When you combine a dental phobia with panic attacks you can guarantee that stress levels will be high, even when you find ways of managing your panic attacks. I have the dentist tomorrow and instead of sitting here fretting and bringing panic on, I decided to write a post about how I’m going to get through the situation, perhaps it will be of help to you at some point, whether you’re sitting in a dentist chair, queuing in a busy shop or simply to help you get through any moment of high stress. Here goes.
- Lavender oil, my old friend. I’ve been using lavender for almost 2 years and I still swear by it. I’ll be using it tonight before bed – a few drops in my bath and a few drops on my pillow will help me to get a good sleep. Tomorrow I’ll put a few drops on the sleeve of my top, on a tissue and on my scarf.
- Reminding my brain that panic doesn’t worry me anymore. Telling panic (yourself) you’re not afraid is a powerful tool and has got me over plenty of panic attack hurdles. It’s not that easy but it is very effective. So what if I go into a panic, feel dizzy or freak out? So the hell what? I’ve had so many panic attacks and I’ve survived each one. I’ve got a life to live and one more panic attack isn’t going to stop me.
- Voicing fears, not keeping them inside to grow. G is coming with me (I can’t tell you how much I appreciate G being happy to wait in the waiting room for me for an hour) and when I feel my worries building in my head I tell him. My dentist is also aware of my panic attacks and dental phobia and tomorrow I will tell him that I am scared and worried, there’s nothing worse than trying to hide those emotions, it only makes them worse.
- I’ve been taking part in the 30 day Yoga Camp by Adriene and I have to say it really is wonderful at teaching mindfulness and using breath to work through things that are tough. I pulled my neck on Monday so I am a week behind but tonight I’m going to restart – but take it easy as my neck still isn’t 100%. Exercise is a great way of working through stress as it makes you naturally happier and calmer.
- Distraction a tool that I use as I’m not very good at meditation. The distraction methods I use are calming and they do help me to get away from worries and fear. Tonight I will distract myself with mindless TV (currently working my way through Gossip Girl on Netflix – totally mindless). Tomorrow I’ll be listening to an audio book (Harry Potter probably as you really can’t beat Stephen Fry for narration and it’s a story I love, I know and that I can lose myself in) as my dentist gives me a route canal..
- Positive affirmations are powerful things and I will be repeating many in my head tonight and tomorrow. The moment a negative thought creeps up I’ll be replacing it with something like “I’m a warrior not a worrier” or “I am strong and I will become stronger” or perhaps “I breathe in the good and exhale the bad”.