Week 3 of the Positive Steps group is the week that encouraged me to start overcoming my panic about having a bath. Doing this through exposure.
The week is called Managing Behaviours. Looking at a different type of vicious cycle; the behavioural vicious cycle. Here’s mine:
How do I go about changing these behaviours?
Going by what my counselling work says I need to make a list of the things I need to engage with. As creativity is one of the ones on my list. I’ve made a picture of my list rather than just listing them out for you.
As you can see I have colour coded each item on my list.
- Red: Necessary
- Green: Routine
- Purple: Pleasurable
In all fairness, I would like all the things on my engagement list be pleasurable. There were a couple I couldn’t decide on. For example, Yoga and Walking the dogs is on my routine list and it does need to be routine but I also want these to be pleasurable too.
Now I have my list, I have to start small and schedule these into my days. Making sure I do something regularly and then reflect on what I have done.
I have started doing activities from my list. I’ve been setting reminders, putting them in my calendar and logging walks and yoga through Google Fit.
I reflect daily, through my writing. Although I don’t just talk about what I have done that day. I think my reflections will be within my end of month reviews.
The second half of the week looked at panic. This is the part that spoke of exposure leading me to start getting over the things that panic me. I have to start one thing at a time. Having a bath to me was the ideal one to start with.
I have no idea why I panic when it comes to having a bath. I used to have them all the time when I was a kid. I haven’t had a traumatic experience in one. I just panic about having a bath.
It’s been easy for me to avoid over the years. We only have a shower now at my parents’ house. Dave’s parents’ have a bath but they also have a shower. Me avoiding again just had showers there too.
Dave loves baths over showers. I know when we get our own place a bath is gonna be one of his main ‘I wants’. Relaxing in a bath, taking time out, does have its appeal. I just have to get over the panic part.
As it has been a month since the session on week 3. I have started my goal towards having a bath. I’m just not at the point where my panic is totally gone before I can think about relaxing in one.
I did learn that there were three types of panic attacks. This, I didn’t know. I just thought a panic attack was a panic attack. The three types of panic attacks are:
- One you predict
- One you cannot predict
- Night time panic
Me having a bath is definitely one I predict. You may also have figured out I have a fear of spiders if you’ve read other posts of mine. I’m not sure which that one falls under. I know I’ll panic if I see one. But I can’t predict when I’ll see one.
I have had the odd night time panic. Being an anxious, worried and having low moods makes me more susceptible to having panic attacks. Are you?
This week told me that reducing anxiety helps to decrease the chance of having a panic attack. This is what lead me to want to overcome my anxiety and fears.
There are fears that are out of my control. The risk of them happening, the majority of the time, is low. But if I learn to control my behaviours and panic, I should, in theory, be able to control any panic attacks I have in the future.
Breathing is a big part of this. Breathing is always coming up with me. Clearly, I need to take note. Workin on my breathing techniques it is.
Have you exposed yourself to any of your fears?