When we are afraid we feel a horrible sensation in the “pit of the stomach.” This is the most distressing component of fear. However, the complete picture of fear includes all the symptoms induced by adrenaline: the sweating hands, churning stomach, racing heart, tight chest,. etc., as well as the spasm of fear left in our “middle.”
Normally we do not feel our body functioning, because parasympathetic nerves hold the sympathetic nerves dominate the parasympathetic and we are conscious of certain organs functioning. A healthy body without stress is a peaceful body.
The treatment of all symptoms depends on a few simple rules. When you first read them you may think,” This is too simple for me. It will take something more drastic to cure me.” In spite of this, you will need to be shown how to apply this simple treatment and may often have to reread instructions.
The principles of treatment as laid out by Dr. Claire Weekes is as follows:
Letting time pass
Thee is nothing mysterious or surprising about the treatment and yet it is enlightening to see how many people sink deeper into their illness, by doing the exact opposite.
First, becoming unduly alarmed by his symptoms, examining each as it appeared, “listening in” in apprehension. He tried to free himself of the unwelcome feelings by pushing them away, agitatedly seeking occupation to force forgetfulness =–in other words, by fighting or running away.
A person is bewildered for not having a cure overnight. He kept looking back and worrying because so much time was passing and he was not yet cured, as if this were an evil spirit that could be exorcised if only he, or the doctor, knew the trick. He was impatient with time.
Briefly, he spent his time:
Running away, not facing;
Fighting, not accepting;
Arresting and “listening in,” not floating past;
Being impatient with time, not letting time pass.
I want to give credit to that wonderful Australian Psychiatrist, Dr.Claire Weekes, whose incisive thoughts, here and in other excellent works on how to have peace, hope and help for one’s nerves. (See: Hope and help for your nerves.).
I personally have found her thoughts on anxiety and panic to be so accurate as I have experienced these feeling myself. In fact one occasion I remember with clarity as I let my first fear of panic over come me. The intensity of that first fear caused me to try and run away, not face the feelings, fight the feeling and continue to “listen in” and not just let the fear float on by, and with time our thoughts and feelings became calm and tranquil. I learned that if I could tell myself calmly, which I did, when I felt the intensity of the first fear that the feeling is ” uncomfortable but not life threatening,” and continued saying it like a mantra of sorts, until my heart rate went down, my hands were no longer clammy, and all together I regained my emotional balance.