So I thought it would be good to do a post on anxiety and panic attacks because unfortunately it’s something I am all too familiar with! I also know that I am not alone in this, a lot of people suffer from anxiety, however it is not something that is often openly spoken about.
For me the anxiety began as a result of feeling unwell, however it can come about for loads of other reasons. Also I would like to point out that anxiety does 100% definitely not mean you are a weak person. In fact quite the opposite! People usually get anxious when they’ve had to deal with tough situations for a long time.
I can’t remember specifically the first time I had a panic attack BUT it was a pretty scary experience.
Hot sweats, heart palpitations and a general feeling of not being able to breathe; just three of the accompanying symptoms I experienced.
I also used to get panic attacks at night, the first time I had one was absolutely terrifying! Woke up with my heart pounding in my chest and a blurry eye – pretty weird I know. These kind of panicky occurrences seemed to arise out of nowhere making it all the more scary. Especially when I would wake up to them just happening!
So anyway, I’ve learnt a few things about dealing with panic and anxiety:
1. It is okay to feel anxious! As mentioned earlier, the worst thing in the world is getting more anxious about being anxious; creating a viscous cycle. Although as I’ve found in the past, this is a lot easier said than done. Especially in relation to panic attacks as they can be really scary!
2. It is okay to leave a situation if you feel yourself getting anxious or overwhelmed.
3. BREATHE! The key to this is breathing out more than you breathe in or putting emphasis on the out breath, activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Recently I downloaded an app called Inner Balance which requires you to buy a sensor that takes your pulse by clipping it to your ear. I’d tried it out with my practitioner and had felt soooo more in sync and relaxed afterwards! The app requires you to breathe in and out in time with a pacer whilst imagining breathing through your heart. It then tells you how you are doing and whether you are in high coherence or not. Apparently this stuff is actually scientifically proven to help you relax!
4. You cannot die from a panic attack! However scary it may feel!
And last of all… Try not to let the fear of doing something stop you from actually doing it! There have been so many situations where I’ve felt anxious about doing something or going somewhere, only to find that it’s a lot less scary than I’d imagined!
The Inner Balance app…