Well, welcome back. Yesterday we began a two-part series on S.A.I.L., an easy to implement, and effective, “as-it’s-going-down” panic attack management technique. So what do you say we wrap it up?
In review, here’s S.A.I.L…
STOP everything in your life right now.
ASSESS exactly what’s going on inside and outside of you.
INTERPRET if the situation is truly threatening and merits alarm.
LOGIC your way to the correct response.
Let’s get into more detail….
The first thing you just have to do is, indeed, stop. Take a huge pause from life as you think you know it in the immediate. And as you pause, take several calming abdominal breaths at your own pace. You can do that very discretely, as the spotlight is not on you, though you’re, no doubt, convinced it is.
For now – just take your time gaining some physical, mental, and emotional stability and perspective. Your one and only mission at this point is to stay cool while allowing time for the correct situational input to reach the rational headquarters of your brain. It’s okay – there’s no hurry – you’ll be just fine.
The next move is to calmly assess the exact nature of what’s going on. Nothing complicated here. All you need do is determine what might be causing the alarm to sound. Listen to your mind and body. Ask yourself if you’re thinking about a panic attack you may have had the last time you were, say, in a restaurant; or do you see a server coming toward you juggling a flaming dish after being tripped by the woman who chews with her mouth open at the table next to you.
Just take the time to get an accurate fix as to the exact goings-on. And continue with the abdominal breaths as necessary.
Next – interpret whether the immediate happenings pose a true threat. And what a great time to remind yourself of your traditional patterns of misinterpretation and overreaction. If the issue at hand has anything to do with a past panic attack, you’re now equipped to simply tell yourself the sensations you’re experiencing need not lead to anything more than yet another confidence builder – case closed.
But if the tripped server is about to present you with a flaming-hot meal, I would think some avoidance behavior may well be indicated.
Finally, you must very deliberately logic your way to an action plan based upon accurate assessment and interpretation. Call upon past panic-defusing successes, guided imagery, breathing and relaxation techniques – anything you may have picked up that may assist you. Be creative.
But most of all, keep your mental and emotional edge, as you remain confident in your authority and ability to make the situation what you’d like it to be – prohibiting the situation from defining you.
And, again, if the fuss is all about the flambé coming your way, perhaps seeking refuge under the table would be a swell idea.
Can you see how neat and effective this little acronym and technique can be? Now, it may take some time before it becomes a natural; however, just knowing it exists, and is there to support you, will bring immediate comfort and impact. Start using S.A.I.L. right away, and begin to…
S.A.I.L.…S.A.I.L.…S.A.I.L. your way to all kinds of confidence and calm.
Would you please share your feelings and thoughts in a comment? All chipur readers will appreciate it.
image courtesy: worldwidehealth.com