This almost seems to be a contradiction in terms. However, it really is great advice in the sense that if you know you are freaking out about something, then see if you can just put on the brakes and stop. Panicking is like speeding down a wet road in your car and you suddenly find yourself hydroplaning. When you are hydroplaning, you almost have to let go, so to speak, and see where it takes you because, in truth, you have no control.
The same thing may occur when you are in panic mode. To some degree, you have to let go and see where it takes you while trying to maintain an awareness of everything going on around you to see where you can stop and gain control. It does not matter how much control you gain. One iota is all it takes to stop the feelings of panic and helplessness. Once you have that particular perspective and slow the motion (even if you cannot stop it), you have the opportunity to get a better handle on it.
What causes panic and anxiety? Doubt and fear. Consider that the flip side of doubt is confidence, and the flip side of panic (or fear) is courage. Know that you are never placed in a situation you cannot master. I have said this before, and I am sure it will come up again, since there are so many things we hear once and disregard or do not give it the attention it requires or deserves. So, if you find me to be redundant, you are correct. It is like advertising. They tell you to say or do something 28 times. The same thing is said about breaking a habit. It takes 28 repetitions and 28 days of a consistent behavior to create a new habit.
I would have you question what events, situations, statements or observations create anxiety or panic. If you can understand them, then you can begin to get a handle on it and see the various ways in which that same energy is presented to you so that, through the power of observation and having eyes to see and ears to hear, you can get a handle on it. Once you have a handle on it, it is like anything else – a tennis racket, a baseball bat, a broom – you can go into action from a position of knowing, a position of strength, a position of assuming what is coming your way based upon what you are involved in. Awareness is everything.