Lately, I have been overreacting. For example – If I make a mistake at work, I panic. I’m talking full-blown, cry out, sweating my buff off panic. It starts with a knot in my stomach. Then the knot heats up and takes over my torso. Before I know it, the ball revs up in my chest, and then wells my eyes. Ever feel this way? There’s a way to manage a whirlwind of emotion. This blog post is about how I have been learning to take control of my stressed-induced panic attacks.
The stressed-induced panic attacks
During these moments, Michael sits with me patiently, and calmly listens to me. He recites rational thoughts while stroking my hair as I cry or simply watches me as I frantically pace. However, at this height of emotion, his words bounce off of me like a shield. If I am not careful, they sound like lies, and I sneer.
It is hard to describe this state to people who have never experienced it. You live in this other universe that seems so real; you wouldn’t doubt it. Panic attacks are like if you were to stand in the middle of an earthquake and you lose control of your body in some fashion. It isn’t until hours afterward or days even that you begin to see the light.
Maybe sending that email to the wrong person wasn’t going to induce Satan. Even if I lost my job, it would not mean that I would automatically be living in the streets with a scarlet letter. Panic attacks always makes a situation dire. However, after the dust settles, all of those same fears that caused complete, utter terror turn to not be so scary after all.
The panicking ordeal is tiring. It is no way to live even when you do come out on the other side. “Why am I like this?” I thought not too long ago. I needed to gain control – and that’s when I saw it. Mel Robbin’s book Take Control of Your Life popped up on my audible like a psychic. I had one free download so I tapped to listen to a soundbite of a Holly Hunter-like voice.
Listening to the first 45 minutes of Mel’s audio book was addicting. I just wanted to sit in that car and finish it! The content empowered me and made me feel like I had an actual physical and mental plan to get better. I am astounded at the content the audio book provides, and I haven’t even finished it!
Within the first lesson, I understood what my problem was – perfectionism. Perfectionism is a result of my fear – enduring consequences from failure.
Growing up, I hated getting in trouble. I hated it so much that I battled with duo-personalities consistently. One part of me behaved and followed the rules to avoid yelling and spankings. However, my other stick-it-to-the-man rebellious side of me cooed me to sleep after a tough day. I guess it was a self-defense mechanism.
My parents are good people who did the best they could with three kids. I grew up with an upper-class lifestyle with their strict rules, which came hand-in-hand with detrimental consequences. The severity of those consequences is what has held me back emotionally to this day. Not to blame them but this is the reality of my little girl self trying to understand how to deal with pain. I absorbed a lot of learned behavior during those times and I have come a long way.
It started with home and followed me to school. This fear never left my side. Fear of my body not being perfect or respected. Fear of being alone and being seen as weird even though I already was. I hated this feeling of inadequacy and it still rings thorough in my bones today.
When I have an appointment to catch, my tummy starts curling up. If I feel like I messed up at work, my body heats up like an engine, and I begin to lose control of my vision. In college, when I felt overwhelmed, my breathing would come in short supply. All of these bodily functions are symptoms of losing control from stress-induced panic attacks. I’m fearful of the future and how I will have to endure pain. It’s so heavy it’s unbearable.
Take control of stressed-induced panic attacks
With Mel Robbins’ audio book, I have started to understand how much control I have over my emotions. She goes through what to do step-by-step, which is more than any self-help book I have ever read. All the other ones were lengthy like Tony Robbins, told you to get over it, or was very vague in what I had to do. From the physical to the mental, Take Control of Your Life is a revelation to all those that suffer from any level of anxiety.
Even if you are not clinical, it will help. If you are fearful that you will never meet the love of your life or reach your dreams, this book will quiet the storm. If you feel like life is slipping by or if you can’t seem to take the next step to a new venture, Mel paves the way to success.
My journey of mental health is a long one. It is something I strive to better in myself as I seek out calm waters. I want peace, pleasure, and contentment. I have learned so much more than taking control of my stressed-induced panic attacks. If interested, in understand more about what I have learned, let me know and I can create more segments about my journey.