"Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand and ask, “Why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?” You’ll be embarrassed to answer. Then remind yourself that past and future have no power over you. Only the present."
The Meditations - Marcus Aurelius (via corseque)
I feel like a lot of people have been taking this quote the wrong way, so I’m going to explain why this quote has been helpful to me. This is a really great explanation for what to do to stave off pointless, trivial-situation panic attacks. Most panic attacks, unless you are being chased by a bear, are pointless and unhelpful. If you think about only the situation that is exactly at hand in the present moment, and not the possible reality of the situation by building it up in your mind, or past situations that are over and done with, it will help you not panic about it.
If you are waiting for your application to be processed for a job interview, no amount of worrying-to-a-panic is going to help in any way. Thinking about a possible future where that application is rejected is pointless. Thinking about times you have been previously rejected is pointless. Thinking about only the present situation (and only if thinking about it will genuinely help), has been helpful to me.
Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Think about only the reality of the current situation (which is usually nothing more than you sitting quietly and over-thinking to a frenzy) and ask, “Why is (physically sitting here) so unbearable?” You are usually not being hurt or in danger, so there is no reason to be getting upset. It’s just a good reminder. For me, it works nearly every time.
(more information about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the therapy developed from Marcus’ school of philosophy)