May 15


​Desired Beliefs

Directions: Rate how valid the following beliefs about yourself and your symptoms of anxiety are for you: (1 = completely false, 7 = completely true.)

Relabel—Even if I have a full blown panic attack, I know:

  • I am safe from severe physical consequences.
  • I will remain conscious even if it feels as if I might faint.
  • I will remain sane and in touch with reality.
  • I will appear “normal,” rational, and sane to others.
  • I can drive safely or take my time to pull off the road.

Reattribute—I know my symptoms can result from:

  • A highly reactive nervous system due to a sensitive temperament, too much stress, an overactive imagination, perfectionism, social phobia, obsessions, or depression.
  • Minor or treatable physical conditions such as inner ear or thyroid problems, allergies, PMS, low blood sugar, anemia, high blood pressure, or mitral valve prolapse.
  • Overuse of coffee, colas, chocolate (containing caffeine), nicotine, or other substances.
  • Facing a threatening situation, flashing on a negative though, or having a conditioned reaction.

Retrain—I know I can retrain my brain by:

  • Floating through the worst of my symptoms or refocusing on something pleasant.
  • Exposing myself to situations that might cause panic and using floating, refocusing or retreating and repeating to become comfortable.

Revalue—I know I can:

  • Welcome symptoms of panic as opportunities to retrain my brain.
  • Become an expert at minimizing panic.
  • Prepare myself for any future, more severe attacks by minimizing symptoms of panic.
  • Give panic plenty of chances to surface by practicing situations that used to be and still are hard.
  • Find new situations to practice without having to “conquer” every difficult situation.
  • Desensitize myself to any panic that resurfaces if I’ve done so in the past.


See  EMDR: The Breakthrough Therapy by Francine Shapiro (Basic Books, 1997) for further ideas on how thoughts affect emotions.

Subscribe to our newsletter now!