We all know what a coin looks like. Many of us are curious when we come across a newly minted, recently circulated coin. We even go to the extent of looking for one just to get a glimpse of it, for curiosity’s sake. Once you get a hold of it, do you only look at one side? Of course not, you gaze at both sides. You may even grab a magnifying glass to take a closer and more detailed look.
But for an old or previously circulated coin, we don’t usually take a close look at its appearance. We just look at it to check if it’s a quarter or a nickel whenever we use it to pay for something. We rarely examine both sides of a coin.
Actually, this is how some of us treat panic attacks - like a coin. We only look at panic attacks from one side - the side that brings disastrous effects. We rarely look at the other side – that of the positive side.
Let me illustrate this through a situation. Let’s say the city where you live has just been hit by a powerful earthquake. At the time of the quake, you might have been shocked or stunned. Soon after the quake, your shock subsides. But the thought of an aftershock may have crossed your mind. Then you begin to feel anxious which ultimately leads to a panic attack. The thought of an aftershock due to the earthquake makes your knees shake and your forehead sweaty. It gets you all worried. You can feel in your nerves the tingling sensation as if your entire body is revolting against you. All of these may transpire because of the thought of an impending aftershock.
“What’s going to happen next?” Will I be like one of those victims of the trembler that just hit us? Will I be spared from future disasters?” These questions will most likely race through your mind, with one common denominator - they are negatively inclined.
I am not saying this isn’t normal. It’s perfectly normal to think this way. Nobody’s claiming that earthquakes are not frightening. Just the thought of the ground moving when it shouldn’t be can send shivers down the spine.
You may also ask, “What must I do to save myself?” Actually, you must find an answer to this question, not only to be saved from an aftershock; but more importantly, to be saved from having a panic attack. If you can save yourself from panic attacks, you can eliminate a lot of problems.
Just how are you going to do it? For starters, you may overcome panic attacks through the mind. The positive way of thinking is the first and probably the best approach to cure panic attacks. Like a coin, you’ve seen the negative side of your mind - the consequence or tragedy that an earthquake brings. Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. Instead of worrying about the harm that an aftershock might bring, the thought of having survived a powerful earthquake should encourage you to be more confident of surviving an aftershock which is usually of lesser intensity. This thought alone, should be enough to diffuse a panic attack. This thought will also prevent future panic attacks from setting foot into your mind.
It is important to identify what causes a panic attack. Equally important is to think in a positive way. If your mind has room for negative thoughts like doomsday and the like, your mind must also have room for positive thoughts to find ways of preventing or minimizing destruction. Actually, you must find ways for your positive thoughts to dominate your negative thoughts. To do this, you have to exercise your mind by telling it to “Think positive! Think positive!” In due time, improvements in positive mental attitude will prosper over any negative thoughts. So keep your mind chanting this slogan “Think positive!” whenever you feel a panic attack coming your way.
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