- I accept the scary thoughts in my mind. Even though they are very uncomfortable and confronting, I do not let them push me further into panic. I trust in the fact that their intensity will change and that at a certain point they will subside.
- I know that when I allow my body to experience relaxation and calmness again, this will influence the fluctuations of my mind in a positive way, eventually calming my thoughts as well.
- I make myself as comfortable as possible in the situation, seated or lying down, with my feet firmly grounded (when seated) or warmed up in a blanket (when the body feels cold, it is nearly impossible to relax!).
- I completely focus on bringing more relaxation in my body through deep, slow abdominal breathing. The breath is a gateway between body and mind, and its slow pace and deep movement an important messenger of safety.
- With every exhalation I relax my muscles as much as I can. This conscious relaxation goes against my fear instincts which scream: flee, freeze, fight! However, at this point, it is extremely important to trust in the power of deep, slow abdominal breathing, and to have a strong will to keep on relaxing and softening the body as much as possible with each exhalation.
- I do this 10-15 minutes, or as long as needed. At this point my system usually has made a change to the I feel safe mode. Consequently, scary thoughts and feelings subside.
Facing Fear, Anxiety and Panic Attacks When years ago I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, I had a minimal awareness of my body, mind and