How I Ended The ‘What If’ Cycle Of Anxiety And Panic

August 29, 2014

Anthony Robbins put it perfectly when he said:


“If you want to experience different results in your life, just start asking yourself different questions.”


We can certainly apply this kind of thinking to people suffering from anxiety and panic in today’s world. In my experience with anxiety and panic attacks, there were two words that shaped the way my day went back then. Those two words that made up a question I asked myself at least 100 times per day were the words ‘what if.’ To give you a few scenarios of how I used these two extremely powerful words that literally brought me to my knees many times, I have to go back to a few examples that I can remember vividly:


The Shopping Mall


What if I experience a panic attack like the way I did last time, will people think I’m crazy? Oh the humiliation, I’ll never be able to go to the mall – or any crowded place for that matter – again!


A Professional Tennis Match


What if my hands start shaking uncontrollably again and I get those dizzy sensations? Will my opponent think I’m losing it mentally? Will he spread the word to the rest of the athletic community that Dennis should be locked up!



anxiety and panic while driving

The fear of death followed me everywhere.

What if someone cuts me off and my anxiety and panic levels spike up again? Will I have to pull over and call emergency again? Will I get in a crash? What if I have to pay that $300 emergency bill again in case I have a real heart attack this time!



Do you see how the words what if dictated how I lived my life back then?


It was rare that when I thought the words what if, something like a full blown panic attack or constant checking in to my symptoms of anxiety actually did not happen. These are just three examples of when I used what if, but trust me, there were many more. The words what if forced me into a corner and kept me pinned down in my basement for 31 days. I would go out for the occasional short walk, but other than that I did not budge and purely existed. I was more dead then I was alive for some time.


So what did I do?


I started to change my what if’s into a set of words that were just as powerful, just as intense, which in time changed what I associated to what I used to fear. Just by using these three words in the comments I made to myself when a feared situation came up, I gained momentum in the right direction. The three words I started using instead of what if, were ‘ride the wave.’


how to stop anxiety and panic

Learning to become comfortable with your sensations of anxiety is the key to ending your panic.

During the height of my anxiety and panic attacks, I moved my family to Bali thinking that a change of view and attitude would help cure my problems. When I was in Bali, I would surf quite a bit and realized that when I surfed it was one of the only times I was thoughtless, nothing could bother me. I was just riding the wave without the thoughts of what if I fell of the board, what if there was a shark, and so on. I was free – I didn’t add fear to the experience at all, I just kept riding the wave. I started applying the term ride the wave to my anxiety and panic and it worked! I started using these comments to myself rather than asking a fearful question, for example: “If I experience dizzy sensations at the shopping mall, I’ll just ride the wave and not add any tension to this experience,” or “I’m on this plane now and I’m feeling jittery. What if this plane crashes? Well, I’ll just ride the wave and experience this feeling, but I won’t add anything to it as I cruise through these feelings.”


Eventually, I became disinterested in the what if’s, and I didn’t add to any initial fears I had. Did it take time to recondition this? Of course, doesn’t anything take time when you want to create a lasting change? Turn your what if’s into comments to yourself using the words ride the wave and change your entire perspective.


If you’re tired of coping  and just getting by, visit the End The Anxiety Program Review page to find out how you can begin your natural recovery from anxiety and panic disorder starting today.


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14 comments on “How I Ended The ‘What If’ Cycle Of Anxiety And Panic

  1. Hey u am at the end with my panic attacks and anxiety. I have had enough. I have 3 beautiful children and I can’t enjoy there life. I have spent there summer holidays in doors. Going for a walk everyday just to get out. Which isn’t getting g easier it’s getting harder. I’ve been like this again since May. Two of my girls go to school next week on Tuesday and I am freaking out about it my mum is going on holiday soon same feelings. My dizzy spells are so intense and nearly all the time. I’m getting rather stressed and fed up of feeling like this. I’ve been like this for 7 and half years. I’ve had cbt helped a little but not enough. I’m on tablets. I’m 27 and my life has stopped. Please help me.

    • Aug 29, 2014

      Hi Caz,

      Many sufferers wonder why they didn’t start the end the anxiety program sooner, so I suggest considering it so we can work with you personally.

      • Thank you. I will grab these books asap. I really do want to live again enjoy my life and my children’s not be scared about them going to school be at ease. To be able to relax wow I haven’t done that in so long I don’t know if I can lol. Xx

        • Marie Gardiner who is a renown relaxation/hypnosis expert has included a number of her audios in the program targeting evening relaxation, as well as a 20 minute audio that tackles panic attacks before the cycle overtakes a sufferer. Looking forward to helping you Caz because trust me, I was the most mentally fatigued, frustrated, fearful person on this planet and if I can turn things completely around anyone can.

  2. Tracie Vigil Aug 29, 2014

    Would love to no more please im so tired of living like this

    • Hi Tracie,

      The end the anxiety program takes you by the hand and shows you the simplest path to ending your health anxiety once and for all. The difference between the end the anxiety program and other ‘solutions’ online is the post purchase. We like to call it the ‘checking in’ system. This is where you are given a mentor (someone who has overcome their own debilitating anxiety naturally through the program) and you work closely with that mentor through a series of powerful audio sessions in the program. You can learn more about the program at under the menu ‘psychology’ and if you have any more questions I am here for you.

  3. Sheikh Aug 29, 2014

    Great article! It will surely help others get rid of anxiety!

    Thank you!

  4. David Aug 29, 2014

    I love this article, I love everything you have to say about anxiety and panicking while driving.

    Thanks again!

    • It’s more common than we think, driving anxiety. But through the end the anxiety program many people are realizing just how easy it can be to end the cycle of anxiety and panic naturally.

  5. Wow. Amazing blog Dennis. I love your story and how you came up with the “Ride The Wave” as your way to redirect your thoughts of What If.

    You are such an inspiration to so many people. You have walked the walk and now you so compassionately talk the talk. In just the first few blogs I’ve read I’ve already learned so much. Thank you for having the courage to share your experiences so others can learn and confront their own demons.

    • If ‘regular’ people knew just how deep the pain of health anxiety goes I think it would scare them to bits. Thank you Karen for your valuable input as always.

      • I totally agree that regular people would be scared to bits if they had even the smallest idea of what can happen when you are in the grips of extreme anxiety.

        My husband died very suddenly some years ago. He was literally fine when we went to bed one night and by 10 am of the next morning, he was gone. Although I hadn’t experienced health anxiety before his death, the shock of his loss threw me into a health anxiety cycle unlike anything I could have ever imagined before.

        What descended upon me in terms of panic attacks, extreme anxiety and constant fear was truly terrifying to the point where I literally could not function.

        Luckily I had access to some great therapists who pulled me back from the brink with hypnosis and related therapies.

        I relate 1000% to everything you share and totally get the experience since I’ve been there. Thank you again.