To my knowledge there is no “cure” for panic attacks and anxiety. But you can definitely manage them. So much so they don’t really need to be part of your life. It takes time and it takes practice, but I saw an immediate difference when I started following my own rules.
The problem is, anxiety is brought on by hypersensitivity either to your surroundings, your feelings or your thoughts. But ultimately you can break the cycle at any one of those three points. You can change your environment. This is the easiest of things to change, but then you may feel all sorts of other feelings associated with that. Including loneliness and increased depression. You can change your feelings, but that is very difficult to do since it’s the most tied to surroundings and thoughts. And lastly you can change your thoughts.
In all my research, I have found the only thing can stop panic attacks is the will to not have one. This is much easier said than done and is a constant struggle for anyone with hypersensitivity, like myself. Drugs will work, but they only work by turning off parts of your brain that bring on anxiety. This also has a negative effect of poor concentration and impeded brain functionality. Even at that it doesn’t always work. There is a cure, and it is not an easy one:
Tell yourself “I am okay”. But don’t just say it. You have to BELIEVE it. It took me a while to figure that out. As soon as I started trusting those words and truly let them sink in did I get better. I still have times where anxiety creeps in, but ever since I made that decision I have felt much much better. I can go to work without feeling like caving in. I can hang out with my friends, and do almost anything.
The other part of the trick was to stop saying things that leave room for doubt. I stopped saying “If I feel better tomorrow I will ….” and “I think I am doing okay” and I redirected my thoughts to “I feel better” and “I AM okay”. Every thought I have I forced myself to reword it. And I don’t let myself finish my statement until it’s worded in a positive, non-negotiation manner that leaves no room for possibility of panic.
Lastly, don’t say “no” to things. I still struggle with this one myself, but I am working on it. If you say no, that is reinforcing your thoughts that it is not okay to do something. If you say yes, it will be difficult the first few times, but it gets better. You can retrain your brain again. I had a really hard time going to my families favorite mexican restaurant, and even suffered a panic attack there. But after a dozen times of going, struggling with anxiety, I have been able to go without any problems. Each time gets easier. There is still the thought of not wanting to go, but I go anyways. And it gets better.
To summarize the above:
- Believe the words you say. Make them positive.
- Reword all your thoughts to be positive. “I can do it” not “I think I can do it”.
- Don’t say “No”.
There is no cure. But you can live your life. The more you practice the easier it gets. This IS the cure, and there is nothing else that works. No drug and no doctor can cure this. Only you can. I reiterate. I still struggle. But I am getting better.