Introduction Understand the EXACT process of Anxiety Panic Awarded 5 stars by UK Mental Health Foundation fear panic obsessive worry stress solution

COPAST - The Concept Of Primary And Secondary Thinking

The 'order' in which we do things here is really important - if we can just focus on deflecting that temptation to over-control when it happens - we can then focus on calming down our persona 'in flow'.

Why is the 'order' here so important?

Of course, our typical advice given is to 'calm down'...but more importantly - our response as perfectionists/panic sufferers is to 'want' control of our pain completely so that we don't suffer again.

The result?

Even with calming down - we 'follow' that temptation to panic with forced controlling - this involves a tensing of the mind where our flow stalls...and we tense 'up'.

Hence...even playing devil's advocate here and saying that we do need to calm down as that will stop us spiking/feeling stressed and uncomfortable - but 'if' we force our minds to calm down will that be calming?

This is where I found myself so many times - yes there were other 'solutions' but I came to realise that all I was doing was forcing these in that mind tensing stupor that completely dragged me away from the living world - I was lost on a desert island trying so hard to cope with my thoughts and desperately trying to find complete answers (which of course is understandable!)

My relief eventually came from realising that I didn't have to 'do' that extra stage of forcing control when I hit spike point - I also realised that 'even though' I had had the temptation to overcontrol at this point...I simply didn't have to follow it up. 

This is where that 'flick to flow' understanding came in - it was just like a brief switch at temptation point to stop me making that effortful journey into forcing control. Then, I could stay in flow and work more successfully 'at' calming myself down.

What are things like now?

Well I have made many great strides simply because I don't overcontrol - even though stresses can be very high if you're a worrier/sensitive/perfectionist etc - this understanding means you can persevere with making progress as forcing means I expect perfect control and now I don't expect that.

Instead I work patiently at preventing that uncomfortable spiking by being calmer - things like - ''not looking constantly at my phone'' (as that makes me feel overloaded), taking time out when work becomes too intense - i.e. when home is your office...take a break away (distraction is important even if you're stuck in bed and mind's racing)..keeping fit/eating healthy (as possible!), not over drinking etc - I know we all know these things but for them to be effective we can't have them as catch-all controlling strategies that we force, but all as part of our momentary flowing control.

What I'm saying is all these strategies will come 'to you' in flow - yes an external influence like this can make you realise how we can flow better without spiking but the main issue here is that panic sufferers first need to avoid that follow-on of forcing control - the rest then will be allowed to happen. A bugger isn't it!