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Best way to get over fear of symptoms

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Mja1233, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Mja1233

    Mja1233 New Member

    I have been working the SEP along with the curable app for about 2 weeks. My main obstacle is getting over the fear of my symptoms getting worse. I feel like I won't make progress until I get over this. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best do this? I haven't been on an airplane for 3 years out of fear of my symptoms getting worse and my fiance wants to take a trip that requires a flight. I want to go as well but I keep fearing it.

    I have been using the rubber band technique and flicking it on my wrist whenever I start to catastrophize but it doesn't always work. Should I confront my symptoms through journaling so that i am not confronting them on an airplane?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. music321

    music321 Peer Supporter

    Look at info regarding "graded exposure therapy".
     
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Journaling or any form of writing things down continues to be one of the best ways of acknowledging, accepting, and eventually releasing the things that are holding us back. Recent studies reinforce this.

    Try this technique: list all the details of what you fear about flying with your symptoms. And then discuss each one rationally with yourself, using free-writing, where all your thoughts about it just flow out.

    However, it's unrealistic to expect that you won't confront your fears while on the plane! It's important to be realistic and accept yourself anyway.

    That being said, an effective meditation before the flight would include a visualisation in which you see yourself as calm, enjoying the flight, and easily dismissing your fears as they come up. Do this every day for at least a week, and especially the night before the flight.

    For the flight itself:

    Don't forget to breathe, slowly and deeply, as you tell yourself "I'm okay, I'm safe, it's not necessary to panic"

    Take an otc pain reliever (Tylenol or Ibuprofen) which have been shown to calm the brain a bit (which is why they work for pain).

    Bring an audio meditation with you, as well as your favorite music. There are audio meditations specific to flight anxiety, although your particular fears are probably more related to being stuck in what feels like an unsafe and public place with no way to escape. I can relate. Probably meditations for general panic disorder are what you can use.

    Try chewing gum as a distraction.

    Breathe. Deeply and slowly.

    Again: Breathe!

    You can do this.
     
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love Jan's reply with so many good suggestions, and encouragement.

    In your question, though, I am curious if there is a pressure to get better, which may be part of the TMS pressuring personality.

    If you've only been working the "TMS" program for a couple of weeks, you might want to build up a little more confidence/time if flying this has been a big fear regarding symptoms. Follow your own inner guidance, knowing that fear ---as you know, is a big part of this. Is there an urgency to fly?

    This is true, but at the same time, your fear may not be something which needs to be "fixed" in order to get better. In other words, there is no need to pressure yourself to get over your fears. The education you're using will have its effect in time....so will small or temporary improvements in symptoms. So will everything Jan and Mja are suggesting.

    Over time, your fears will lessen and your confidence will increase.

    Andy
     

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