Do you panic in supermarket queues? Or queues in general? If so, you’re certainly not alone.
Many people experience this. They feel trapped, and worry that they may get panicky, and feel embarrassed in front of others.
This can happen particularly in busy places, such as the supermarket, the bank or high street shops.
These panic symptoms come under the umbrella of Agoraphobia: an intense fear and anxiety when in a real or anticipated place or situation where escape might be difficult.
The word Agoraphobia literally means “fear of the marketplace”. It’s based on the Greek word ‘Agora'(market)– so you’re not alone – people have been suffering from this for thousands of years!
So how can you stop feeling so panicky in queues?
I’m going to give you some quick tips which you can use to feel much calmer when you are in a queue. Then I’m going to tell you about a very effective psychological tool for well-being which is supremely effective in reducing panic in all types of situations.
Quick tips for dealing with “Queue Anxiety”
Turn anxiety into frustration
When you catch yourself thinking,” I’m stuck in this queue, what if I start panicking?” follow that thought with “Yes, well it is frustrating to be stuck here when I want to be getting on with other things”
Why turn anxiety into frustration?
Because frustration, while still an unpleasant feeling, is a much more empowering feeling than panic. Tell yourself “it’s frustration”.. and you’ll feel more in control of the situation.
Use Distraction Techniques
Do a distracting maths puzzle in your head. Make it something that’s not too difficult, or too easy – for example, what is 7 x 34?
Spell your friend’s name backwards….. then figure out what words can be taken from that name – eg Mary Smith could be mat hat, maths, try, smarty and so on
Why use distraction techniques?
Panic is very often the result of worrying about panic itself– fear of fear. If you distract your mind, you won’t be focusing on whether you’re going to be panicky. It breaks the cycle.
Count Your Gratitudes
Make a mental list of everything you are grateful for; not just the big things, such as family and home, but also the things you probably (like everyone) take for granted. These may be things such as your eyesight, your ability to walk, the money you’re going to make your purchases with, and so on
Why count your gratitudes?
Not only is this a great distraction technique, but focusing on the positive aspects of your life will lift your mood immediately –it’s a great shortcut to happiness!
Use the time to make plans, whether that’s planning the evening meal, or something bigger like filling out an application for a job, or goals for your business.
Why make plans?
In this technological age of information overload, we’re often we’re so busy dashing from one thing to another that we don’t spend enough time planning things out. Planning will distract you when you’re stuck in a queue. It will also help you make a success of the things you want to do in life – so use queue time, as plan time!
You don’t have to wait until you’re in a queue and feeling anxious to practice these techniques. get into the habit of doing these on a daily basis. The more you get used to doing them, the easier it will be for you to switch to them in anxious situatons, such as being in a queue.
Tapping for Anxiety – Emotional Freedom Techniques EFT
Now onto the deeper practice. Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT, is a tapping tool I teach many of my clients. It’s especially effective for overcoming anxiety. It’s a technique that you can learn from a therapist and then practice at home each day.
Practice it before you go to busy places that make you feel anxious, and you’ll find you’ll feel much calmer.
I’ve helped hundreds of people overcome anxiety and panic attacks, with my unique method of therapy combined with EFT.
Would you like some one-to-one sessions with me?
I offer face-to-face counselling and therapy sessions for individuals and couples in Riviera del Sol, Malaga
I also offer online sessions across the world via Skype or Zoom
To get in touch
Give me a call or WhatsApp on either:
+34 602 489 656
+44 7429 440968
Or fill out the form below. I look forward to hearing from you, and helping you.