Overcoming a Fear of Your Fears
Let’s say that you have panic attacks and you are afraid that it’s most likely to happen on a bus. Because of your agoraphobia, you are not using the bus anymore. The key here is to keep trying. Go out and get on a bus. It’s likely you'll have a panic attack but that’s ok – that is exactly what you want. You need to figure out exactly what is causing your panic.
Ok, you are on a bus and you have the first symptoms of a panic attack – now what? There are a few things that you can do during your panic attack in order to take control over it:
- Breathe – One of the most important things is breathing. Often during a panic attack your breathing will be quick and shallow. Inhale deeply through your nose and count to five, hold your breath for two seconds, and exhale again counting to five. Repeat this several times and you will see how your heartbeat is calming and you don’t have the feeling that you are suffocating.
- Name Your Fears – In the basis of every panic attack is fear. Name that fear. Think for a second and name the exact thing that you are afraid of – you are afraid that you will have a heart attack, you are afraid that you will be embarrassed, you are afraid that you can’t escape the place. Think of the fear and give it a real shape. When you do that, look around you. See the situation and you will see that your fear is so big because you make it so. You can definitely escape the bus and get out, people actually are not looking at you and there's no reason to be embarrassed.
There is a number of techniques that you can use to manage your fear and get control over your panic attacks. Maybe it will not happen from the first time but be patient and keep trying. As long as you can manage your anxiety attacks you can try to put yourself in more and more challenging situations that you have avoided before due to your agoraphobia. This way finally you will see that you are actually overcoming your fears. When you know how to manage your panic attacks and learn some techniques there is no a reason to be afraid of another panic attack.
When you are not afraid of another panic attack you will not be afraid of going out of your home, going to the supermarket, traveling on a plane or being in a crowded places. And this is how you actually eliminate agoraphobia from your life.