Do you panic in supermarket queues? Or maybe you know someone who does? Many people experience this feeling of being 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, 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. This is a technique you can practice daily – it’s best done before you get into a queue situation.
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 emotion, is a more empowering emotion that panic. Tell yourself it’s just frustration and you’ll feel more in control
Use Distraction Techniques
Choose a dsitracting maths puzzle to figure out, such as 7×34. These need to be sums that are not so difficult that you can’t keep a focus on them and not so easy that you can do them automatically.
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.
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 we all take for granted. These maybe things such as your eyesight, your ability to walk, the money you are 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 a filling out an application for a job, or goals for a 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 in a queue. It will also mean you are calmer in general and will make more of 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 are in a queue and feeling anxious to practice these techniques. In fact the more you get used to doing them, the easier it will be for you to switch to them in anxious situatons. so pratice them at home, in the shower, when you’re doing housework etc.
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 froma therapist and then practice at home each day. Practice it before you go to busy places that usually make you feel anxious, and you’ll find you’ll feel much calmer.
I’ve helped hundrds of peoeple overcome anxiety and panic attacks with my unique method of therapy combined with EFT.
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