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Panic Assistance

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Panic Assistance

Audio that helps you cope with a panic attack. This is not a relaxation audio. The purpose of this audio is to coach you when you are experiencing high anxiety or panic. The focus of the audio is to help you learn to tolerate the uncomfortable sensations of anxiety while learning to reduce the symptoms. This is based upon the theory that the fear of the symptoms tends to trigger repeated panic attacks and that as you reduce your fear of the symptoms, the likelihood of panic is reduced.

NOTE: Due to the non-specific nature of panic symptoms, it is important to obtain a complete physical and an accurate diagnosis from a physician prior to assuming that the experience was a panic attack. For more information, read How to Manage Panic and Anxiety.

Transcript: Panic Assistance

You are listening to this because you are feeling anxious or panicky. You may be frightened right now. You may feel scared and like running away. You may feel like you are going to lose control or make a fool of yourself. Or you may be afraid that you will get hurt or hurt someone else. You may feel sure that something terrible will happen to you.

But stop! Listen to me! YOU WILL BE OKAY. YOU WILL BE FINE.

These feelings you are experiencing right now will go away. They'll go away on their own. With time. You can be assured of that. They have to go away because they are a part of the normal way that the body reacts.

The discomfort will pass. Nothing terrible will happen. No disaster will occur. Slow down and just ask yourself, “What is really happening?” Notice the sensations in your body. These feelings cannot harm you. They cannot harm you because they are a normal part of how the body operates. Whether you may be having difficulty breathing, or you feel pressure in your head, or you feel tightness in your chest, or you feel your heart beating faster, or you feel dizzy or lightheaded, shaky or sweaty, or anything else you feel. These are all normal ways that the body reacts when you feel anxious. These feelings cannot harm you. They may be uncomfortable and unsettling but they will not harm you.

You are safe because your body will not harm you with these sensations. What you are fearing will not happen. It never has and it never will. Your body will take care of itself. You just need to let it.

Now stop and continue to listen. Take a slow breath. It may be a little difficult at first but as you continue to listen to me you can continue to slow down your breathing. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly. As you exhale let the muscles in shoulders relax, let your shoulders drop and relax.

Soon you will begin to feel better. Don't try to force it. Just continue to listen to me. Anxiety and panic will pass. It has to. That's the way the body functions. Whatever you are feeling right now will pass. I know that at some point your body WILL begin to slow down. I am sure of that. Because that is how your body is designed.

However, for right now just remember that what you are feeling may be intense, but it is a normal stress response. Your body is revving up temporarily but it will slow down. Keep in mind that you are safe. You body will slow down. You are safe even though you may be uncomfortable. You are perfectly safe.

Continue to take slow breaths. Inhale slowly. And exhale slowly. Continue to listen to what I am saying. Now let the muscles in your neck and your shoulders relax. Let your shoulders and your arms drop and relax and you breathe slowly.

You know that the fear of these sensations and scary thoughts have controlled your life. They tell you what you can do and what you can't do. It is unfair that they have controlled you like this and dictated what you can do in your life. You must be so tired of this problem. You don't want to be controlled and intimidated by fear anymore! Aren't you angry that the fear of these feelings can control your life like this?

You are fed up with feeling like this. But you are doing something about it. Right now you are listening to me. Right now you are fighting back by learning to tolerate these uncomfortable feelings. And you can do this. You can get through this. It may be unpleasant but you can do this. Because I know, and you will to, that you will be okay. You can do what you set out to do. Yes, you can! Because nothing more than what you are experiencing right now will happen to you. The painful fear that you are experiencing right now will pass. I am certain. You will begin to feel better. This is anxiety. It is a normal way that the body functions. It will not hurt you.

Now again, take a slow breath. Inhale slowly, and exhale very slowly. Let your entire upper body relax and loosen as you inhale. Do not worry if you start to become more aware of your tension as you try to relax. It will pass. You will become better and better at letting the tension go. But to do that you may need to become more aware of it which will be uncomfortable at first. Remember, it will pass.

Now pay attention to what is happening right now. Try to focus outside of yourself. Where are you? What do you see around you? Take a good look and notice the things that you see. What are you doing? What is happening? Slow down and pay attention to what is really happening right now. No matter how much you might believe that something terrible is going to happen, nothing is really happening right now. You are just feeling sensations in your body. These are normal part of the way the body works. Nothing terrible is happening. And nothing terrible will happen. Listen to me. I am telling you that you WILL be okay. Nothing terrible is going to happen. This discomfort will pass just as it has always passed and you will be okay. No disaster will happen.

You are choosing something difficult right now. You are choosing to fight back. You are fighting back by learning to tolerate these uncomfortable sensations and to not let them control your life. You are choosing to challenge this problem by doing what you have set out to do. By continuing to do what you want instead of letting the anxiety dictate to you what you can and cannot do. You are choosing to feel this fear now so that it won't control you tomorrow. You know that you may feel uncomfortable now but that it will be gone. You know that the more you learn to tolerate these unpleasant sensations, the less fearful they will be to you. When you are less afraid of feeling this way, this fear won't have control over you and won't occur as much or as intensely. You are choosing to face this fear so that you can live a better life tomorrow. This may hurt now but you will be alright. These feelings will not harm you. You are safe. Nothing bad will happen except that you feel these uncomfortable sensations. No one has ever been harmed by a panic attack. And you won't be. It may hurt for awhile, but it will go away.

Continue to listen to me. Take a slow breath. Inhale slowly. Exhale slowly. Don't try to force the breathing or relaxation. Just continue to breath and it will slow down. Allow the muscles in your upper body to relax. The muscles in your neck and shoulders and chest and arms. Let them become smooth and relaxed. Your body will continue to loosen up and relax on its own as you continue to listen to me. As time passes it will naturally relax. Just let it do what it knows how to do.

Now just continue to listen to my voice. As you do, let all other thoughts go. Just listen carefully to what I am saying. Focus on me and let the other thoughts go. Even if you are still feeling terrible, you ARE safe. You WILL be okay. These awful sensations will go away. This experience will soon be over. It has to be. Your body can only maintain these sensations as long as the adrenalin lasts and at some point it will exhaust its ability to feel this way. It will stop. It always has and always will. You are safe.

I know it can be very tempting to give up. It is tiring to have to feel this way. Sometimes you may get very discouraged because it is not fair that you have to feel this way and have this problem. Other people may not even recognize what you have to go through just to do the things that you want or need to do in your life. They may not realize the courage it takes to face this fear. But I do. I know that it takes a lot of courage to learn how to tolerate these feelings, to face this fear down, to tell it “I'm not going to let you control my life anymore!” You are facing this problem right now. You are challenging yourself to face this fear and I know what kind of courage that takes. Many people never have to face their fears because their fears don't directly affect their lives. Or they use alcohol or drugs to not have to feel. But you have the courage to face these fears down. You know that the more that you face them, they will lose their control over you. You know that when you can come to believe “So what if I get anxious. So what if I panic? It can't hurt me.” the fear will lose control over you. And as it loses its control it will begin to go away.

Now again take a slow breath. Focus on your breath. Inhale slowly. And exhale. Let the muscles in your body loosen and relax. Let the muscles in your forehead smooth out and relax. Let the muscles in your neck, the sides, the back the front of your neck smooth out and relax. Let your shoulders and arms droop and relax. Just breathe slowly and let your body do what it knows how to do.

Keep in mind that by continuing to challenge your fear, you are strengthening your ability to control this fear rather than it controlling you. You don't need to let this problem control your life any longer. You have the courage to face it. You don't need to let the fear decide what you are able to do in your life. You can decide. You can choose to continue to face this fear down just as you are doing right now. You know that even if it means that you have to feel uncomfortable for awhile, that it is only temporary and that as you continue to allow yourself to experience this discomfort you will become more and more in control. You are learning to tolerate these sensations so that you can have a better life in the long run. As you continue to practice regularly you will gain more confidence in your ability to tolerate this discomfort as well as your ability to reduce the sensations.

Even though you may feel uncomfortable now, you ARE safe. You WILL be okay and you WILL feel better. I repeat, you ARE safe. You WILL be okay and you WILL feel better. This is the way your body naturally works and at some point your body will slow down. It knows how to take care of itself. Just let your body do its job. You will be comfortable soon. You will be okay. You are safe. Just continue to breathe and relax. If you need to listen to this again, that is perfectly okay. Eventually your body will slow down and you WILL be okay.

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank

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