Think about this:
Right here right now I am safe.
This is another one of those 'go to' sayings of mine. My anxiety is all about fear and learning to deal with fear is a major part of my recovery. It reminds me that even though I may feel afraid the chance of being in real danger at that moment is slim. Most of the fear we feel is perceived, meaning we spend much more time worrying about being in danger than time actually being in danger. And this is a good thing. It makes us more vigilant and aware of our surroundings. But when dealing with someone who is anxious, handling that fear is different. I have had to figure out a way to prove to myself that I am indeed safe.
Personally I have trouble driving. Highways scare me, in part because I may cause an accident and in part because others might cause an accident. I think lots of us feel that way. But my fear can result in a panic attack, which is not a good thing to have, especially while driving. If I think about it, moment by moment I can prove to myself that I am safe. Even if I have a close call (someone cutting me off or almost running into me), saying this can prove to myself that I am safe.
A few weeks ago I decided to go to a quilt show in the next city. It wasn't too far, on MapQuest it said 17.7 miles from my house to the place where the quilt show was being held. So off I went, knowing that this would be the furthest I had driven myself in about 4 years. Once I got on the highway I started to get nervous and those panicky feelings started. Before I knew it I was gripping the steering wheel very tightly and my heart was beating faster. I was looking in my rear view mirror all the time and when another car got too close I was very nervous. Then I remembered that "Right here, right now I am safe". Was I scared...you bet I was, but I was in my car safely driving to the quilt show. And when I got to my destination I was both relieved to be there and off the road, but also proud of myself for making the drive alone. It was a great feeling! Yes I was nervous about the drive home, but knowing that I had made it once showed me that I can make it again. Proving this to myself helps keep the panic attacks to a minimum, which is my goal.
Next time you feel afraid try using this tool to show yourself that
Right here right now, you are safe.