kgunst
1. Understand what anxiety is

Anxiety disorder is simply an irrational mental association that is formed between discomfort and danger. 

Think about it, all of the tension is caused by YOU perceiving/believing that ________ is dangerous/bad/doom. 

Once you can comprehend what that means for your experience, everything should become a lot easier to understand.

Everyone here is looking to understand what is happening to them. Is is normal? Is it safe? Do I need to get another $2000 test done at the doctor? Am I going crazy? 

It's key to view anxiety the correct way. It is not a monster or disease attacking you. It's just you believing that discomfort is dangerous. 

2. Develop a POSITIVE attitude during "attacks"

It can be really helpful to develop some automatic POSITIVE thoughts to combat the automatic negative thoughts that anxiety can bring. One thought/mantra that has helped me a lot is this

"I am experiencing discomfort. It's not dangerous. I am healthy"
 
Just saying the words "I am healthy" out loud has made me feel instantly better, even if I don't 100% believe it. 

3. Progressively reduce the need to research and stop seeking reassurance 

One thing we all look for early on is some reassurance that what we are feeling/thinking is just anxiety.
This is normal, BUT it can very quickly develop into a compulsion that only increases fear. 

Set some goals for stopping online research and for leaving forums. It can be very helpful, but the end goal is to be able to live your life without reading this forum every-time you go out for dinner and feel anxious.

Being able to accept anxiety on your own without any external assistance is really key.

4. Push your limits, live outside your comfort zone

Whatever you are resisting will persist. Therefore (within reason) learn to resist nothing, let everything happen. 

Stop saying no to traveling or going out with friends or leaving the house. Force yourself to become more outgoing. This is such a powerful way to show yourself that you are safe. 

I got myself into such a small comfort zone years ago that I would feel great in my home, but would get instant panic when I left the front door.

Dont restrict yourself to your home.
- Karl
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Vin
Karl
   If you don't mind can you help me out here . Somehow I have this wrong notion that certain emotions are dangerous like for example  if I feel a little down immediately I start to panic that I shouldn't feel this way I must think positively .its like I fear my own emotions and label them that this is good that is bad .I understand emotions are just that and are there for some purpose and be allowing of everything
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kgunst
Hi Vin

You must realize that its OK to not feel 100% great all the time. This is a fact of life. Life is full of ups and downs, good days, bad days. If you feel bad you should accept it and not assume your life is over or that tomorrow will be bad too. Take it one day at a time, dont assume your current state will last forever. 

I have had similar feelings when sensitized - like I am stuck and worried I will never be unstuck. Ive always come out on the other side and been able to return to enjoying my life. Focus on the good parts of your day and don't ruminate on the bad moments.

People who you view as "lucky" or non-anxious also have bad days. Everyone deals with stress and can feel depressed. We are just the ones who overreact to these feelings. 
- Karl
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Vin
Thanks for the reply Karl . As you said I take one day at a time and I don't ruminate as such just get scared to experience my own emotions I think there I need to have a more relaxed attitude to let it all come . You are right when you say our reaction is huge to normal things. 
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Ellen_
Hey Karl,
thank you for your helpful post.. I would be happy if you could help me with my struggle.
I have problems to not react to this „dread“ when I for example feel something weird like dizzy, breathless or (the worst one which Im struggeling the most now) -> fast heartbeat, I like automatically start to freak out and of course this creates more of this symptom and I freak out even more.. for example from bpm of 110 to 130 and then from 130 to 160.. 😵😨

How can one not react to this and freak out? It feels in that moment that Im dying and I get afraid that this time I will definitely die.. I know its a damn anxiety loop but I really dont know how to accept this.. and get this believe in my body again that Im healthy..

Would be so glad for your advice!
Kind regards,
Ellen
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kgunst
Ellen

Your reaction is fueled by your belief that you are dying or could be dying. 

This shows how powerful the fear reaction can be. Most people get elevated heart rates when watching a scary movie, or watching a sporting event. Those reactions are NORMAL and occur even when the person DOESN'T believe they are dying. Most people like feeling scared. Most of us here on this forum are on the opposite spectrum. 

Your issue is that you are convinced that an elevated heart rate is a sign you are dying or severely ill. THIS IS NOT TRUE. You are fine and healthy. 

You are taking a normal fear/stress symptom (elevated heart) and cranking it up a notch by adding "second fear" (read Claire Weekes book Hope and Help For You Nerves). 

To resolve this you need to be OK with the initial flash of adrenaline that causes the elevated hear rate. Let it happen without adding too much additional fear on top of it. You wont be able to master this right away, you will continue to experience this symptom. The more you stop adding the additional fear the lesser the reaction will be and it will eventually not occur at all. 

I use to have this exact issue. It will get better and you will get to a point where it no longer even catches your attention. 

You do realize that a lot of people actively seek adrenaline rushes right? People jump out of airplanes and ride on roller coasters because the rush and associated symptoms are fun for them. We are wired differently. We don't like to feel out of control. We don't like those feelings because once they start it can take awhile for them to stop. Loosen yourself, allow those feels to happen without trying to stop them. Just go along for the ride, learn to float with the current instead of fighting it. 
- Karl
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kgunst
Ellen

Also when you are sensitized, you will feel these adrenaline rushes during times that seem random. You may be laying in bed and suddenly experience an adrenaline rush. You could be in the shower or eating lunch or driving to work. You are getting these rushes because you have programmed your nervous system to identity those sensations as something dangerous. Those feelings have been highlighted and put to the top of priority list in your brain. 

You have to break the cycle by floating with the sensations (or facing them head, or "letting them kill you"). I like to describe it as floating. You are currently fighting and resisting and running from these feelings (which only makes them escalate). You need to practice floating with them. LET THEM happen. 
- Karl
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Ellen_
Dear Karl,
thank you so so much for your reply..
I wished I could not fear this.. But whenever I feel it coming I cant do otherwise than fear it again.. I know that this is the wrong way and that Im doing this to myself but its as you said, almost five years ago I had my first panic attack.. and since then I got this believe that Im a sick person (mentally & physically ).

As I had this panic attack I had this „losing control“ feeling and because I didnt knew that this was an attack I feared it to be an illness and still almost 5 years later my brain still want to convince me there is something wrong with me... 😞

I was such a confident person before, and now Im a shell of the person I was before..

I just wished I could have this courage and let this all wash over me and accept myself the way I am, but I just am this character that is fighting against such feelings/symptoms and that scares me because I know that such a character will stay in this loop..

I read your recovery story Karl and you had a lot of similar things and you came out of it.. It really gives me hope because I feel so lost with this all Karl. 
It seems so easy as all people say just accept it and it will fade.. but I am really living my life with this but just cant drop this Fear of my situation....
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kgunst
It sounds easy but its not. It takes some practice. 

Let me ask you this, if you could be convinced 100% that you were healthy, would you feel instant relief? 
- Karl
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Vin
Hey Ellen 
Don't worry initially it feels very intense but as days pass it gets a lot easier to handle . You have to muster courage and brace yourself up to face the problems that life throws at you.tell me if you had some other health issues other than this would you sit fearing what will happen to you or would you muster the courage to face it .I bet you would face it with as much courage as you can muster .its the same with this this is also like any other nagging health issue face it with the same attitude. 
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Ellen_
@kgunst 
Karl, I would say.. If I got 100% convinced that Im healthy.. OF COURSE I WOULD BE RELIEVED!!! :/

@Vin 
Thank you for your message..! I dont have this courage in me tho. 🙁
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Bearspectacle
Ellen_ wrote:
@kgunst 
Karl, I would say.. If I got 100% convinced that Im healthy.. OF COURSE I WOULD BE RELIEVED!!! :/

@Vin 
Thank you for your message..! I dont have this courage in me tho. 🙁


You do, it's just a matter of when, when will you be so fed up that you will rebel against this abuse.
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Vin
So true my mum suffered from anxiety and panic . whenever I ask her how she managed to come out she just says you have to be fed up enough for that to happen and you will come to that stage one day when you say enough is enough that day is the beginning of its end till then keep facing. Her time she never went to doctor or took therapy and no one was aware of it in the first place but what is says is so correct and comes right out of experience
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Ellen_
@Bearspectacle 
A matter of time? I would say more fed up than I am now I can not become..

@Vin 
Good to hear that your mom managed to come out of this, but did you asked her how? because I would say Im also very fed up with this and still it doesn’t change the fact that Im fearful.. I just don’t understand it when people here tell you need to get angry or fed up and then it will stop? 
How this should look like? 
 I am angry, fed up and so on, but this doesnt stop my fears and symptoms so..😕

As a lot people say they just let anxiety do whatever it wants.. I let it do what it wants.. and? it doesnt change anything..
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Kelly
 Ellen, you say you let it do whatever it wants but it's obvious you still fear it.  That is the reason you still have it.
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