You know that feeling.... that fear of dread... it shows up in your body and your mind. Sometimes you can readily identify the trigger or the precise cause of why you are feeling anxious or panicky. Other times, it's not so easy.
Dr. Linehan, the creator of the powerful skillset known as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), says that there is always a cause, even if it may not be apparent us in that moment. The cause could be something we saw on TV the other day that bothered us, but we tried to pretend it didn't. (Maybe against our better judgment, we watched a show or movie that contained materials we know we are sensitive to and usually avoid.)
Maybe we had a disturbing dream, and although we know it was "just a dream," it still had an effect on us and shook us up a bit.
Maybe there is an upcoming social event and we worry whether we can handle it. Or, maybe a loved one has a scheduled trip and we are dreading their departure.
Perhaps you are having some financial concerns and worries.
Perhaps there is something going on at a biological or chemical level beyond our awareness.
There are so many things that can trigger anxiety and panic. The good news is, we do not need to know exactly what the cause of our panic and anxiety was in order to begin caring for ourselves in ways that can potentially reduce the anxiety and panic and our suffering along with it.
I woke up this morning with intense panic and anxiety. I was able to readily identify some of the causes, yet this alone didn't do much to take down the level of intensity I was experiencing. I went to some of my go-to methods for reducing panic and anxiety -- a few methods that are tried and true for me, and they helped significantly. At that point, I was inspired to make you the video below so that you will have a resource for these issues too.
If you're feeling anxious and panicky today, I hope this video helps. If you're having a much better day than that, it might also be an opportune time to watch this video. If we can learn skills and strategies for self-care when we are feeling well, it can be a lot easier to practice and implement them when we are feeling less than optimal.
So go ahead and give this video a watch, and let me know what you think. Also, please feel free to share what works for you when you are working to manage your own anxiety and panic symptoms.
Additionally, I have this book on my bookshelf, and it has comforted me time and time again when I've dealt with anxiety and panic that seemed relentless. It's called "Help and Hope for Your Nerves" by Dr. Claire Weekes. I'll warn you -- it's quite an old text and some of the content is outdated, so be sure to talk to your doctor for the most current treatments and findings. I just like Dr. Weeke's motherly style and approach to coping with anxiety, and this book has always been a help.
Thanks for reading and watching.