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Stopping Anxiety Attacks with Positive Self-talk

Updated on July 1, 2012

Hoping to Be Able to Shop with a Smile Soon!


Your heart is racing. You feel it pounding in your chest. You feel like you are going to die or something horrible is going to happen. Who wouldn’t feel anxious when experiencing these symptoms?

Anxiety attack symptoms set us up for more anxiety. It is no wonder that many people who experience anxiety attacks will avoid activities that they fear will trigger an anxiety attack.

The common anxiety attack symptoms are chest tightness, shortness of breath, nausea, tingling or numbness, trembling, choking sensation, chills, hot flashes, sweating, dizziness or lightheadedness, and an accelerated heart rate. Anxiety attacks cause fear of dying, a sense of being disconnected from reality, and fear of losing control. The fear may be a more general fear that something bad is going to happen.

Some people become more anxious during an anxiety attack if they mistake the symptoms for a heart attack. Others may become terrified of the feeling that they are going to die. Unfortunately, becoming more anxious due to the symptoms does not help the situation.

The first thing to remember is that it is natural to have anxiety over the symptoms of an anxiety attack. If a person experiences a fear of dying, it is a normal psychological response to feel anxious because of that fear. The key to stopping anxiety attacks is to accept the normal feelings associated with the anxiety attack, but challenge the validity of the original anxiety.

For example, if I start to develop anxiety attack symptoms in the middle of a grocery store, I might start to experience a fear of dying. I can accept any anxiety about having the symptoms, but remind myself that I am in no real danger. To stop anxiety attacks, I might tell myself statements like “I am having an anxiety attack which makes me feel threatened. I have a right to feel anxious over these symptoms, but I am in no real danger. The symptoms of my disorder are lying to me and telling me that I am in danger when I am not.”

Having positive internal conversations or pep talks with yourself, commonly referred to as “positive self-talk” is an ideal way to challenge the fear response and assure yourself that there is no true danger. In doing so, you may be able to stop anxiety attacks or feel capable of dealing with anxiety attacks. However, what I tell myself to get through anxiety attacks may be vastly different from what you or anyone else finds helpful. I often use this method to regain control during an anxiety attack. If you use positive self-talk, what kinds of things do you tell yourself?

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    • profile image

      tonya amos 6 years ago

      First I would like to give God all the Glory and Praise, He is the one who will be able to keep us in prefect peace. If we keep our minds on good things, positive things, true things, we will definitely be able to live fruitful lives. We all can get pass this with the help of God. The Bible have a lot of scriptures about thinking. It is so important what we think. So today lets think good, true, loving thoughts.

    • JaimeDawn76 profile image

      Jaime Dawn Thompson 7 years ago from Oregon

      Great Hub, Panic attacks can be a real pain but positive self talk can help:)

    • OmNaser profile image

      OmNaser 7 years ago from kuwait

      Thanks for the great hub i thought i was the only person having those anxiety attacks. It's really a nice idea to try to be positive. will try that. Keep up writing about anaxiety attacks plz

    • profile image

      Tips For Coping During Panic Attack 7 years ago

      Hi Sheila,

      Thanks for sharing what you do to manage during panic attack.

      I agree that positive self talk is so important. I find that I need to control my brain and my thoughts as though my mind was like a little child that needs to be guided!

      You are so right - panic attacks seem scary but can't really hurt us. Here's hoping you have a fun shopping season!

      Carole

    • profile image

      Panic 7 years ago

      Using positive self talk during an anxiety attack can help a person gain control over the fear. No one deserves to go through life enduring the negative and sometimes debilitating effects of anxiety attacks. By reinforcing your mind with positive self talk during anxiety attacks, you do not have to keep having these attacks.

    • profile image

      sarah 7 years ago

      i also understand where you are coming from. i have recently become anxious, i think it is because i have had a tough start to the year from losing a family member and becoming a mum for the first time. the good feelings of having a bub and the sad feelings of loosing a person close to me made me feel very muddled up emotionally. i have good days and bad days, sometimes i feel like im on a emotional rollercoaster. but recently i have started to feel very anxious, i have started to feel like im going to faint everywhere i go. and most of the time my dizziness is caused from being scared about getting anxioua and fainting. i started to feel anxious when i get on buses and when sitting in a doctors waiting room, and it got to a point where i wanted to avoid those situations but then i decided to take control, and relised that it is my thoughts that are causeing my anxiety. when i start to feel anxious now i begin to get "butterfly" feeling in my stomach and a dry throat feeling. my legs start to feel tingly and my chest feels tight. i have started to use positive self talk to help me regain a normal feeling. i find by saying the following things helps me: i repeat in my mind 'i am in control, i am feeling anxious but thats ok, i am in control, if something happens then it will, but i know it wont, because i am safe and i will be ok. i am in control... and keep repeating until you feel stronger again.

    • karent profile image

      karent 8 years ago

      A psychiatric nurse practitioner gave me similar advice a few years ago when I was having regular panic attacks. She asked me, "What's the worst that could happen?" I thought about it and told her what the worst possible outcome could be. Then she asked, "Can you live with that?" I was amazed when I realized that I could live with the results. It was the unknown that was panicking me. Once I made it a "known" instead of an unknown, I stopped panicking.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 8 years ago from England

      Hi Sheila, yes I totally understand where your coming from. I started to have panic attacks a few years ago, It starts because of all the situations around you get out of control and you feel like nothing feels safe anymore. I do a mantra at night just repeating a few words over and over in my head as they say just before you go to sleep is the best time to train your brain. also tapping your forehead when you say positive words is supposed to help, so I have started to do this. I think it has helped but I haven't given it enough time yet. I will try a bit longer! thanks Nell

    • AllanChan profile image

      AllanChan 8 years ago from Singapore And UK

      That is a great article that gives us a better understanding of Anxiety Attacks

    • profile image

      poetlorraine 8 years ago

      brilliant hub...... good advice

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