In this post, Derek Sivers shares his experience of a panic attack during a scuba diving trip and being calmed down by his instructor. He then subsequently used the same technique to help someone else who wasn’t OK on a later trip.

Pain and suffering are part of the human experience. For anyone ask “why me?” doesn’t make sense. There are those who dissimulate and those who don’t, but underneath it all there is hardship.

There is less stigma around therapy than there used to be, but I haven’t met anyone (me included!) who hasn’t transformed their life for the better after going through some form of counselling.

I learned a few lessons from this experience.

There are things in life we think won’t apply to us: Panic. Addiction. Depression.

I thought that was for other people. I thought I wasn’t that type. Why is this happening to me?

But I learned so much empathy that day. These things that only seem to happen to other people can happen to me. We’re not so different. It helps me recognize it in others, and be most helpful by remembering that feeling.

I imagine this is why people, who have been through really hard times, become counselors.

That day also reinforced the power of imitation. My teacher calmed me down so well that it was best to just imitate him.

Source: scuba, panic, empathy | Derek Sivers