Today, I started therapy for my panic attacks again. Previously, I have done an abundance of counseling on how to cope with anxiety, but after 10 years of not seeking this form of ‘professional help’, I decided to give it a shot again. My conclusion was that today, I have a much better understanding of myself and my anxiety disorder. Thus, the entire approach and therapy would essentially be different. I was right, and I am happy that I went. There is something about therapy for your anxiety disorder that instantly clears the fog from your mind. It’s refreshing. I want to share my experience with you so that you can potentially help yourself learn how to cope with anxiety throughout the journey as well.
What Do I Value?
Since this session was with a new therapist, she had to first get a grasp on who I was. So, we discussed what I valued. It took some time but I broke it down to a couple of things; relationships, nature (ocean), and being understood. Instantly, you can see how the 3 things that I value the most have an effect on my anxiety disorder. I value the relationships where I feel like I can be my complete self, panic attacks and all, and I fear new relationships where I let people in with the potential of being misunderstood. The nature aspect of my value system doesn’t have much relation to my anxiety attacks other than being a source of pure happiness and innocence for me.
Through the three things that I value the most, we discovered it is either the best of the best, or the worst of the worst. There is no medium for me. For example, for relationships, I only mentioned the best ones that I have; my nephew, my best friend Dustin, etc. For nature, I stated that I despite liking all nature, I wouldn’t be content without the ocean. For being understood, it was either – I’m fully understood or not. Anything other than that – and it’s either not good enough, or I run.
What Do You Value?
Take some time to truly think about what value. You might have to have this as a ‘conversation’ with someone else (or yourself) to really figure out what it is, but write down whatever you place importance on in your life. It could be money, success, passing grades in school, a nice car, pretty nails – who knows. Jot it down. (And if you want to share in the comment section below, I’d love to read it!) Then, try to discover if there is a pattern associated with those things. As mentioned, for me – it was all or nothing. The best of relationships or nothing at all.
How To Cope With Anxiety From This
From this, we noticed my moods. I was either extremely happy – or not. This made total sense to me and my anxiety disorder because I have a pretty damn good life. Not much brings me down, but one or two panic attacks and I feel as if my entire world is crumbling. Rather dramatic, right? Again – my expressive and dramatic association with my anxiety disorder and emotions was apparent. Through viewing your value system and how you weigh them on a scale may lead you to discovering more about your anxiety disorders, and through that, you could potentially learn how to cope with anxiety. For myself, I need to start recognizing and appreciating the smaller things in life and stop going to such extreme emotions when things aren’t good, or in better words, ‘my most ideal situation’ because at the end of the day, we can’t always have our most ideal situation. By doing this, I will be able to manage my dramatic expression of emotions and find happiness and calmness in all things.
Does this speak to you? Express yourself in the comment section below.