What to Do When You Feel Panicky

(Objectify, quantify, assess, & duration)

1) Describe the sensation/experience. What do you feel? – Heart, lungs, muscles,… which muscles feel tense? Create an analogy, i.e. ‘my stomach feels like someone is twisting a towel’, ‘the pain in my head feels like someone is driving a spike through it.’

2) Measure the intensity on a 1-10 scale. Rate the level of anxiety.

3) Honestly ask yourself, can I stand this?…do I have room in my life to experience this right now. Recognize your choices. Willingly enduring the anxiety without bailing out or bailing out and seeking relief.

4) If you decide to endure it, pick a period of time like 10 minutes. If you choose not to endure the feeling, try breath exercises or muscle relaxation or focus attention on an object outside of your body. If it’s not worth the struggle to be tolerant, bail out anyway. That is still available to you.

5) Challenge the experience to get worse. Dare the anxiety to increase.


If any of you try this, I’d like to hear how it worked or didn’t work for you.Let me know.