Opposite is key to finding the way forward

Hello folks

First of all I would like to wish everyone who visits "Its just a feeling" a very Happy New Year. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2014.

In my January Blog, I would like to talk about why its vital to understand that you need to begin to apply the opposite to your instincts and what your body and mind are telling you to do in order to begin to recover, and achieve long term recovery from Panic Symptoms in any form.

This is really key for a number of reasons such as:

  • You cannot recover from Panic while you don't understand how it is working together with your mind and body to keep you stuck.
  • You cannot recover from Panic while you are going "with" your instincts
  • You cannot recover from Panic while you are avoiding things, this includes avoiding yourself and your own emotions.

All of the above statements are very true, firstly because without a good "real" understanding of what is happening to you and why you are acting and feeling as you are, how can you possibily know how to reverse things properly and effectively and regain and MAINTAIN your quality of life?. Have a look at this section of the website.

Secondly, When you suffer from Panic it really scares you, I mean really scares you. You recognise that you feel terrible and scared, however because this fear comes in usual situations where you rationally know that you should not really be scared, it leads you to believe that there must be something seriously wrong with you. You feel unstable, worry about the next possible attack and really begin to fear the future and what it may hold. You feel trapped inside yourself and hopeless about the future. All this causes you to react to the panic that you are feeling in a negative way. You believe that it is dangerous and possibily could really harm You, send you crazy, kill you or give you a heart attack or cause you to suffer loss of control or at the very least huge embarrasment in front of others. Its this reaction though that turns a panic attack into an Anxiety Disorder. We start to live preocupied about these attacks and begin to limit our daily lives and alter our behaviours, believing that if we do this we will be safe from more uncomfortable feelings and sensations, however what we are trying to protect ourselves from IS NOT DANGEROUS AT ALL and so we are really just avoiding ourselves and the feelings we are having.

It's the "going with your bodies instincts on how to protect yourself from this" that keeps you stuck and continues to sink you deeper and deeper into the cycle.

Finally Anxiety breeds and feeds off avoidance. In Fact Anxiety Disorders are widely known as "Avoidance Disorders". Avoiding in any form with Anxiety and Panic symptoms is basically like taking a big can of petrol and pouring it on your own internal fire. Your Anxiety needs your avoidance tactics to survive within you. If you stop avoidance it no longer has it's fuel and will die.

So when we take all the above into consideration, what I am trying to say is that to recover from Panic and Anxiety, you must go against ALL your bodies instincts and start to do the OPPOSITE!.

Small steps are key, start small gain confidence and build up to bigger and better things. Remember recovery DOES NOT feel good at first. I can promise you, you will feel terrible at first and think recovery is "not working" but it is - KEEP GOING, REMAIN FOCUSED AND HAVE THE END GOAL IN MIND.

Another point for consideration is that you WILL feel panic when you start to put steps in place to do the opposite and go against your instincts. This is normal and WE WANT THIS TO HAPPEN.

If you avoid feeling panic while you are recovering from panic you are STILL AVOIDING!

Remember the role of the Amygdala, we need to activate the fear response in order to stop this happening.

So now all you have to do is begin here are some "opposite" examples:

  • If you want to flee - STAY
  • If you are avoiding friends, meetings, appointements - GO
  • If you are avoiding thoughts - LET THE THOUGHTS COME, ALLOW YOURSELF TO THINK THEM, maybe give them a new better outcome. Thoughts cannot hurt you or anyone else for that matter because they are JUST thoughts. Practive the art of detatching and observing them, without judging them to be good or bad.
  • Stop resisting your symptoms or your thoughts - WHAT YOU RESIST WILL PERSIST
  • Practice the art of placing yourself back into situations or anything that you have been avoiding touching or feeling. Activate the panic and then wait until it passes. This is the trick
  • Start to tune into your body, learn how its working, then do the exact opposite.

You must feel the feelings and thoughts that you don't want to have, in order to get over them. Period.

I really hope this helps you to gain knowledge on how panic works, its just so important to gain the right knowledge because that way you will loose alot of the fear associated with the Anxiety you are suffering from, whichever way this anxiety manifests in you.

I will blog again next month, good luck and best wishes in your continued recoveries.

Michelle x


I have used your website for about a year, its really helped me, theres a lot more info on what you really have to do in the real world.. currently I think I am having a setback, I have slowly got my anxiety down to a reasonable level, but today out of the blue derealsation just seems to have come out of nowhere, its hit me like a 10 tonne truck.... I've used your words as encouragement to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I feel better already so thank you again

Posted by john , on Friday 20th July 2018, 5:39 PM

Just looking over your website and it's AWESOME. I've got it on my favourites for easy access. You are writing what I was aware of but you have done it incredibly well and articulate everything to a T. Bless you Michelle so glad I found it
Jo x

Posted by Jo , on Sunday 26th November 2017, 11:30 PM

I totally agree without your words and knowing that people and you Michelle have been through it and are continuing to makes me strong. I am taking it step by step. I am confronting the fear and trying to move out of my comfort zone. It's not easy but I will not let the 'fear monster' beat me. Thank you

Posted by Leonie , on Saturday 16th September 2017, 10:37 PM

I have read all of your articles and you have certainly described the awfulness so perfectly. BUT my problems is I get panic attacks whilst driving - the thought of driving down the M4 to Heathrow makes me feel properly ill. So how does one drive AND activate the panic AND wait for it to pass? Arghh this is such a horrible sensation and has limited my life bit-by-bit where now I can barely make it to Brent Cross. Has anyone else had driving agoraphobia?

Posted by Susanne , on Thursday 31st August 2017, 8:51 PM

I no am way late on this article. But only just came across it. An another amazing read an more wonderful advice to free myself from GAD. Michelle you have been my saviour an I mean that. Without finding your website I don't know if I ever would be on the road to recovery. Thank you so much

Posted by Jordan , on Wednesday 23rd March 2016, 4:06 AM

Thank you Michelle

Posted by Krista , on Wednesday 15th January 2014, 12:46 PM

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