I’d always heard about affirmations and positive thinking, but it wasn’t until my panic attacks hit that it became absolutely vital that I find a way to change my thought patterns. See, when we’re in the trap of anxiety, we get stuck in negative thought loops.
We think we’re worthless. We think we can’t go to that social gathering because we’ll be judged. We think we can’t travel because we’ll panic and die. We think this is the panic attack that will finally make us “go crazy.” The worst will always happen according to our anxious thinking.
In order to survive panic disorder, I had to change my self-talk. Affirmations are positive phrases in the present tense that we can repeat to ourselves over and over until the thought sticks. It’s like planting a seed in the mind for a beautiful, flourishing, positive thought to grow into a belief.
The first step in changing our negative thinking is to notice that we’re caught in an untrue thought pattern.
For example, you think, “This panic attack is going to last forever.” Instead of believing that thought, take a moment to pause and realize that this is just an untrue negative thought.
Once you notice the negative thought, replace it with a truthful, kind, positive thought.
So you think, “This panic attack is going to last forever.” Pause. Realize that’s an untrue thought. Then, replace it with, “Every panic attack ends. This too shall pass. I can handle this while it’s here. I am safe.”
When I was going through the absolute worst of my panic, I found this website with anxiety and panic-specific affirmations. I printed out these affirmations and carried them with me everywhere. When I would feel anxious, I’d whip out my sheets of paper and repeat these to myself over and over again. It was a wonderful resource and one that I hope helps you.
Here is the link to those affirmations.
Another great resource is the work of Louise Hay, also known as the queen of affirmations. I stumbled upon Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, a few months into panic and I can honestly say that it changed my life.
She taught me that no matter how stuck you feel and no matter how long you’ve believed a specific thought, you can always change it. You have the power to change your thinking and you can choose beautiful, lovely thoughts. I definitely recommend purchasing her book for anyone that is interested in healing their negative thinking.
I love and approve of myself. I trust the process of life. I am safe.
Similarly, Hay has a workbook, Love Yourself, Heal Your Life Workbook (Insight Guide). This is a more interactive experience, where she takes you through different exercises to uncover your faulty beliefs, and then offers positive affirmations to counteract those beliefs.
I use this book and its affirmations pretty much every single day. It’s also one I recommend.
Lastly, I also listen to affirmations as often as I can. On YouTube, there is a free recording of Hay speaking positive affirmations that I will put on in the background while I’m cleaning or cooking, allowing the wonderful words to seep in. You can find that video here.
Affirmations do not work overnight in most cases. It takes time and practice and dedication to change negative thought patterns into more vibrant, loving beliefs. Stick with it. I promise you’ll see miraculous things happen!