Introduction Understand the EXACT process of Anxiety Panic Awarded 5 stars by UK Mental Health Foundation fear panic obsessive worry stress solution-doyoupanic.co.uk
So what is dampening?
This is another way to describe that momentary calming where we 'chip' away at our stress. As we will all know, we can frequently feel 'on edge'.
Unfortunately, being always calm and relaxed isn't a state that will be all-controllable and when we feel on edge/anxious after managing to maybe have a good day/hour etc, it can be really deflating when we suddemtly feel edgy and unsettled again. This is why dampening is a good way of explaining how we need to just 'persevere' at a brief calming every time we feel uncomfortable - basically just to divert the temptation to panic force control our discomfort (as this will just make it worse).
Yes, this 'need' to calm may be very frequent and may take a lot of focus to stick with, but over time we can achieve greater control if we stick at it.
So what is hanging on to our stress?
Needless to say - my typical response to feeling uncomfortable was to hang on to that feeling by forcing myself to analyse it. This is referred to as 'Analysis Paralysis' and is something that starts the whole spiral of negative and destructive panic.
Whilst we 'think' we are remedying our stress by reasoning with it/trying to find measures to control it - inadvertently we are holding onto it.
This is explained further in TMW, but the subtle transition from negative thought-recognition to panic analysing is split-second, that's why a mental calming will decelerate that process.