I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “Dang, she’s really in a zone!” Or maybe you’ve thought, “Man, am I in a zone!” This “zoneness” is well worth discussing because it can really very positively impact a panic sufferer’s life. Tune in!

Before we go any further, what exactly does “getting into a zone” mean; and why is it so “well worth discussing?” Getting into a zone is when one finds that very special place during an activity where everything just seems to flow. It’s as if you’re performing so smoothly and effortlessly you appear to be “unconscious.” Haven’t you heard that term being used when a basketball player gets on a roll and just can’t seem to miss a shot; or when a musician is playing beyond the realm of comprehension? “Man, she’s absolutely unconscious!” Getting into a zone is the ultimate in performance. It’s when the mind and body are optimally integrated. And under those circumstances the truly incredible can occur.

To your knowledge, have you ever been in such a state? Think about it, have you been in a zone while participating in your favorite hobby or sport? Have you been in a zone as you were participating in a work or school related activity? I know I’ve been in a zone while interacting with clients and writing. With clients, my senses, instincts, and mental, emotional, and physical responses flow effortlessly; and our communication is clear, pure, and effective. When writing, I can sit at a keyboard and it’s an experience of harmony and rhythm. My fingers go like a well-oiled machine on autopilot, and my thoughts are absolutely right on the mark. It’s as if there’s a supernatural connection between the two. It feels so incredibly good. Really, have you ever been in a zone?

Okay - we’ve established that states of “zoneness” (my invented term) are more than available to us. Now, as much as they can seemingly come out of nowhere during an activity, I’m proposing the chances of being in a zone are much higher if one has devoted a great deal of time to skills development and practice. As always, techniques of relaxation, positive self-regard, and visual and audio imagery put the hot fudge and cherry on the ice cream. Earlier, as I talked about visualization, I reviewed the relationship between the conscious and unconscious minds. And, remember, we learned the unconscious mind acts upon data sent by the conscious, real or created. Well, this relationship is not only the key to visualization, but also the key to getting oneself into a zone. Now, I have traditionally had problems with the connection between the conscious and unconscious. For years, I’ve known all of my irrational fears and thoughts were held there, but I never knew how to reach it, and its contents, in an effort to process it and have it work for me, as opposed to against me. You in the same boat?

Well, I’ve come to learn that access to the unconscious can only be achieved through practiced moments of introspection, using techniques of mindfulness, guided imagery, relaxation, and visualization. And as we’re in a state of openness and relinquished control, we can not only access our unconscious mind, we can process its contents and reprogram it for change; with the assistance of our conscious and rational minds. And as long as we’re maneuvering in the unconscious, why not establish a trusted relationship, allowing it to feel comfortable in revealing long-held, extremely tender, and intensely valuable emotional secrets? I guess the bottom-line is this, how could we ever expect any sort of real messages of depth and impact to sink into, or spring forth from, our unconscious if we’re in a state of tension and turmoil? If you were reading a book in preparation for a test, would your attention and comprehension be at its best if loud lyrical music was blaring in the background? Mine wouldn’t. And so communicating and negotiating with your unconscious is no different.

And the very cool thing is you can use these same mindfulness, guided imagery, relaxation, and visualization techniques for some much needed mind-prep as you approach immediate or anticipated stress. Now, in the beginning it may be a little tough to achieve and maintain the focus it’s going to take to reap the maximum benefit; however, practicing over time will make things so much easier for you. I suggest daily practice sessions.

Getting into a zone doesn’t happen by accident. All great moments of achievement and celebration occur because someone took the time to have it that way. Yes, someone took the time to establish that ever-valuable connection between the conscious and unconscious minds; training the unconscious to be a team player when the moment of truth arrives. Of course, a bit of skills development work doesn’t hurt either.

Look, how many thousands of hours of practice and visualization do you think Tiger Woods has put in over the years, allowing him to make the clutch shots required to clinch a tournament? And what about, let’s say, Meryl Streep? How much of the same would you guess she’s devoted to nurturing and refining her incredible acting skills?

Will you do the same? Or will you take the easy way out and settle for continued mediocrity? I know that may come-off as cruel and insensitive, but do you want to fully participate in this thing called life or just settle for a so much less meaningful and fulfilling existence? The choice is yours, yours alone. Know the joy and the incredible rush brought about by getting into a zone. What a tremendous boost to your ego, and what wonderful things you’ll enjoy and accomplish. Oh, that includes knocking-out those panic attacks.

Author's Bio: 

After a winning bout with panic disorder Bill found his life's passion and work. So he earned his counseling credentials and is doing all he can to lend a hand to those having a tough time. Bill authored a panic attack education and recovery eworkbook entitled, "Panic! ...and Poetic Justice," which is available on his website. And he now has a blog up and running, which is accessible through his website. Lots of good stuff going on and much more to come.