Ten Cognitive Reminders for Coping with Panic
1. Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are very frightening, they are NOT dangerous or harmful.
2. Understand that what you are experiencing is an exaggeration of your normal bodily reactions to stress.
3. Do not fight your feelings or try to wish them away. The more you are willing to face them, the less intense they become.
4. Do not add to your panic by thinking about what “might” happen. If you find yourself saying, “what if”, tell yourself, “so what.”
5. STAY IN THE PRESENT. Notice what is really happening to you, as opposed to what you think might happen.
6. Label your fear level from 0 to 10, and watch it go up or down. Notice that it does not stay at a very high level for very long.
7. When you find yourself thinking about fear, CHANGE YOUR PRIMARY THOUGHT. Focus on, and carry out, a simple and manageable task.
8. Notice that when you stop adding frightening thoughts to your fear, it begins to fade.
9. When the fear comes, expect it and accept it. Wait and give it time to pass without running away from it.
10. Be proud of yourself and the progress thus far, and think about how good you will feel when you succeed.
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