Anxiety is all about turning inward. It can be narcissistic. The more you worry, the more you worry about being worried. The only room you make for others in a panic attack is when you worry about what they’re going to think about you.
I didn’t fully realize that for most of my life. I thought that because I didn’t think much OF myself, that I couldn’t be thinking all that much ABOUT myself. Truth is, you can be self-involved and self-hating at the same time. In fact, the two are made for each other.
Today, I’m going two recommend two activities that combat this way of thinking.
First, do something charitable for others that involves your time and effort, not just money. I’ll admit, the last time I went to volunteer I had a panic attack so bad on my way that I had to pull over. But once I got there, I started working and I didn’t have a single anxious moment. I was thinking about the people being helped, not myself.
Second, be grateful. This is lifelong skill. Combine this with journaling to get the full effect. Every night, instead of cycling through failures and wish-I-could-have-saids before drifting off, briefly write out what you're grateful for. There’s more than you can list, even on your worst day, because you’re alive and that’s statistically almost impossible.
Being grateful has pulled me out of so many holes. It’s the ultimate in putting “you” away for a while. It can be done anywhere. It’s a habit that should be repeated for rest of your life. And it helps with a lot more than anxiety.