Welcome To Your 30 Day Program
How to Overcome Fear Of The Dentist
DAY TWO - WHAT IS FEAR, ANXIETY & PANIC ATTACKS
Having suffered with the worst form of panic attacks since the age of 15 to 30, I have lived with this problem and I understand it all too well but now at the age of 39, although I don't consider myself cured, I am on a long journey or continued improvement and my life is very very different now for the better, you cannot cure yourself of fear, because that would be dangerous wouldn't it? Even those crazy fools who climb buildings and hang off the edges have some fear, to be without any fear would put you in immediate danger and life would be short lived.
Imagine crossing the road with zero fear, it doesn’t work it's part of us and it's designed to protect us.
Fear is a basic survival skill, it's a good thing, back in the day, we would experience fear when in danger from a wild animal, when our life is genuinely in danger we would enter a “fight or flight” mode, so to stay and fight or to run, either way your body is consumed with high levels of adrenaline, if you've ever been in a serious car accident or similar, you might experience those moments and it feels as if life has gone into slow motion well, it actually kind of has, we as humans experience reality at one speed, our mind controls how we anticipate time, time doesn't change but our perception of it does, for example; if you stood and watched a clock for one hour, time feels a lot slower than if you were spending that time chatting with friends or family.
So that is how anxiety works, our mind creates a physical response in our body to protect us.
Now, it gets a little more tricky because our minds are unfortunately a lot more complex than that, we have memory.
When we remember something significant it can trigger reactions and responses, if I smell plasticine it triggers happy childhood memories, feelings of happiness and joy but it works both ways, when I ran a survey for our nervous patients, one of the most common factors that they associated was the medical smell that the dental practice had, its very common and that alone triggers their anxiety and the biggest problem with anxiety is that once triggered it begins to spiral, I happen to like that smell as it reminds me of my first born, it's the same as the hospital smell. ASSOCIATION
It’s funny but even writing this evokes emotion and I can literally remember that smell.
So,anxiety, fear and panic are ok, it's perfectly normal and it's there to protect us.
However, we need to manage it so that it doesn't control us or make us avoid situations that we want or need to do.
Going to the dentist is something we need to do unless of course you are very fortunate and have perfect oral health but, even then a routine check up is still very important.
One fear I still have is getting on plane, I will tackle this one day but right now, I have no desire or need to travel by plane so it’s not a hindrance. This may sound like a cop out but I genuinely don’t have any desire to travel for a few reasons, if that changes, I now know that I will be able to overcome using the same techniques that I am going to show you over the next 28 days.
Tomorrow, we are to pinpoint your triggers and get to the root causes.