DARE Book Club Reading Secret to Ending Panic

Toothy smile

Good Morning this is Master Life Coach Ralph Ruiz and today we are continuing our book reading of the book DARE, The new way to end anxiety and stop panic attacks by Barry Mcdonah.

Before we begin, for those of you who have been following the Ralphitness tip of the session for getting grounded… does anyone want to share how that’s going..any feedback? 

Any thoughts you’d like to share with us before I begin with the book for today?

Alright, perfect.

We are on page 47 the DARE response for panic attacks. 

Ralph begins to Read:

Important Points:

  • When it comes to the Anxiety Scale 8-9 on the scale results in a panic attack.
  • That is considered an intense experience
  • You will know if you have had one 
  • It’s a false trigger of fight or flight and catastrophic thinking
  • Attacks are sudden

Sensations/Experiences can include

  • Pounding heart
  • Shortness of Breath/Smothering
  • Numbness/Tingling
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizzy
  • Unreal or out of body feelings
  • Shivers/Hot Flashes

After one panic attack fear sets in that it could happen again.

Avoidance triggers and the anxiety loop begins.

You have to realize you are safe and that you are not going to die.

Remember the Chinese phrase Zhilaoh – “ Paper Tiger.” It refers to something that seems threatening but not able to truly hurt you.

See the Chapter “Give up fearing these sensations” for a more in depth explanation.

The job of stress is to keep you safe and alive, not kill you.

The symptoms may be uncomfortable but not dangerous.

Important to NOTE: Panic attacks are NOT your enemy. They try to keep you safe.

This mechanism worked great when we had to escape a tiger thousands of years ago, but not as helpful in today’s modern age.

Just realize you have gotten through all your attacks 100% so far.

Overcome Panic Attacks naturally

Secret of ENDING panic attacks = Strip the fear away from the sensations that you feel.

If you are listening to this and you have been through several of these book readings, by now and you still think you are here to get rid of your anxiety that is what you are missing. Okay?

So if you are still doing stuff including these calls, and reading this book, with the INTENTION to end the panic attack, to get rid of it… You are doing it wrong. Okay.

So the secret is to strip the fear away from the sensation that you feel.

In other words the actual work is in no longer being afraid of it. It is a Non-issue and irrelevant and means nothing, alright?

Once you get to that point where this is irrelevant to you you have made it out. And by that time you will have completely forgotten about this whole anxiety thing to begin with. It’s only a few weeks or months that you go oh yeah that used to be a thing.

Ralph goes back to Reading the book after comments:

Here are the main points from this section:

  • Run toward the anxiety with great force.
  • Do that by getting excited as we explained in previous chapter
  • Try to make it worse. What I mean by that is open the door for the emotion. Try to make it worse does not mean that while you are having the attack you are going to do something to make it worse. There is nothing you can do to make it worse and nothing to do to make it better.

But while you are feeling it see if you can make the feeling more intense. Try to focus in on it, make it more scary.

Any questions, comments concerns before we move on to the next section?

We can take questions in the chat box as well if you don’t want to unmute but feel free to share your thoughts either way.

Ralph continues to Read pg 49.

Demand a more intense panic attack.

The Key to step 3 of DARE Response.

  • It allows you to run toward the fear & shatter the illusion of threat faster.
  • Fear subsides b/c fuel that powers it has been cut off.
  • Meaning you are not afraid of your own fear anymore.
  • That is the sensation itself.  The feeling of fear itself, you are not afraid of it anymore. 

Once you cut the power line, anxiety can’t feed on it anymore.

See the attacks for what they really are, sensations of nervous arousal and nothing else.

The moment we make it into a special thing it becomes a special thing and not in a good way. 

The fear doesn’t come from the sensations but your RESPONSE to those sensations. 

Demanding works because it short circuits the false fear proving no real threat exists.

It sends a strong signal from the frontal cortex (rational part) to the limbic system or emotional part that there is no danger/attack.

Think of it as a kill switch. 

Nervous energy begins to discharge.

One thing I will share with you guys is when you hit that switch and if you are waiting for the anxiety to leave just because you followed step 1, 2 and 3 you are doing it wrong.

The correct way is give it to me, come on, take me. Ok?

And then just move on.

Sonya go ahead…

“I just had an experience the other day…”

I had a lot of nervous energy because I was experiencing symptoms and all I could look at. I had this thought, is that these symptoms are really bad or my thinking around them?

Once I had that thought it was like oh these symptoms really aren’t that bad. 

Ralph: Yes exactly. Exactly. 

So what happened next?

Sonya: it allowed me to separate the part of me that was emotionally reactive to these symptoms and then I took my dog for a walk and I just went on with things.

Just having that thought allowed me to separate the symptoms from the experience of the symptoms. 

Ralph: Yes very good and then you forgot about it. Then you probably just remembered it now. 

Yes exactly Sonya says.

JOIN the Ralphitness CLUB to Listen to the RECORDING

The same is true for physical symptoms like back pain. When you do it the right way you literally forget about it. There is no better way to word it, you just forget you know?

It’s like a few days pass on and you are like oh wow, I just forgot about it. Oh yea I was upset about that thing, then I just forgot about it. Like you literally just forget about it.

This is what happens when you PROCESS your emotions the right way.

Thank you for sharing that Sonya that is very helpful.

Sonya: you are welcome.

Anyone else like to share before we move on to the next section? 

One thing I would like to share is this gentleman shared the prefrontal cortex as the rational brain. The people who struggle with chronic pain for me personally that is an area of the brain that is an area of interest. Why? Because this where our personality sits but most importantly in this area there is something called the anterior cingulate cortex. 

It’s a specific part of the prefrontal cortex that deals with managing what we call the pain response so it is the part that helps you turn off the pain response. And that goes for both physical and emotional pain.

So the part of the brain that regulates pain doesn’t know the difference between emotional and physical pain. It just regulates that.

Another thing that part of the brain does is that it helps with decision making. So it helps you stay present with two opposing forces.

It helps you stay present with that feeling you get when you don’t know if you should or have a healthy chicken wrap or you should order an extra cheese pizza. You know that feeling where you are pulling back and forth and it helps you make a decision, some of that happens there.

For me personally, why is that an area of interest? Because for me personally I believe and have seen in my practice those who suffer with pain also have a hard time managing and making decisions in their life. Usually when the make decisions its an impulsive decision. Something they do very quickly just to get through it. 

They are either extremely impulsive or a really hard time deciding what they are going to do.

This is really important to know on the healing journey. One because its a potentially a symptom of anxiety as well.

Indecision.

It is also very good for you to know because it will help you further understand the roller coaster ride when you are processing something.

Another reason I am interested in that part of the brain besides the fact it regulates emotional and physical pain because main chronic pain sufferers have a history of trauma and tend to cope with mechanisms known as black and white thinking.

Which helps them cope with the distress they hold within themselves.

I personally believe and I don’t know I am not a neuroscientist, it is just me thinking.

I believe that Everything we experience in our body has a limit or breaking point and if we have unresolved emotional issues in our being and we are battling between what’s the right way to be and what’s not the right way to be.

What’s the right decision to make what’s not the right decision to make. 

I personally think its only a matter of time before that part of our being is fatigued. Some people may theorize about the adrenaline fatigue, when your adrenal glands are just fatigued and it gives you an auto immune response.

The Brain and Anxiety Response

For me it is more that area that I am interested in because there is psychological and brain fatigue.

Because if you are spending all day long battling your true feelings, your true desires, your true aspirations or what not in your life than I don’t think that part of the brain can properly make decisions, I don’t think it can deal with stressors choosing left or right or effectively regulate or emotional or physical pain.

Just something I wanted to point out. 

So you can go search the anterior cingulate cortex for those of you that like to get really deep and really complex into things.

Personally I like science, don’t get me wrong I think science isn’t dogma, it isn’t the end all of everything, it doesn’t have all the answers just like nothing else does.

But I personally like science because it helps me better understand things. I am a firm believer that short information is dangerous. The only useful form of short information is an order such as, get down, duck…watch out, get down! Easy, stay on the ground, keep your hands up.

These are good useful short orders…extra cheese please. Short information can be dangerous otherwise.

So I like you understand the long story which is why I talk a lot.

You ask me a question okay I have a really long story for you, so hang in there, but that is just me.

So people who like the short answer..

Yes…the rational part of the brain, the pre frontal cortex sends a signal to the emotional brain, lets the emotional brain know…hey we good, money we good. We don’t have anything to worry about and you are safe, you are not dying. Okay you are cool. 

Ralph continues to Read:

Most are taught to take breaths and reassuring things to themself for panic attacks. Or count backwards, colorful things around you.

Self Soothing does not work in the moment of panic.

Get your emotional brain’s attention by demanding more. It’s a counterintuitive move that gets the attention.

The panic attack then discharges.

Final step of DARE response: Engage in an activity to keep anxious mind out of the way.

For that engagement the way I like to verbalize it is just move on with your life, just go on…..

So if your were just having a panic attack or watching a movie in the movie theatre….and there you are drowning in your own stress, let it be there and move on with your life.

In other words keep watching your movie, anyone got any popcorn..ok I’ll take some of that popcorn (mimics chewing). You gonna drink that? I will drink that too (slurp)…oh wow I missed that part…oh interesting. Look at that, who would have thought, plot twist.

Ralph Reads:

  • Out of your safe z0ne
  • Symptoms arise
  • You remember a past panic attack that an ambulance was called.
  • Thought sends a shock wave of terror and adrenaline.
  • Anxious thoughts flood you.

You may have called someone for help.

This time you are armed with a NEW tool.

You implement the DARE response by responding, SO WHAT..or WHATEVER….this is just nervous arousal…

Ralph says:

What you will notice this nervous arousal will come out very angry. This is why I like how Dr. Sarno calls it a “rage attack”.

Okay?

This “so what” when it starts coming sometimes you can “so what take me” I don’t care but a lot of times it comes out very angry. (Makes loud anger noise).

This is how you get your glimpse of what is behind it.

Ralph continues to Read:

Moving into step 2 Accepting the nervous arousal without pushing it away.

Welcome it in and comfortable with the anxious discomfort.

New crucial step.

If panic is peaking into 8-10. Then you play your Trump card.

CHASE IT.

I am excited by this feeling and demand more of them.

This is where the rage typically comes out. Good luck with the excited part, it usually comes out angry.

Talk to the anxiety. Demand it increase bodily sensations. 

Ex. Heart pounding, Anxiety can you make it faster?

Is this the most you can do?

I notice fearful thoughts, can you make them more?

Are there any scarier ones?

Any questions or comments before we move onto the next section?

Ralph continues to read.

The only way out is THROUGH.

Demand to have a full attack and become the HUNTER not the hunted.

Let it know you want to experience the worst it can throw at you.

Call its bluff!  This pops the balloon of panic.

Pop the baloon of Anxiety and fear

Its ok to be angry at it and just say I have had it with these false alarms ruining my life. I will not live in fear anymore.

My life and the people in it are more important then these sensations so do your worst because I have had it. And likely you will throw in some curse words. 

Ralph laughs and says bring it on with curse word.

Demand more. Go from from Panic to Power.

Remember in Forrest Gump how LTNT Dan battles the ship, Is that all you got? Storm couldn’t throw enough at him!

When it past he was transformed.

Demanding more may seem contradictory. It is often what is needed to get a desired result.

Book gives airplane example and Chinese finger trap example.

You have to push towards it to get out of the Chinese finger trap just like with your anxiety to be truly free.

Some of you might say no way I am not going to ask for more!

The truth is you have already had the worse panic attack you are going to have!

It was that one flare up that kept you in bed and you could not get up.  Nothing helped pain killers, breathing, laughing etc.

You may have spent days concerned about them coming again and compulsive thinking.

Michelle has a question:

Hi Ralph, its Michelle. You were making that comment about the chronic pain as opposed to the panic attacks right. That is more what I relate to and I am having trouble adjusting these comments to relate to when having a bit of a flare up. Like I have been really good and then one off day catches you by surprise and you try to remind yourself its not forever, it is just this moment. I realize it is just anxiety.

How do you push into that, I guess is what I am wondering?

Ralph: into the physical pain?

Michelle:  Yes.

Ralph: That is a good question. I would say it is exactly the same.

Whenever the flare up shows up, trying to remind yourself its not forever is already resisting and fighting it. You know.

Basically if you have plans to go to the gym and your left leg is out which I have had that experience. Oh guess I won’t be jogging today. Instead we go on the elliptical or bike. The point is you just go about your day. 

Michelle: Yea and 99% of the time I can but its that one time when getting off the couch is not happening in the moment. And those are the moments. The other moments I am ok but its those moments you cant get off the couch, ha ok. 

Ralph: Flare up right. 

Michelle: Yes. Like to make dinner, ugh its going to be hard.

Ralph: I am going to share how you will get out of that.

Don’t fight it let it be there, let it runs it course. Once the pain is gone you can write a journal and reflect on how did you end up there?

How did you get to that point. What you noticed is little things. You notice things like…overworking yourself, not setting enough boundaries, not expressing your feelings or verbalizing your feelings. Going above and beyond when you should not have.

You start to see the perfectionism, the striving the people pleasing and its when you are not  in a flare up that you have to take care of those things. 

A lot of times the chronic pain suffer wants to change their ways when they are in pain. They don’t realize that when the pain is not there is when the real work takes place.

Michelle: Ok are you in my head right now? 

Ralph laughs and says oh I have been there, I know the journey.

Michelle: its funny because things have been so good for so long but just that little blip and it’s not as long as it used to be. I try not to go right back to where I was but it is hard not to some times. 

Ralph: it is , it is.

Many years ago I was going to partner with another gentleman as a coach to help people with their pain. The big debate we had was that I believe that the healing the back pain should be free. I don’t think anyone should be paying for that. Obviously if we are working one one I have to charge for that, that is my time.

But here I am 6 years 5 years later, making it happen..with the Ralph Fitness club. I believe this part should be free.

Because I am not impressed when the pain disappears. For people who have back pain they are like wow it went away. I’m not impressed bc I have been through the journey and I know where the real work is.

To summarize it is in SELF LOVE and CARE when you don’t need or when it at least seems like you dont need self care. All those massages and stretch routines. Can you do that when you dont need it?

Can you do that coming from a place of self love as opposed to a place of avoidance.

I am doing this stretch b/c I dont want the back pain…no that is not good. That is not correct.

The correct thing is …for ex. I woke up this morning and had a confirmation on my phone for a flight. Why? Because January 2nd I am going straight to Miami, then Orlando Florida and getting on our cruise and going to be gone for an entire week and something just cruising. First cruise ever…so exciting. 

In the past my first job I had in the motorcycle dealership back in high school, I worked that job for 9 years and never took a vacation not once. I showed up 45 minutes early and left 45 minutes late every single day 6 days a week for 9 years, never took a day off b/c I didnt need it or at least I thought I did not need.

But there is a difference b/t self love and self care because you are worthy of those things versus self love and care bc some ass hole on the internet told you it would get rid of your back pain.

No this is what is going to get rid of your back pain. See Michelle already had moments of remission. And here I am not impressed b/c I am more interested in what happens next to Michelle.

You know I schedule a nice spa day. I take care of myself. I love spa days, who doesn’t?

So the spa day is not because of your back? No my back is fine, I am going for a spa day baby that is what it is for.

Michelle: That is awesome, I love that thought process thank you.

Ralph: My pleasure.

So that is what you will be working on. What are you doing when there are no symptoms. And that goes for people with a history of anxiety as well. When it is not there are you taking care of yourself?

Are you taking your lunch break, time off? If you are an entrepreneur as well and working and self employed or freelancer…or if you work a job 9-5 doesn’t matter…are you making enough income to feed yourself and your family without having to work 80-100 hours per week?

I am sure there are some industry that demand that from time to time. But when they do demand are you taking care of yourself? Are you looking out for numero uno? B/c if not this is what happens..oh my god what should I do when I flare up? Nothing its after it is gone that is where the work is. This is how we ended up here. I am not impressed with back pain but how well and how much you can love yourself when you don’t need to.

When there’s no ..to me back pain is a symbol. The root word is Sym which is symptom a symbol telling you something is wrong and needs to be taken care of.

Ever heard the expression when in a team playing a game or something or in some situation ever heard watch my back? I’ll be right back..watch my back.

Well…surprisingly back pain has the same message. It is your unconscious mind telling you you need to watch your back. What do you mean watch my back? No  you are not watching your own back or taking care of yourself in other words. 

What’s going on here , what’s your back bone?  That guy doesn’t have a backbone, cant set boundaries, say no or stand up for himself. When you can’t stand up from the couch that is the  unconscious mind telling you you can’t stand on your own two feet.

Something needs to be addressed alright?

We do it before the signal comes not because you are afraid of it coming. Or worried about it. It is because you are worthy!

You are worthy of whatever it is you need. Love, compassion, etc. all that good stuff.

So continuing on…did anyone have anything else to share or ask before we finish this session?

Ralph keeps reading:

In worse panic attacks you feared you were going to die you never did.

You can TRUST you are safe. Getting excited and demanding more won’t make it worse.

You surrender and end the fight.

Sometimes this step I refer to as the Kill Switch.

As anxiety leaves wish it will keep the invitation open for it to come back..or even the back pain while you are booking your spa day. 

If you are going to experience a panic attack do it in a skillful manner.

Using the DARE response you ride the wave and continue with your day and your life.

Ralph any questions or comments?

Question comes in:

I had a session with Wim Hoff, breath instructor and he says sometimes he has panic attacks and he says when you are falling just go into it and he says for get all the Science you are inducing your own panic attack and you can experience what it is like and what your nervous system can do in those heightened states so you are controlling it and inducing it so it is not scary.

Ralph: That is right. And if you want to go deeper you can surrender with control. 

Surrendered control, let it take you wherever it wants to.

And that leads me to the next point.

For this session you know how ever session I share something that can help you get grounded.

Which then helps you stay more present with whatever or whenever these waves come around. 

We have been here for almost a year now. Which is great.

This was my plan to do this for one year.

I am going to ask something from you guys. I never asked anything from you guys but this time I am.

The majority of people who struggle with anxiety and chronic pain and chronic panic attacks and I have been one of those people and I have been working with specifically with this crowd of people this market whatever you want to call it…for maybe years now. Almost an entire decade. I have seen it my entire life. 

It is what it is. The majority of you guys have trust issues. You don’t trust yourself. You may seem like you do but secretly deep down you guys don’t trust many people.

So what I am going to ask from you as a token of friendship and one human to another. Forget about the whole coach title thing.

What I am going to ask from you. I want you to reflect and reconnect to that energy of trust. You don’t have to trust me. Ok.

But at some point it is important to connect with the energy of trust with yourself and the energy with the trust with life around you and other human beings.

One of the most common triggers of anxiety believe it or not is being disconnected from that unity one mind one heart one soul that we all share whether you like to admit or not we are Hurd creatures and social animals and we need other human beings.

When you feel disconnected and constantly telling yourself you don’t trust this person or these people or whatever experiences you have in your life you increase the size of the amygdala which is part of the brain registering fear response keeping you on edge.

This is a normal survival mechanism because if you are out in the woods by yourself separated from the Herd it’s important for you to be anxious because it heightens your senses. Hear more, see more sense more keeps you alive.

But you are not in the woods or lost in the woods at least not anymore. 

So what I am asking from you guys just for you nothing to do with me. Allow yourself to explore and trust and reconnect to that energy.

If its your pet that it starts with, oh I trust my dog. Ok good that’s a start. Notice the energy, notice that feeling in your body when you trust another living creature.

Ok if its just your husband or wife or significant other…great..connect to that.

Working through anxiety with your partner

If it’s just the guy at the deli who gives you the ham and cheese or the trust the mailman…great but at some point we have to drop the hostility and let go of the constant stories you tell yourself in your mind and why you don’t trust and why you are a loner or this or that. 

It’s the beginning of allowing yourself to be vulnerable. There is a reason where you each want to control your emotions and anxiety and people around you and the outcomes, and situations. 

A lot of that is the reality you are terrified to let go of the steering wheel. Terrified of being the passenger on the bus and have someone else take control for once. So that is your exercise for this week. Sleeping enough, getting enough water, eating better, resting allowing yourself to be with yourself.

Now time to reflect on those deeper programs that you have running on automatics. 

Every other day you are going to go for a 15 minute walk with yourself. While on the walk with yourself reflect on that feeling of trust. What’s it mean to trust others? What’s it mean to trust yourself?

Whatever that alarm goes off and it says panic, panic, panic….

It my personal experience what ended for me it was the ability to trust that if I was really dying or something happening to me, trust that other human beings around me would help me. 

Trust that if I black out I will wake up and emergency or ICU unit somewhere b/c there are other human beings just as kind hearted as each and every one of us. Just as loving as each of us.

The people pleasers that want to pretend to be loving and caring…guess what there are people out there just like you. So if you can be loving, compassionate and charitable ..what you think you are unique…the only one, no other human beings just as loving as you?

Or you are alone in the woods?

This is your exercise for the week and thank you for joining. 

See you next week.

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