Over the past few weeks I’ve been working with clients as individuals and in groups who can get caught up in a panic cycle.  I’m not referring to full blown panic attacks or a clinically diagnosed panic disorder but low grade panic/stress that really hampers progress.

When we put off tasks or sit in front of something that we don’t want to do we are in a state of stress/panic and not at our absolute best.  I know that stress can be used in such a way to elicit peak performance as with sports people and performers.  I’m referring to the everyday thoughts and tasks that generate physiological changes in us that stop us doing what we want or even giving up.

A panic cycle related to wanting to lose weight is a great example.  Jessica Ortner of the Tapping Solution mentions the underlying anxiety and subsequent self sabotage that maintains this cycle.

Step 1 – we panic about needing to lose weight

Step 2 – we create pressure and stress with self-criticism

Step 3 – the pressure leads us to take drastic action

Step 4 – after a few days we become tired and exhausted, resentful

Step 5 – we release the pressure by reverting to self-sabotage patterns and give up

And then the cycle begins again!

anxious to smiley face

Although we may not always recognise that we are under stress or in a panic the physiological effects still occur with the release of hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin.

If we can put ourselves in a neutral space in our minds before attempting a difficult or unwanted task, or reduce the intensity of the emotion about something then we are able to think and function at a much more optimum level.

We can get to this neutral space through various ways such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, distraction, relaxation or tapping (emotional freedom technique) to name a few.

I use tapping before I start putting together a monthly newsletter.  At times it can feel like a real effort to know what to include in the content. The “panic” is about will it be good enough? So I sit and tap for a while to bring down the “panic” and put myself in a more comfortable and aware state – and it works!  I still have to do the newsletter but I’m less stressed about it.

You can use tapping before going somewhere new for the first time, before sitting exams or making a speech.  Our lives can be full of minor “panic” cycles.

Be aware of the panic cycles you may be in and give your mind and body a chance to come out of that cycle so you can perform even better.