For anyone seeking help for depression and anxiety, you’re probably very familiar with that feeling of alarm signals going off when you experience a scary thought or scary symptoms.
But what if we approached our scary thoughts and symptoms in a different way…
Let me tell you a story about how the old me used to respond to scary thoughts EVERY SINGLE time I went out.
Costco was a trigger for me.
It was always so busy and I felt especially panicked when I was in the middle of the store and the exits were so far away.
I would venture in but my brain was already running its own story about how I was going to feel stressed out when I got further in, and that I was going to feel dizzy again and that maybe this time I was going to actually pass out.
These thoughts would be swirling around before I even felt any real symptom.
And my brain would believe it.
I am kinda embarrassed to admit that there were more than a few times I ran out of Costco.
I mean SPRINT out!
I’ll never forget the look on this girl’s face once when I raced past her.
Looking back now, I can definitely see the humor (chuckling a little as I write this) but at the time it wasn’t so funny.
I fully believed that if I didn’t leave I was going to pass out or even die, no joke.
When I started to learn more about observing my symptoms, I was nervous, but I didn’t want to live in fear forever.
So the next time it started happening, I would observe, rather than become embroiled.
“Okay, so I feel a little dizzy, and that’s okay…”
I labeled each feeling in a kind of detached manner.
I then also challenged thoughts like “OMG Tamryn, you are going to effing faint!”
I would instead think, “Well, I have never fainted before, so I think I will wait this out a little longer.”
My symptoms would ALWAYS subside, I just had to give it some time and try and force myself to stay put until they did.
I am not saying it’s easy, but with time and practice, it definitely started to get better.
So now I urge you to try this next time your scary thoughts and symptoms start to flare up.
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