In the middle of a panic attack, you shut down and become tight and catatonic. You can't see to the next moment. It feels like something really bad is going to happen, and you don't know what it is.
The experience is so terrible that once you have one, you walk around dreading another one.
Now you have anxiety about what happens if you have anxiety. This is what stops us from going out, from connecting to others - there's just no room for these things because fear is taking up all the space.
The most important part of managing stress and anxiety is the very first thing you do when the fear hits. You decide that instead of just pulling into a tight ball and hoping it goes away, you will take some simple action.
What gets you past the fear of having an anxiety attack on the highway or in a social situation is knowing that the core part of you will always do ABC if things get weird. You take this core trust in yourself everywhere you go.
Once your body knows that your response will always be the same, it will start to trust the process. You get to where you witness the fear, take the simple action, see the process working, and remember it.
That's when panic attacks slow down: when you have new memories of witnessing new actions working.
That's why a very simple thing like breathing can slow down panic attacks. That's why people say, "remember to breathe".
Your breath is always with you. You're always breathing in, always breathing out.
Because of this, your breathing can become your lightening rod. You hear that awful burst, but you're standing next to something that takes the heat away from you.
Any time something happens that triggers anxiety, the very first thing you do is to focus on your breath.
You don't have to do some special magical breathing technique, although there are some good ones out there. All you have to do is notice your breath moving in, your breath moving out. Try to slow it down some.
For all of your past and all of your future, your breath comes in, your breath goes out. It will be there for you when nobody else is.
The more familiar you get with this simple repeatable action, the more you'll realize that the things that trigger stress and anxiety are transitory. They come and they go. Other things replace them.
But your breath and the rhythms of your body will always do what they're doing. It's ok to let that transitory stuff go.
When you do, all of the stuff that has being blocking your drive, your connection to others, your connection to yourself will start to open up and you will become more like yourself.
You can't learn all you need to lower anxiety in one simple blog post. It takes some practice.
That's why we're going to start the 90 Days to Resiliency program soon.
Here's what we'll do:
1. Learn how to pull out of sudden panic & deal with emotions inside of us
2. Learn how to handle outside stress like work, family & schedules
3. Use both together so you become resilient
My intention is to make you strong emotionally so you can feel better physically.
Here's the link to my schedule if you want to schedule some time over the phone to talk about how this will help you:
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