In the mountains there are logging trails, and your vehicle will be held hostage by the ruts created in the well-worn paths. The ruts have become so deep you have no choice but to follow them. The only way to escape and turn off the worn logging ruts is to fill the ruts in with stones, and rocks then lay a board on them to become a ramp that the vehicle could drive on. That is the only way to navigate out of the ruts.
When dealing with the mind, we must be aware that our thoughts have been traveling the same paths for so long that patterns have been established. With panic attacks and anxiety, a person has allowed incorrect or harmful thoughts to follow the same thought over and over. This is like the ruts in the logging trail, the same pattern in the way you think will always end up at the same conclusion.
My heart is racing, my B/P is too high – too low, my pulse is too fast – too slow, whatever symptom you have which is normal when adrenaline is released you automatically come to the same conclusion – there is a major malfunction in your body. Any little twitch or deviation from what you think is your normal and the runaway thought pattern races to the same conclusion. You worry you become more anxious you panic, and more adrenaline is released, and the cycle continues.
The vehicle cannot just pull out of the logging trail ruts unless something changes. You must start to change the way you think, to fill in the ruts – the patterns of thoughts -with facts and truth.
This is why it is so important that you have a complete physical. Once the physician says you are OK. That is a fact; that is truth.
“OLD MINDSET” vs “NEW MINDSET”
How to reinforce the “old mindset” Does this sound familiar?
- I think I’m having a heart attack.
- My pulse is too high.
- This is not my normal blood pressure.
- Breathing is difficult I can’t catch my breath
- And all the other symptoms of an adrenaline rush.
When these words are spoken, they are reinforcing your health-related anxiety. Remember you just had a physical and everything is functioning normally.
The “new Mindset” would sound something like this.
- My heart is functioning normally I just had a physical
- My pulse may be a little high but that is what adrenaline does.
- I do not need to keep checking my B/P my physical was fine and blood pressure are supposed to change.
- My body is still pink so I must be breathing ok.
You must begin speaking out loud your declarations of truth.
Immediately at the onset of fear or panic or anxiety. You must speak in complete opposition to any thoughts of fear and speculation of danger. If you must, take some notecards and write out your declarations of truth. Put them on the notepad of your smartphone. Do whatever you have to in order to be prepared to speak against what you are feeling.
As soon as you feel the effects of adrenaline on your body and experience the uncomfortable side effects, I need you to be convinced that you are not in a life-threatening situation. You had a physical. Even though you feel horrible, we know that the adrenaline is a reason behind the way you feel. I need you to learn how to resist fear.
It will go something like this:
“I feel horrible. I feel horrible because adrenaline has just been released into my body for no apparent reason. Even though I feel horrible, I am not in any danger. I just had a complete physical and every organ and every tissue of my body functions perfectly. I refuse to enter into fear because there is nothing to fear. I refuse to speculate. There is nothing wrong, I can deal with the way I feel because the effects of the adrenaline will pass quickly.”
If done correctly, you will begin to feel the fear begin to dissipate and the effects of the adrenaline will begin to leave your body. This is the way to gain back control.
Remember it takes many stones and rocks to fill up the old logging trail rut so be persistent and relentless.
Nugget: What you must understand is that an incorrect pattern of thinking will eventually create an incorrect pattern of behavior such as health anxiety. By speaking words that we choose to believe, that go against the way we feel, we are beginning to learn the process of disrupting harmful thought patterns. We are also beginning the process of creating a new “mindset.”