Do you find yourself panicking because of a fear that has been haunting you for years?
Fear is a common thing in our society. Some are afraid of snakes, others of ghosts, mice, pigeons and the list goes on. But what strikes more is that, by talking to friends and clients, I realized it is even more common to have panic attacks resulting from fear.
Because I suffered from fear for few years and I experienced panic attacks where I completely lost my mind and control of my senses, I have decided to write this article in an attempt to give you few tips from my own experience with inquiry, Yoga and Sound Therapy work.
Since I could remember I had suffered from a severe fear of ghosts and for years I spent a long time in bed before sleeping reciting all prayers I knew to protect me against those creatures that I was told about when I was a kid.
Going to the loo during the night was an absolute nightmare. I had to avoid disturbing the tranquillity of those ghosts, because my belief was that ‘the day is for men and the night is for ghosts!’ So I had to quickly run through the corridors and press the light switches. At the toilet, even with the light on, I still couldn’t look at the mirror because I was terrified of seeing a ghost reflected in it!
The panic attacks happened in those times of blackouts or when I forgot to top up the electricity card. Waking up during the night in total darkness and knowing that I have no choice but go to the other side of my flat because I need the loo was the most dreadful experience. I used to hear voices repeating my name and having torturing thoughts like: ‘ghosts come after midnight in the toilets’, ‘if you look at the mirror you will see a ghost and he will transform your face forever’.
I had a lot of things going on in my body during those moments of panic that I was not aware of and only few years later I realized that during those terrible moments my body became tense, my breath was very shallow. I used to feel an increase of body temperature, a chill feeling on the back of my head and pain in my joints!
I tried many things to get rid of the intense fear but nothing really worked out well for me until I started inquiring my thoughts. Sound work facilitated and accelerated that process of inquiry as well.
Here is what helped me a lot in those moments of panic:
1. Staying in the body: When the thoughts started coming, I asked myself: ‘where do I feel the fear now?’ and I brought my focus to where I could feel any change in my body: ‘is there any increase of heat somewhere’? ‘Is there any pain in the neck, shoulder, knee etc’? I observed and scanned what was happening. You might think ‘oh all good but during the panic I lose my senses and I cannot focus on my body!’ Yes you are right but as everything else it takes practice, and once you start doing it you realize that it is not only possible but also not that hard as it seems!
By going into the body, I was taking my focus from the thoughts that were torturing me and at the same time I was bringing awareness to those parts of my body that were imbalanced because of fear. This awareness that I had built up was a key for my transformation and helped me find clarity and get out of those moments of panic!
2. Next step was taking risks! For example while in the toilet, I switched off the light and looked at the mirror and observed what was happening again in my body. ‘What do I feel’? I asked myself.
These 2 simple steps felt like not much once I did them, but they were a good start and they might be enough by themselves for you to get rid of that fear! Because, like me, one day you might just wake up and notice that the fear is gone and that nothing bad has happened since you started taking those risks and observing your body.
When started having more clarity around what was happening, I realized that I was attached to false beliefs. I realized as well that the fear had a specific message for me: ‘you are safe here in the now, there is no need to think about the terrible things that might happen’. When I understood the meaning of the message and accepted it, the fear started to transform into something that had a more life-affirming energy to it, something that is called acceptance!
Any activity that brings you to the present moment can help you strengthening your awareness. You can try Yoga, do the work of Byron Katie, or follow the wisdom of Eckhart Tolle and Thich Nhat Hanh.
You can also visit www.ottosoundtherapy.com for more information about how Sound Therapy could facilitate the whole process for you and help you find that clarity that you are looking for.
A lot of love and sound to you and come back next week for another article on this blog.