You know that feeling…
Your heart starts racing. It’s pounding out of your chest at hundred miles an hour. You’re dizzy, have shortness of breath, feel completely out of touch with reality -total panic.
These are the accepted explanations for symptoms and [causes] of panic attacks. But before we take our trip to the zoo, I would like to briefly touch on the term ‘causes’ by this accepted definition. Your heart doesn’t arbitrarily decide to start racing at hundred miles an hour, it doesn’t just choose to beat faster, it is not the cause of your panic attack – only the result. I will demonstrate what I mean by this idea during our visit to the zoo….
Then the accepted treatments for “panic disorder” are therapies, medications, breathing exercises, dieting, meditation, and general self-help methods.
There are some days that you can go from being in a fantastic mood, having a very good feeling, then with a split of a second, having a very negative feeling. One moment everything seems to be sunny and colored with rainbows, and the other moment there’s a thunderstorm happening around you. In most cases, you have no clue what it is that “hit” you, causing you to go from a great to a terrible feeling.
Do you remember the blog where I told you about the baby who got its head stuck in the crib, and how that experience created a bad cluster? I’ve provided an example below that shows how in a totally different situation, a bad cluster created many years ago can get activated and cause these same extreme changes in your feelings.
Let’s go back to the crib:
Marla is 1 year old and she awakens in her crib and starts to play with a stuffed animal (lion) and a colorful ball. She is getting good at crawling and gets exited because she discovers how she can push the ball and make it move, rolling it around with her fancy new moves.
She hits her head with the bars of the crib and her head gets stuck between them. In a reflex, she tries to pull her head back but it’s hopelessly stuck and she can’t get out. The pain and pressure in her head is getting stronger, the temperature is rising in her little body and her heart starts to race and every single muscle is tense. She creates a bad cluster. She cries so hard that her mom comes to the rescue. Very easily she pushes one bar to the side and frees her. The mom picks her up and is holding her in her arms.
Now picture this baby 30 years later as an adult woman.
Every year she and her friend Stacy plan a girl’s day out. One of them gets to surprise the other were they’re going, and this this year it’s Marla’s turn to pick out a place. Last week she received a newsletter from the Zoo, advertising a newborn lion cub. Trilled by the picture of the cub she decides this will be her surprise for the yearly day out with her friend.
That day, Marla felt so excited and gave the surprise ticket to Stacy. She explained to her about the young cub and how adorable it looked on the photo with its brown striped fur and dark brown eyes, soooo cute! It was a sunny day, they first had breakfast together before they went filled with joy to the Zoo.
At the Zoo they went to see the Lion cub, and unfortunately there was already a large group of people that had the same idea. Marla stayed optimistic and joined the back of the line. Soon, more and more people showed up and it became really crowded. People were pushing her to the front, knocking Marla off her balance. Still, she focused on her goal to see the cub was starting to get somewhat irritated. It was getting hotter and because of the large crowd she couldn’t get out. Ahead of her there were two children crying she was looking at, they were wearing bright colorful shirts.
Suddenly, Marla felt an intense fear and her muscles started tensing up, her heart started to beat faster and her head was getting warmer by the minute. She tried to move backwards but was wedged in between all the people, which wasn’t doing any good for the rising feeling of panic she already felt. Tears burn in her eyes and the only thing she wants is to do is get out of there! She moves her arms to the side but regardless how she moves, she can’t get out. Her head is spinning and her face gets redder by the minute. Marla starts to cry and immediately her friend Stacy comes to the rescue by putting her arm around Marla, saying soothing words, telling her that everything will be fine.
Marla calms by Stacy’s voice and people around her make more space so she feels free again. In front of her she sees the little tiny lion cub and the children in the bright colored shirts looking at her. The panic emotions she felt before slowly disappears.
She cannot consciously remember her scary crib experience, because it’s stored in a bad cluster, but her body sure enough feels the result of this activated bad cluster. If it would be just the lion cub that activated the stuffed lion inside the bad cluster (the stuffed lion in her crib), it would have not come to such a panic attack. But because there are so many similarities, each activated similarity will intensify the negative feelings.
So why did the situation at the zoo (which was totally different than her scary childhood experience) cause her to react the same way? This happens because the subconscious brain does not think or feel. It just compares pieces of sensory data like colors, objects, symptoms of feelings, voices, words etc. Each single detail activates a whole lot of similar subconscious comparison material. Our present feelings are created out of the feelings that are attached to this activated comparison material. Our subconscious is a stimulus/response machine that just compares, reads codes and executes feelings.
As long as the activated comparison material is correctly analyzing and storing sensory data of normal events, we’re fine. But the comparison material that is stored in a bad cluster we cannot remember. Every single detail of a bad cluster event has the same scary feelings attached to it. Once several details of a bad cluster are activated, we will feel these negative feelings in our body.
I understand that you might have a lot of questions about how this works and why the brain works this way, and know that I can help you overcome panic attacks and many other health issues. I will go into much more details in my future blogs about this, but if you don’t want to wait, you can find all the answers by reading an amazing book called Desirable Power, written by the founder of Progressive Mental Alignment, Jacob Korthuis. There are two versions available on my website in the Wellness Shop (a hard copy and an eBook), that I would be happy to send to you.
To having another great day at the Zoo,