Befriend Your Panic

intricate-skull-sculptures-jim-f-faure-9From Daily Meditations for Calming Your Anxious Mind
By Jeffrey Brantley, Wendy Milstine, 2008

befriend your panic

Leaving a place of security, such as your home or any place familiar and safe, can be agonizing, filling you with panic and a sense of dread. Panic can manifest as a fluttering of your heart, shortness of breath, or tensing of your muscles. Panic can be physically paralyzing. Perhaps you’re required to go somewhere for work that you’ve never been or perhaps you suddenly become overwhelmed with a feeling of being very far away from a safe place.

Your panic represents your fear that you are not safe. Panic can lead to thoughts of wanting to run, hide, or collapse. When panic sets in, meditation and mindfulness can be your friend and a tool to help you feel calm again.

  1. Take this moment to sit with your panicky feelings and tell yourself that your fears are precious reminders to be gentle with yourself. There’s no need to berate or punish yourself for these worrisome feelings.
  2. This meltdown will pass as you allow your mind to remember the places where you do feel safe and sound. Make a mental or written list of those spaces, such as your bedroom, backyard, car, best friend’s garden, favorite restaurant, and so on. Try to visualize yourself in one of these places. Carry this feeling of safety into the space where you are now.
  3. Now try to picture yourself standing tall, confident, and trusting these new uncertain surroundings. You are accomplishing your task in this new place. You are trusting yourself to do the next right thing. You are finding the strength to complete what you started.

Consider ways that you might be able to comfort yourself right now. Perhaps give yourself a slight hug, remember to breathe, or call a friend who is good at reassuring you during a crisis.

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