A couple of months ago I had the worst anxiety attack that I have ever had.
I had been struggling with smaller anxiety and panic attacks in the weeks prior that but nothing compared to that last one. I felt that everything around me was prepared to crash and burn! I don’t quite know what was the worst part of it if it was the physical sensations or the helpless feeling that I got inside my chest. A feeling of overwhelming fear and I thought that I was going crazy or losing control. I got a shortage of breath and I wished that I could get away from all of it! And like many of you, I was dealing with it in secrecy and thinking what the hell was wrong with me.
At the time, I was under a lot of stress from work, giving a lot of classes, working long hours, not resting enough and when at night when I decided to rest I hardly could get any quality sleep. It was a period of lots of changes in my life and I was afraid of getting left behind and afraid of being perceived as weak. I felt that I wasn’t up for the challenge that my life was demanding of me. ( I am able to reckon now that this train of thought only made me feel more nervous and anxious.) I felt like quitting every single day.
I was at my limit. Every day I feared to get a new anxiety attack or to lose my mind, constantly struggling with the possibility that something very serious might be happening with my body and mind. Probably I was dealing with overtraining as well. Perfect storm, right?
Meanwhile, in between moments I was looking for answers and without a doubt, I was looking for something that might fix me.
This is what I did to deal with my Anxiety and Panic attacks. These were my 2 easy techniques that helped me to beat my anxiety!
At this time you probably have heard about Meditation a few hundreds or thousands of times. Truth be told, the benefits are amazing. A number of recent studies highlight the positive effects of meditation on anxiety, mood, and stress symptoms. Meditation helps your brain re-wire and become more aware of your thoughts pattern. I started doing mindfulness body scan meditation 10 minutes once a day usually by night. This helped me by understanding the way my mind generates anxiety-provoking thoughts.
When your brain faces some danger situation it sets our fight or flight response. Your heart starts beating fast, your muscles tense, you are intensely alert. For a split second, you are paralyzed with fear. Then you make a decision. You decide to either defend yourself or run. This is the fight or flight response. The fight or flight response made us evolute as a species. One of the tricks that I used the most after understanding that I was having an anxiety attack was to breathe. Breathing is a great way of making your anxiety level to drop. In one hand, while having an anxiety attack usually your respiration is based on short, shallow breath meaning stress or anxiety on the brain and in the body. On the other hand consciously long and paused breaths helps your brain understand that everything is under control and that it can relax.
At the time I also started writing a gratitude journal and helped me dealing with all the commotion in my life whilst trying to get better.
Extra tip – Express gratitude. Studies have found expressing gratitude helps reduce anxiety, especially when we’re well-rested.Start a gratitude journal to get in the mindset of appreciation, and out of the mindset of being overwhelmed. Changes anticipation for appreciation.
Do you have any tips that helped you deal with Anxiety or Panic Attacks?
Feel free to share them!