Just Relax? – Easy for you to say

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Have you ever had a panic attack?

“Just relax” – “Don’t Panic”! These are some common statements one hears from others as they are experiencing the terrifying feelings associated with a panic attack.

If it was as easy to “just relax” then one would have already ended the panic they are feeling.

Let me introduce you to Suzy.

Suzy has struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for sometime now. She has good days and bad days. The hardest part is never knowing when the bad days are coming. There is really no way for Suzy to predict their arrival.

But the good news is through therapy, Suzy has learned several ways to help her through those hard days. By doing the work, therapy has given Suzy tools to help shift her focus to make it through the terrifying feelings.

One of the most terrifying and common aspects of panic is the physical experience:

Heart palpitations
Dizziness
Numbness
Difficulty breathing
Chest pains
Nausea
Intestinal discomfort
Sweating
all while feeling disconnected from your surroundings.

Panic can be triggered by anything such as – public speaking, flying, crowds, and even silence. (Another negative aspect is you cannot always predict when it might occur. Anxiety does not discriminate. Affecting 40 million adults (including races, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, and gender) *
Bottom line: while panic attacks are often unpredictable, you can learn to manage their intensity

Here are a few tips Suzy learned to use on “one of those days”.

Shifting your thoughts, focus, and physical tension.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy serves as a mechanism to identify what thoughts are associated with one’s panic, shifting them in the direction of decreasing the panic, and limiting the future fears of a panic attack occurring.

Mindfulness
This teaches you ways to shift your focus from the internal battling of panic to an external calmness and decreasing of the physical discomfort associated with panic.

The Combination
Using both approaches have shown to be the most effective treatment for anxiety.

Remember when Suzy has a bad day, she may not know it’s coming, but she does have the tools to help her make it through the experience.

Unfortunately, despite the effectiveness of treatment many individuals suffer in silence battling anxiety throughout their lives. If you are struggling with anxiety and panic or know someone who is, contact us today to discuss how we can help you regain control from the dictation of anxiety.

*cited by the Anxiety and Depression Association.


Counseling Hoboken; Mollie Busino, LCSW, Director of Mindful Power. Mollie has had extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, and Mindfulness. Her work focuses on Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, Career Changes, OCD, Relationship, Dating Challenges, Insomnia, & Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.