Learn to Control Anxiety Attacks by Going Toward Them
STEP 6: Use paradox
There are two primary ways each of us tends to battle our enemies. If we must face them, we gather our resources to fight them head-to-head. Or if we feel inadequately prepared to fight and win, we choose to steer clear of them, to avoid any kind of confrontation. With panic these two strategies seem to fail. The more you fight the symptoms directly, the stronger they seem to grow. The more you avoid panic-provoking situations, the more panic controls your life. The more you run from panic, the faster it seems to chase you.
We encourage and strengthen the power of panic by treating it as our “enemy,” to be avoided or to be battled. If we place ourselves on guard, waiting and watching for the next signs of trouble, we are inviting panic to return sooner. How? By establishing a special “relationship” with panic, a relationship of opposites. To take control of panic you need to understand this special relationship and then learn how to alter it. That’s what you will learn in this step.