I was so excited to be heading out with a few girlfriends to watch our fav comedian in concert, Dane Cook (he’s hilarious, by the way!). We waited 10 years to see him live!
When I got the text asking me if I wanted to go, the old ‘anxious ridden’ Jen would have fallen into a spiral of thoughts and fears “I don’t want to go, what if our seats are so far from the bathrooms?? What if I get a panic attack in the theatre?? What if I feel stuck and want to leave??”
This time was different. I had no thoughts. I was only filled with excitement! It wasn’t until we were at a restaurant right before the show that I had this thought come floating into my awareness, it was HUGE.. pretty much clouding my vision and I couldn’t even concentrate on the dinner convo with my friends. The sound of the thoughts got louder…“Remember the last time you went to see Russell Peters in concert? Ya- like 6 years ago. Remember how you had a full blown panic attack and had to watch the entire show from the exit with the security guard? How embarrassing. Your seats weren’t on the aisle and you felt so trapped. That sucked. Your anxiety was soooo bad”
All the sudden, I felt my tummy clench. My heart started beating a bit faster. I hadn’t thought of that until now. With an arsenal full of ‘screw you anxiety’ tools at my disposal now, I wasn’t going to let this ruin my night. I reminded myself how this isn’t me anymore. I don’t get unnecessary anxiety. I know how to stay calm.
I excused myself, applied some essential oils to my belly to help with my digestive issues (I always get this when I get anxious sensations) took my deep breaths and got excited again to head to the show. When we arrived to our seats… guess where they were? Yup. SMACK DAB right in the middle! 20 people to the left of me, 20 people to the right. This wouldn’t even be an option in the past. I would never put myself in that situation. But I KNEW that the only reason I was experiencing these familiar feelings was because of the last time I was at a comedy show I had a panic attack. My subconscious mind was just doing its job in protecting me, by alerting me that this situation could cause me ‘danger’. Knowing my thoughts own so much power, I had to press the override button. “Fear can not exist where there is LOVE. The 2 can not co-habit together. I chose Love. I love my body’s ability to take care of itself, I love being here in this moment. I love the fact we have amazing seats to watch this show. I am safe. I am in control. I can leave whenever I chose if I chose, and everyone here is full of love, therefore would not judge.” Within minutes, my heart lowered down to its normal bpm. When your stress response is on, you are using your reptilian brain (your survival brain) and when you are in a calm state, you are using your neocortex/ frontal lobe, allowing you to make rational thoughts. Once I came to a place of more calm, I started to think more logically, and brought myself into the present moment, and out of my head.
The show started. And I laughed for an hour straight.
Its important to understand how past experiences can shape our perception of our present experiences. This is all done behind the scenes, without us even knowing (called your sub-conscious mind). Now, if your past experience was a negative one, one that triggered your response to fear (fight or flight) then chances are, when you encounter another situation similar to the past one, you’re going to get your defences up and turn that stress response on. If this happens, do not FEAR! You just need to re-train your brain to think differently. It learned how to have the reaction, so it can learn how to have a NEW reaction.
Here’s my tips:
Have some natural easy tools at your finger tips to help your body ease into balance. I use my essential oils (calming blend and digestive blend). This for me has been a GAME CHANGER.
Using your minds eye (middle of your forehead, one of your chakra points, where you can visualize) image all this love POURING through you. Right from the top of your head through your body, love everywhere. Imagine it however you feel/see/hear love. Pour hearts and love over any fear. It basically extinguishes the fire of fear.
Console yourself through the use of powerful calming words. The words will bring feelings of ease. Repeat “Rest, relax, calm and peace” over and over again.
Allow yourself some grace. If you feel like excusing yourself, excuse yourself. If you feel like leaving 10 times, leave 10 times. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you want to get comfortable. It takes practice :)
Remember that you have the power to change your path.