A Clean Mind

Blogging about a less stressful way to live…

The 15-Second Panic Attack

Hi folks, today I’d like to introduce you to… the 15-Second Panic Attack! The coolest thing happened in my office not long ago. A client and I were talking about a recent life change she was facing, and wow, did her body feel it. And wow, did her body let it go in record time, too! This is a major transitional time for her, and she had gotten what many would interpret as “bad news” just prior to our session. But we don’t interpret it that way. We do our best to just call it “news,” since it has already happened, and then we ask our wisdom/common sense what we should do next and what is the best response. Also note that there are no coincidences on the timing of the news with our session later that day…

So we were talking about this change, and things were fine. We were discussing her options, modeling how our wisdom thinks. Letting the body be as relaxed as possible first, even while talking about serious stuff. Especially while talking about serious stuff… And going over her options, slowly. And sticking to the facts. And then a few minutes into the conversation, her body let her know what she was really thinking. There was a lot of fear and uncertainty. And let me say that she wasn’t doing anything wrong! Fear and uncertainty were totally normal under the circumstances, since we were dealing with a major change.

I saw that her body was having a reaction, and then she said something like, “I’m not doing very well right now.” Basically, she started to have an anxiety attack. So I helped her to just relax into it and surrender, as best she could. I reminded her that she is totally safe here in my office, and these feelings are okay; they are normal, in fact. Just stay in your breath and don’t resist them one bit. They’re okay. We will talk about it in a minute. So she did exactly that, staying in the breath and not trying to think about anything or analyze anything. She literally relaxed into it. And you know what happened? The panic attack that had started just fizzled out. In no more than fifteen seconds! What a cool thing for each of us to experience. This has happened before in my office, as well as with clients outside my office, but not so quickly. So it was cool for me. But imagine the experience for her! She was the one doing it, so she can never be afraid of anxiety again. She laid down all resistance and it just moved through, leaving her totally fine. So cool…

And do you know what we did next? We continued talking about the situation! What most people do is continue thinking about the situation while their body is contracted, and it just makes everything worse. And their thinking isn’t as clear, either. So it’s a two-for-one of badness. It seems to be our instinct to freak out, though. Or our conditioned instinct, anyway. So we are unconditioning and unlearning that, and flip-flopping everything. Feel first, get centered, and then think about it. Slowly. And factually. Feel it out, after the feelings have lightened up. And you will have a different experience. And you get better and better at it with practice, and that old habit is replaced with a newer, much more peaceful one. And you still deal with the same situation! You just let your body chill first. It’s like your IQ goes up when you do this, so you actually end up dealing with things much better. So cool…

So there you go, another story as we continue to wear down anxiety, like the water wears down the rock over time. Remember that we have plenty of posts here at A Clean Mind about anxiety, with plenty more on the way I’m sure. Just scroll down to the “tags” section and click anxiety (or click here). And remember that you rock and anxiety is not stronger than you! Start to get curious about it and not so resistant, and you never know how it can shift in your life, for the better. And as always, let me know if I can help!


All anybody really wants is peace. The good news is that peace can be learned. I’m serious. This should be taught in middle school, but it’s not. So I’m teaching it now.

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