By Bertil Hjert
It is important to examine that which you fear.
For so many of us, the fear creeps up and takes a hold. Suddenly, we feel our heart rate accelerate and our breathing become quicker.
We feel uncomfortable sensations coursing through our body and become even more frightened. We are so consumed by the physical manifestations of our anxiety or panic attack that we don’t take the time to analyze what this sudden surge is all about.
Why are we feeling this way, what are we concerned about, and most importantly are our fears based on probabilities or remote possibilities?
We don´t take the time to analyze our attacks because who could possibly think about anything other than whether our body can survive this latest and greatest assault by our anxiety demon.
While it may seem impossible to analyze our fears away, you need to try to take the time to do it. Doing so begins with reminding yourself that your body and your mind can survive the physical manifestations of your anxiety symptoms.
You are not going to go into cardiac arrest.
You are not going to stop breathing.
You are not going to lose all sensations and feeling in your body.
If you’ve had more than one panic attack, this may be easier for you to tell yourself. You have already survived multiple panic attacks and while the episode may have been scary, you are none the worse for wear physically.
Your body was designed to have this happen; having an adrenaline surge is a natural response and one that your body can spring back from without difficulty.
Since you aren’t going to die, you can actually take the time to analyze the basis of your panic attack or anxiety symptoms.
Usually, the trigger was building up over a course of hours, days or weeks.
In these times of economic turmoil, many of the panic attack triggers revolve around financial uncertainty.
A fear that you might lose your job, that you won’t get hired somewhere else, that you won’t have as many things, or that your family will be poor.
All of these worries are genuine but if you think about them more thoroughly you will realize the answer to all these potential pitfalls is SO WHAT!
If you are worried about losing your job or have already lost your job, this isn’t a new found status. At some point in your earlier life you were unemployed.
You somehow managed to find a job once and you will do so again. So what if you don’t have as many things or make as much money? Life and happiness are not based on possessions.
Some of the unhappiest people I know are also the richest. Money is not a guaranteed route to happiness and you shouldn’t let it determine your self worth.
Having a high self worth or high self esteem is central to dealing with your anxiety problems.
People with high self confidence and a high regard for themselves and their abilities tend to have less problems with anxiety and panic. This makes intuitive sense but you can´t just conjure self esteem out of nowhere.
People with low self esteem tend to think of life in terms of what they don’t have, rather than what they do have.
They aren’t rich enough, smart enough, and pretty enough.
Building up your self esteem is a process but it is something that can certainly be accomplished and it will help you deal with your anxiety.
How do you enhance your self esteem? Here are some steps to boost your feelings of self worth and give your more confidence about your life.
1. Accept what bring to the table as well as your own limitations
This seems simple enough but so many people have a hard time doing it.
If you are 5’5″, you are not the next Lebron James, no matter how much you wish it were so.
If you can’t carry a tune, you are not going to star in a musical on Broadway.
Accept your limitations and appreciate what you can do.
You may not be able to carry a tune but you may be a whiz in math or be an eloquent speaker, or have a sympathetic and understanding heart.
These are important abilities or traits that can be built upon to find your own niche in life.
2. Find Your Value
Appreciating what you bring to the table and your own abilities will help you find your value in this world.
You may not be indispensable on the basketball court, but you may be in the science lab or in the operating room, or educating children.
There are so many places where you can find pride and a feeling of self worth.
You don’t have to have your name in lights to experience the appreciation of others and feel good about yourself and what you do.
3. Be Realistic About Your Goals
It´s important to dream big and set your sights high but you don´t want to set yourself up for disappointment.
You are not going to become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company in one year.
However, you might be able to get a job at one and work your way up.
4. Work Hard and Feel Good about Your Accomplishments
Working hard reaps rewards. Its just the simple truth, you get places and get noticed when you put the extra effort in.
When you do get recognition, appreciate it and celebrate it.
Celebrating your accomplishments is a great way to build up self esteem.
Recognizing that you earned that promotion, that raise or that congratulatory pat on the back is an important part of feeling good about yourself and reducing any anxiety you might be experiencing as you work towards your goals.
5. Remember You Are Special
This isn´t just some hokey line, it´s the truth. Each of us brings something special and unique to this world.
If you have children, all you have to do is look into their eyes to realize how special you are.
Let your whole life, not just your job, determine how you feel about yourself.
Believe in your ability to accomplish what you desire and beat back that anxiety and panicky feeling that threatens to undermine your happiness.
See more articles by Bertil Hjert.
Bertil Hjert is author of the Panic Goodbye program.
This program includes 7 eBooks about relieving Panic and Anxiety Attacks, Agoraphobia, OCD, and Social Phobia; using Abdominal Breathing & Meditation, Body & Mind relaxation, Yoga & Progressive Muscle Relaxation.