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How to Get Out of the Panic Loop

Stefanie Schornsheim 1

Do you know the feeling of being afraid to get afraid?

The fear of the fear is one of the elements that keep you inside the panic loop.

Let’s have a look at how a panic loop is structured.

It starts with noticing something unusual happening in the body. This can be a short sharp pain or a pounding heart. Then you focus on that feeling and overreact by thinking that something bad is about to happen. This eventually leads to an anxiety or panic attack.

Living through this attack costs a lot of energy. You end up feeling stressed but are also in a high sensitive alerted state. Getting caught into thoughts about why you just had an attack again, why you have to suffer, what is wrong with you, or something similar, you lay the base for fear that you could possibly get another attack. This leads to being way more watchful so you will notice more unusual body sensations and the whole thing starts again.

Not many people know this about me, but I could not even get out of bed at the worst time of my life. My boyfriend had to bring me food because I got a panic attack as soon as I stepped out of bed. I thought I’d die any moment.

This was an extremely difficult time for me.

I found myself in some sort of loop. I was afraid to get a panic attack when I tried something different than lying in bed. So I definitely got a panic attack.

Maybe this was what people call a self-fulfilling prophecy?!

First, I blamed myself for being too weak to do anything, which definitely kept me stuck in the panic loop. But: I found a way to break out of this negative feedback spiral. And here is how.


I started every day with writing meditation. In the beginning, it was just a brain dump where I noted how miserable I felt. I set an alarm clock to 5-10 minutes and did not stop writing down every thought that crossed my mind until it rang.

After a couple of days, I realized that I’m writing the same negative stuff every day. And I did not want to feel like that anymore. But what to do to make a change?

Everything starts with a decision.

You can only get better if you want to put in the necessary work and energy. Otherwise, you’d already given up. So when writing down negative thoughts, also start writing down how you want to feel instead. Get a clear picture that you decide you want to stop suffering and be happy again.


„It’s dangerous to go alone.“

The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo

This is one of my favorite video game quotes. And it has a lot of truth to it.

If, for example, I have a problem with the roof of my house, I would not climb that thing myself. I would call someone who knows how to fix it. If I break a bone, I’ll go to a specialist for treatment. If I don’t know how to do something, I’ll look for someone to teach me.

But I would not go to anyone random. I would research who the person is and check if they know what they’re doing and if we get along.

The same goes for finding a therapist. You don’t have to stay with the first one you contacted because they had an open time slot. I wasted so much time with a therapist who was not the right fit for me. Trust your gut feeling if you resonate with the person who will support you.

Having a supportive partner, family member, or friend is also beneficial. I was lucky enough to live together with my loved one, who was willing to help me through the challenging phase of my life.


With a therapist on board and the support of my boyfriend, I told myself every day that I would be patient and never give up trying again.

My boyfriend got the role of my personal trainer. He reminded me of my commitment and pushed me to take one more step every day. Here’s one example: We made the plan that I would manage to step outside the apartment and go for a walk.

Focusing on my goals and motivation, I got out of bed and walked a few steps through the room until a panic attack hit me hard.

Okay, that was disappointing, but I accepted that and committed to trying the next day again.

At some point, I made it to the hallway and put on shoes and a coat before I had to stop and turn around.

Then I made it down the stairs. A couple of days later, I stepped outside. I was immediately overwhelmed by the stress of the city and had to go back in. But I tried again and again. Approximately a week later, we went on a walk together. It was just around the corner, but the walks got longer and longer over time.

Of course, I was devastated each time my plan did not work out, and I had to „give up.“ But I shifted my focus on my goal and looked at all the tiny things I had already achieved.

Celebrate every achievement as a massive success. This will keep you motivated during your step-by-step process.

I’m sharing this because I know that so many of you have experienced something similar – know that if this is you right now, it WILL and does pass… and I’m here to support you.

Have you experienced anything similar before? Write me a message or comment below ⬇️

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