They can break the cycle of panic and anxiety attacks!
Those who suffer mental torment most likely have an overactive brain and thoughts swirl and whirl about in hyperdrive fueling attacks or “feelings/emotions” they DO NOT WANT! With so many new readers I want to readdress this concept start by reading –
An excerpt from Panic Attacks Calming the Storm– view book trailer here
One night, or should I say one morning, at about 2 a.m., I received a frantic call from a friend of mine, Maggie. She was calling me to tell me that she was going to call the ambulance to take her to the emergency room.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I am dying. My heart is racing, I can’t breathe, I have pain in my chest, and I feel tingling in my hands and my feet. Also, I think my lips are numb,” she replied.
I then told Maggie, “Before you call the ambulance, let me ask you a few important questions. Who should I contact? Should I come over to the house to make sure things are shut, turned off, and locked up?”
My game plan was to cause her to think about something other than the way she felt. I had to help her disrupt her harmful pattern of thinking; in other words, I had to re-direct her thought pattern. She did not know what I was up to, so she became engaged in my questioning.
After I had her attention, I asked her a wild question. “You have a really cool dog, I really like that dog; it’s such a good pet. If you die, do you mind if I keep the dog for myself?”
Her response was a mixture of anger and confusion. “What are you talking about? Why would you ask me something as stupid as that?”
“Well,” I said, “it sounds most likely that you’re going to die from whatever you are experiencing, so if I don’t get to talk to you again, I just want to make sure that I get to keep your dog.”
Along with her initial anger, she hurled a few graphic words at me (words that would be inappropriate to mention in a book like this). Then I made a statement: “By the way, your breathing sounds better.”
There was a moment of silence before she remarked, “My breathing is better. My heart is not beating as fast as it was.”
Then I said, “Oh no, does this mean you’re not going to die? I really had my hopes set on adopting your dog!”
She finally caught on to what I was doing, and she started laughing. All those horrible symptoms left her, and I continued to joke with her about anything that I could come up with that would make her laugh.
So, what happened here?
I disrupted her thought patterns long enough for her to receive some relief from the horrible symptoms that she was experiencing.
When I am helping people get through a panic attack, I first attempt to get their attention, so they take their eyes off themselves. Then I try to get them laughing about something—anything. Over the years, I have discovered that laughter is a very effective tool for slowing down and even stopping the flow of adrenaline into your body.
Unfortunately, thoughts of fear initiate the release of adrenaline. If a fear stems from actual danger, the adrenaline is welcomed because the adrenaline will help you deal with the danger. If the fear stems from merely a perceived danger, then the adrenaline is unwelcome because there is no need for it.
The important thing to realize is that the body cannot discern between a real and perceived danger. We were created in a way that the body releases adrenaline based on our thoughts. The body does not sit down with the mind to discuss whether you are truly in danger or whether, for some reason, your subconscious perceives a danger that isn’t really there. The body doesn’t sit down with the mind and do lunch or enjoy a time of coffee and dialogue. No, your body is designed to react to your mind—to the thoughts based on the conclusion of the perception. We will discuss this later in greater depth, but it is vital that you understand the relationship between the reaction of the body and the thoughts of the mind.
I disrupted her thought pattern to the extent that she no longer perceived danger, so her mind no longer initiated any further releases of adrenaline.
The book continues to explain in more detail how this process works. The author, Brian Ludwig, shares with us what he has learned and helps us answer your questions. His book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine bookstores.
Not only is adrenaline affected, but feelings or emotions of remorse, sadness, or any preoccupation your mind engages in is disrupted. We will continue discussing distractions next week.
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