• Ever hear people say “It’s not my fault!”? Or really, have YOU ever said it? I have. Quite a bit actually. I’m still trying to get that phrase out of my head and transition my mind to thinking differently. Because of my experience with panic attacks and stress, I’ve read a lot of books and tried a lot of natural “remedies” to make it go away. And the thing that keeps popping up is how much our MIND plays a part in our management of stress, and therefore, panic attacks. Stick with me on this…

    So, for example, my job was super stressful. The company was in financial distress and I was responsible for the majority of the company’s employees in direct reports. I felt like it was my responsibility to fix everything and take care of everyone and make sure everything and everyone was ok. I put my work first, because it seemed to me like it was the largest fire that needed to be put out. I was constantly working and if I wasn’t actually physically at work or in front of my laptop, I was thinking about work. For real. Work, work, work. And I didn’t feel like I had enough hours in the day to even address all that needed to be done, and so I was constantly in a hurry. Everything needed to be addressed yesterday, and I was running out of time. It sucked. And I was stressed out. And I wasn’t taking care of myself. And I started having panic attacks. Like every day.

    Why did I start getting panic attacks? Was I under too much pressure at work and was my boss putting too much on my plate? That’s what I thought! It wasn’t my fault. I was drowning and it was because of my job and it sucked. It was just how it was and there was nothing I could do about it. Boy, I couldn’t have been more WRONG.

    Of course it was my fault I started getting panic attacks! I have come to FULLY understand that now…but, at the time, there is no way in hell you would have gotten me to believe that. I didn’t have time to eat breakfast because I needed to get to work as soon as was humanly possible. I didn’t have time to work out because I needed to work…duh. Couldn’t everyone see how BUSY I was!? I didn’t have any time to spend enjoying my family or my friends because of this job. Bullshit. All of it…complete bullshit.

    The thing is…I was the one that was deciding to NOT do those things. It was my mind that I let tell myself it wasn’t my fault. My boss did not tell me to ignore my family, nor did my boss tell me I had to be working at all hours of the day and night. I FELT like that was what I needed to do, and if I wanted to do really well in my position, I thought that was I NEEDED to do. It was MY FAULT that I was allowing those things to happen. It was MY FAULT I was not taking care of myself and enjoying life, even while working for a company in financial distress. You see, I could have worked the hours that needed to be worked and then STOPPED WORKING for the day, and probably still gotten the same amount of work done. Sure, there may be some days where extra time and effort need to be put in, but it didn’t need to be how I lived it every day. It’s in our head that we physically need to do more for our jobs, when in reality, I believe we COULD do more for our jobs IF we were healthy.

    I Am My Problem

    So, think on that. We are the ones in charge of our lives and our circumstances. It’s still a hard concept for me to remember, especially when in a moment where I feel the circumstances are dictating what’s going on. So, let’s STOP placing blame elsewhere and truly know and believe our situation is 100% our fault, which is GREAT, because then it is 100% within our control to do something about it. It’s a mindset change. And one that has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with my challenges with stress, anxiety, and panic attacks. Panic attack free since April of 2014!