enjoy this fully!
- TAKE 5 more deep, slow breaths.
- RELAX and let yourself drift off to sleep, allowing your mind to marinate all night in this positive energy. If you catch yourself reviewing problems, repeat the entire procedure.
The more consistently you do the FIVE MINUTE MENTAL MARINADE, the more amazing your results will be. You might even try this during the day, especially if things are stressing you out. Find a place to be alone and do the FIVE MINUTE MENTAL MARINADE.
Life will often challenge us. Just as we solve one problem, another may arise. Worry is something that is natural and tries to alert us to problems. We need, however, to manage this helpful emotion before it kicks into automatic terribilizing and negativity, dragging us down a negative spiral of reactions.
It’s up to you to take care of yourself, to become the leader of your thoughts. What better time than now to begin charting a new way? What better way than to infuse into your life more loving kindness, relaxation, and positive energy. Marinate and enjoy!
Did you know that no matter what your age, you are attending school year round, no breaks, no vacations? This institute of higher learning is called ‘earth school.’ In earth school, you don’t just learn lessons in your head, you also learn in your heart and spirit. In earth school, if you don’t pass the courses, you must take the classes over and over until you get the lessons. In earth school,
No spiritual student is left behind!
It seems the smart thing to do is to learn our lessons using our minds, bodies and spirits and then move on. This was one of the messages of spiritual luminary Marianne Williamson (http://www.marianne.com/ ) who spoke in St. Louis at a recent day-long seminar I attended. Here are some of my notes and personal reflections on the wisdom she shared.
Our lives represent a ‘highly individualized curriculum.” That is, our experiences are uniquely ours. Our challenges are specific opportunities for growth and self-actualization. Indeed, the universe is a self-actualization machine. That’s a scary thought. You mean I’m responsible for how I react to everything?
One of our first assignments is “relationships.” Our earliest relationships are the families in which we are born or the families taking care of us. Most of our emotional programming is automatically programmed by age 7 or 8. However, most of this programming derived from the people and circumstances around us, not due to our conscious choosing. As we experience life and subsequent relationships, much of our responses, then, arise from our earlier programming, for better or for worse.
The challenge is to learn how we have been programmed and often to unlearn or ‘rewire’ these automatic responses. Of course, if you had the perfect childhood and parents and experiences, you may pass “GO” and skip ahead. For most of us that’s not the case.
Here are 5 ways to pass the ‘relationship’ course with an A+. These are based upon what I’ve learned from Marianne as well as my own curriculum in ‘earth school.’
- During disagreements, take a 2 minute break for ‘spiritual silence.’ Surrender your thoughts to God/Spirit/Universe and say to yourself: “I am willing to see this differently.”
- Express your emotions in “I messages.” Discuss your feelings as to how something felt to you when someone did or said something, not how much of a ‘jerk’ the other person is.
- Detach from the outcome. Express yourself for the purpose of releasing your emotions productively. Don’t expect or demand the other person agree with you. The point is for you to recognize the importance of your own emotions.
- Do not ‘text back’ to fear, anger or guilt. In fact, turn off the internal phone entirely!
- Seek a win-win solution. There doesn’t have to be one person who is right and one who is wrong. Compromise and communication are powerful keys.
Of course, relationships are just one course in earth school. But what you learn will have powerful ramifications on every other aspect of your ‘highly individualized curriculum.’