12) Creating Your "Cue Card"
Once you begin to learn your cognitive skills, it’s essential to make your techniques ‘portable.’ I think the best way to do this is to create a ‘cue card,’ with some key words or phrases to remind you of your most powerful tools and techniques.
A 4 x 6 index card works beautifully. It’s easy to fold and keep in your pocket. Your cue card can be a very powerful reminder of all you have learned, whenever the "panic monster" – who, like a 5-year-old, whines and flails his arms, trying to get your attention – makes you momentarily forget.
I spent a lot of time developing my special 4 x 6 card. I found that I carried my tools with me wherever I went. As time went on, I learned my tools so well, I rarely even had to look at my card.
It’s important to make your ‘cue card’ your own, with words or phrases that are especially powerful reminders for you.
Here is a cue card that I used when I was healing. You are welcome to use all of it or any part of it. I used the acronym “ACTS,” with each letter representing an aspect of my healing:
A: Allow anxiety and panic. The fear of panic is all there is to this condition. (See The Attitude of "Allowing")
C: Curious Observer:
Observe my anxiety level (from 0 to 10)
Observe how I am breathing. If I notice over-breathing, I can choose to do some belly breathing.
Observe sensations and scary thoughts.
Panic is not dangerous. (See Education)
Any experience of panic is a success! (See Re-framing Panic as a Success)
I called my practicing “ACTS of gratitude.” This phrase reminded me of my gratitude for my healing path.
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Triumph Over Panic, Inc. is affiliated with the Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder Foundation.