Change your automatic response.
Learn a new way of dealing with it.
Practice, rehearse and keep doing repetitions.
If you practice enough, you’ve trained yourself to have a habit… This is the default instead of fear.
So what? You have intrusive thoughts.
You can tolerate distress and discomfort.
You can tolerate not knowing. If you practice tolerating it. Otherwise it leads you to anxiety.
You can tolerate burning lungs. You can tolerate thoughts that intrude. No big deal.
The next time you have one, you are used to it, it doesn’t even get your attention. You don’t analyze it and it doesn’t derail you. There’s no hidden meaning, it is not an issue.
Let it be. False comfort or reassurance at this point only makes it worse.