Soon after my ex-husband surprised me with a divorce, I began experiencing panic attacks. These attacks provided me with my soon to be favorite of all time drugs: xanax. yum. A few years later, I crawled into rehab with a couple of pills left.
In one group, clients began yelling and I had a panic attack. My counselor helped me out of my paralizing state with a sensory visualization that I could take with me into sobriety. I was to visualize my favorite cake: I chose a vanilla cake with pink vanilla icing. I took a deep breath in, smelling and tasting and touching the cake in my mind. As I would breathe out, I would blow out the candle and make a wish, smelling the smoke, wax, and vanilla.
In the beginning, I would have rather had a pill and gone into oblivion. Today, I still use this visualization, and quite often, I actually eat some cake too.