I arrest my thoughts!

I first was diagnosed with AFIB (heart arrhythmia) when I was 23.

About a year later I got panic attacks out of nowhere! (but it was actually from my afib experiance).

The anxiety/panic attacks where more scary than the AFIB, because it is an unseen, unmeasurable and selfdoubting enemy. I got treatment for the anxiety, and it helped me a lot.

One of the strategies that I use very much is : arresting my thoughts.

I do not allow any thought to come into my brain, it's my brain and I will allow who I want to.

So I "catch" every thought, examen it. If it does not make sence, is evil, scary, or not wholesome for me, I arrest it and take it out of my mind.

I know it sounds crazy! But you must control what thoughts you are thinking and receiving. I wrote a blog about it: myafibheart.com/home/heart-...



11 Replies

  • I can absolutely see the logic and sense in what you say, I just have no idea HOW to not have unwanted thoughts. Maybe you could explain a little more about how you achieve this?

  • I know that it is difficult to keep a thought out of your mind because it just pops in there.

    So the first defence for me is to try and stop the thought from being "received" by me. I dismiss it and concentrate on thinking about someting else - it's not that easy - espescially if it looks like you are feeling and experiancing all those scary symptoms.

    Secondly I make an effort not to cultivate that thought. If I get the thought of "I cannot breath I'm going to faint" I know it can become a downward spiral. I then tell myself  "you are still breathing, you are going to make it, you will survive"

    I then tell the thought "I cannot breath I'm going to faint" that "you are lying" look i'm still here! I arrest it and tell it to go!

    WOW! it seems crazy talking to your thoughts, but you have nothing to lose.

    Sometimes it's easy, but it takes practice. I have to judge my thouhgts (we all do it. Is it not similar to thinking about eating a chocolate but then throwing it away because you are on a diet) 

    I know it is VERY difficult sometimes.

  • I once attended a counselling course and the leader described a technique which can be quite helpful if your thoughts threaten to overwhelm you - you visualise a container of some kind and store the thought in it and then mentally store the container with the plan to return to it at a more appropriate time. This is better than suppressing or denying feelings long-term which is very harmful. 

    One of my personal favourite techniques when I feel anxious is to imagine a Worst Case Scenario and then plan how to deal with it. Once I have made the best plan I can I feel more confident about entering a feared situation.

    These techniques probably also have names but the practicality is what counts.

  • Buffafly

    Great technique! and I also agree on not suppressing feelings and thoughts.

    That "worst case scenario technique" worked wonders for me during my worst panic attacks, actually I was just tired of fighting against the fear and panic and thought -give me your best shot- I'm tired of fear and want to LIVE LIFE!    I wrote about it at:


    Thanx Buffafly!

  • I so agree and wish i could manage to do it  help please.


  • I do not know what thought is coming, but I do I agree that I have a choice how I will receive it, and if I am going to cultivate, grow it and make it bigger.

    I know there is a big debate about where thoughts come from, and don't want to go into that. I'm only saying what helped me, and try and explain it in words

  • That sounds very much like cognitive behaviour and the use of CBT to quell negative thoughts.  I found CB very helpful in the past with a depressive illness and can understand how it could work with AF and its miseries.  

    Well done - long may it continue to help.

  • Thanx Finvola

    To have AF is bad enough, and a anxiety/panic attack just makes it worse.

  • It's a great technique but (as with most good ideas) not new – it's called "mindfulness" and if you google it you will find several interesting short books on various methods people have found helpful.

  • My experience - and with the help of a very good counsellor - was to turn and face a frightening thought and defy it to harm me....allow it into my head and keep breathing and don't hide away. I know this may sound fanciful and 'all very well' but it did begin to work for me. I eventually would explore my sub conscious and look for these bad thoughts that were the catalyst for panic and fear and their effect faded in time.

    We are all different and react in different ways....this just worked for me.

  • Yes I agree, and a great way of looking for your fears and them not attacking you from nowhere.

    Will try it.

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