...and that’s the good news!
There is no cure because when you can see on an intimate level how your panic and anxiety is created, you would understand that there is no external factor that can heal an internal issue… at least not for the long term.
Believe me, there was a point that I tried it all. I was yearning for a quick fix. And why wouldn’t I be so desperate for a ‘cure’ when I was feeling the way I had been? I tried calming techniques that were advertised, like massages and yoga. I tried hypnotherapy, drinking potions and promises made through internet searches. I even tried my luck at an anti-curse-exorcism-type of ritual (when someone suggested that I may have been cursed). And all this did was heighten my anxiety and increase the feeling of hopelessness as I pinned my hope on each everything else, and believed that if only I could do ‘this’ or ‘that,’ then it would all be over.
While activities like yoga certainly help contribute to a better quality of life, they are not the way to long term
recovery of an anxiety disorder or panic attacks, and will always be a ‘cutting the tree at the stump’ approach.
Long term freedom from chronic anxiety and panic will come from working with your thoughts and shifting your perception. You need to switch the light on your thinking pattern and bring it to consciousness. Not doing so would be as fruitless as looking for a coin on the floor in the complete darkness. We need to switch on the light and shift our focus.
Your thoughts create your feeling state. That’s it in a nutshell. Happy thought = happy feeling, worry thought = worry feeling. So why don’t you just have a happy thought? If you try forcing a happy thought, you will find yourself having a conflicting feeling. It is the level of belief that you hold in your thought that your body reacts too, that is, you can’t lie to yourself.
The relationship between thoughts and feeling is so intimate, that they are having an affair. Your bodies physiological response (eg rapid heart beat, knot in stomach, unable to breathe, panic) to a thought is so rapid that we can look straight past the thought (and sometimes believe we weren’t even thinking anything) and immediately focus on the feeing state. And that feeling state can be so powerful that we keep our mind on it and consume ourselves with thinking about how horrible it is, and that makes us feel worse and the spiral just keeps going down and down until it feels all-consuming and we feel powerless. We are never powerless but it just feels that way. And in all of that we ignore the fact that there was a thought, or two, or several that started it all. It’s a matter of catching the thought/s before it does the damage.
Depending on what the thought it is, can determine what action you take. If it’s your worrying about the anxiety (eg, “I hate this… I’m going crazy”), you may just need to let it go and come back to the present (mindfulness); or if it’s representing of deeper issues/roots under the tree (eg “I’m not a good mother…I don’t know what I’m doing”), then you may need to challenge it and be self-responsible.
I recommend reading Bronwyn Fox’s book “Power of Panic,” to fully explain techniques and that relationship between thought and feeling.
But that is the cause of the anxiety – a thought. Not something mystical that’s coming from out there, that’s come to you, or chosen you, or you've been cursed with. It’s coming from a place that needs healing and helping.
And if it’s coming from within, then does it define you? Absolutely NOT. But that’s for another time.
NB: I have been asked about medication as a ‘cure’ of anxiety. I was once prescribed anti-anxiety tablets from a GP, after I told him that I was experiencing regular panic attacks and before I found the right help. He did not bother to refer me to any psychological assistance and immediately wrote the script. I was ecstatic to be prescribed anything, but an adverse effect for me was hallucinations which lead to more panic and anxiety, and I stopped taking them after a month. I am not saying this is the same for all anti-anxiety medications, and there may be a place for medication for certain people and their situations, but for most people who put the work into recovering and find the right help, I come back to the solution coming from you and ONLY within you. Even the most anxious and panicked can find their way as we all have the capacity to recover.