Overcoming a Panic Attack

This is a guest post from Brad Kennington, LMFT, LPC-S, Executive Director & COO, Cedar Springs Austin. Brad specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, and has been a welcome guest on the Dr Carol Show on several occasions. You can join Brad and Cedar Spring Austin on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Anxious ManManaging Anxiety – How a Distraction Can Help You Overcome a Panic Attack

by Brad Kennington

Anxiety is a normal part of life. Speaking in front of people, a job interview, first dates, taking a test are everyday situations that can make us feel jittery. Anxiety is a healthy part of life, for without it we would not be able to sense real threats to our well being.

When we sense danger or feel threatened, our “flight or fight” mechanism is triggered. And when we are in “flight or fight” mode, our thinking brain, the part of the brain that is rational and logical, is dialed back and our emotional brain kicks in to high gear. Our bodies also receive a flood of stress hormones into our bloodstream as our breathing and heart rate increases and our focus becomes survival and protecting ourselves from the perceived threat. But sometimes anxiety can get the best of us if we allow perception to become reality.

Several years after the September 11th attacks, I was on an early morning flight just before the July 4th weekend headed to Washington, DC where I was scheduled to speak at a national conference.

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Valentine’s Day for Men and Women

Woman Holding RosesMany retailers were happy yesterday, especially those selling cards, flowers, candy, or romantic dinners. And a few women were happy – those with romantically inclined men in their lives. Valentine’s Day can be fun.

But the majority of both men and women were probably NOT happy yesterday. Many men were frustrated, or irritated with the pressure of romantic expectations “on schedule.” Many women were unhappy, disappointed at being alone, or at the lack of romance their man provided.

I remember the many years I spent Valentine’s Day alone. For a while it was depressing! But it was one of those things that pushed me to learn how to let God meet my needs for intimacy, love, and care.

Just a few weeks before my husband Al and I came to know each other I was speaking at a women’s conference about this very thing. One woman there talked about how she would run from one relationship with a man to another, even though most of those relationships were clearly destructive.

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3 Benefits of Being Single

Single Person with CokeNo little girl grows up dreaming of going to bed every night alone, living by herself in an apartment. No little boy grows up dreaming of always washing his own clothes and cooking his own food. Regardless of whatever else we dream about, most of our childhood dreams include getting married and building a family.

Sooner or later that dream is often somewhat spoiled, broken, or misdirected. Parental divorce, domestic violence, addiction, or our own experiences of broken love may cloud the rosy dream of marital bliss. But for most of us even if that dream is buried, it’s still alive.

Then when marriage doesn’t happen it’s easy to become discouraged. Or perhaps marriage ended and you’re single again. You question, is there something wrong with ME? Where have all the good girls (or guys) gone? Am I doomed to be alone forever? Why doesn’t God answer my prayer for a mate?

I was single for 48 years. Then God brought a wonderful man into my life, and we are very happily married. But I know what it’s like to live year after year alone, wondering why it never happened for me. And I know what it’s like to finally completely give up on ever getting married.

Living alone for all those years, I did learn some very important things about the single life.

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5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

Happy FarmerI might not say it in quite those words, but it’s really true: “I don’t care what you think!” In fact it HAS to be true, or I’m no good to you or anybody else.

For a people-pleasing person like me, that conclusion is a hard one to come to. I learned very well how to please professors, bosses, and other superiors. I learned how to read the reaction of patients and respond in ways that they could understand. Most people liked me.

But I was comparatively useless.

It’s my unique understanding that makes me most valuable. And it’s YOUR unique life experience and perspective that someone else – or the world – needs. If you care too much what others think of you, your ideas, or your way of doing things, you won’t be any good to anyone.

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Growing Up Is Hard To Do

MadelynOur little granddaughter is a month old. Is there anything more precious? We’re told Madelyn will be the last one, so we as her grandparents treasure each moment just a little bit more. We know this will be the last opportunity to stroke such silky hair, to grasp such tiny fingers, and to hold such a tiny life in our arms – at least in the Tanksley family.

A newborn baby is a full-time job. Mommy and Daddy do it gladly – at least most of the time! But their biggest job is working themselves out of a job, helping her grow to become thoughtful, loving, wise – and independent.

Growing up emotionally, relationally, and spiritually is often harder than growing up physically. We pick up fears from the people around us. Something painful happens and we pull back inside and hide. The people who should be there for us somehow let us down, and we stop growing.

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