**this is a raw real time long read , done in the moment
Panic it cripples you sending you into a whirl wind of intense fear and impending doom. Your heart is beating so fast and out of control that your fear rises with every beat . The pounding in your chest you hear it your head , and that part of your brain takes over where you are going to spiral out of control in a full blown panic attack , and the vicious cycle takes over . You know you need to breath slowly in for 5 beats , out or 5 beats 5 times slowly to calm yourself down .(truth be told I have never been able to breathe, like really breathe a full deep abdominal breath, so these breathing exercises are hard for me but you push through) Just get your heart back under control it is beating to fast you tell yourself, calm yourself down. Maintain your breathing if you add hyperventilation to this mix you will cross the threshold of needing to desperately try and find someone to help you so they can help talk you down . Your limbs are already yelling out in warning that it is going to escalate if you do not get this under control now. Your limbs are tingling , ready to go numb . It can reach every limb, can climb to your face where you feel numbness in your lips, your eyes do not see clearly , they become watery . Your arm hurt aches with a weight , then your heart can hurt. Well you think it is your heart , you think you are having a heart attack so never mind what that thinking does to your panic attack ; it hits you harder like wham , and that intense fear accelerates your entire body to shut down for you.
This is actually happening to me now as I write, though thankfully not at the distress stage. Normally I can talk myself down and it does not get to this escalation, hasn't in many years but today , today fear and panic has set in with a fear inspired death grip on me so tight. I thought that blogging about it while it was happening would help bring me down .
Panic it comes out of nowhere and strikes any time, anywhere , and any place. Seemly it is out of nowhere , but I can pinpoint why mine started , just the the fact that it is happening to me is a wake up call beyond epic proportions. I will talk about me after I list my ways of getting myself out of a panic attack .
DISCLAIMER BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN BE A$$HOLES
I AM NOT A DOCTOR , I MAKE NO CLAIMS FOR ANYONE EITHER THAN MYSELF, THESE TECHNIQUES HAVE WORKED FOR ME FOR 17 YEARS ( YES DIAGNOSED WITH SEVERE STRESS AND PANIC AND I CHOSE TO TAKE THE NON MEDICAL PILL POPPING ROUTE, I CHOSE BRAIN POWER ), UNTIL TODAY THAT IS BUT I CAN EXPLAIN TODAY AWAY. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF YOU NEED TO . LIKE SERIOUSLY IF YOU ARE HAVING CHEST PAINS AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH IN ANYWAY SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION .
These are not in any real order just as they come to me . I use each of these together within themselves to help bring me down .
1. KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS
This is really important because once you find a trigger especially if it is food or beverage related then you can use this as a mantra in your brain to shift from fear to just that "oh yeah , silly , you had X today " . Once you know and identify a trigger you use it to your advantage to do the second thing triggers can be stress in your life or other things you just have to carefully keep track of all the facets when a panic attack hits . Make a PANIC DIARY , this will help you more than you can imagine ( this is part of the day to day as well as an in the moment technique)
2. TALK YOURSELF OUT OF IT As an example of a trigger , I can not drink caffeine , caffeine ignites my panic with a force of wild fires. I will imbibe in caffeine every once in awhile but I consciously know that if I have to much and panic even blips I have it squashed by re wiring my brain to remember , hey you just had to much caffeine and the blips disappears . Okay so chocolate is a huge trigger for me as well but let's face it as a chocoholic there is no way I am going to eat any less and I re wired my brain to not even produce a panic blip because my love of chocolate out weighs what I will let panic control in my life.
Finding your triggers and talking yourself out, work hand in hand with each other which is why they are together because knowing your triggers allows you to scan parts of your brain where the trigger comes in and you can use it to talk to yourself with a new script so the panic subsides.
2. (part 2) TALK YOURSELF OUT OF IT
Triggers aside for a minute this is the best way to re wire your brain. I know thoughts can spiral out of control and you add negative thought upon negative thought to your "truth" and that fuels and feeds your panic but that is the worst thing you can do. Re wire your self talk. re assure yourself that you are fine and that you are okay . You need to remind yourself that it is only a panic attack , that it will pass. You are going to live and be okay . I like to tell my brain to fix my body and that I am okay . The best thing I could say to myself in these moments is that I have a strong healthy heart.
This technique is taught and used or many things in our lives. Breathe in very deeply through your nose with your mouth closed for the count of 5 , then release through pursed lips for the count of 5 . Do this exercise 5 times. Look you really do not want to get yourself into hyperventilation mode . This is the only way apart from breathing into a brown paper bag to get your breathing under control. I get it, especially in the moment you can not grasp breathing this way , that ignites a fear all on its own . But even if you can get one of these breathes done and as you go along with your other ways you can keep trying . Then you can add more as you go . Just keep it slow , slow and calm .
4. DO YOU SOMETHING YOU LOVE
This one is so easy , you want to get your mind off of the panic as best as you can. Letting fear set in and not doing anything is the worst thing you can do . Emmerse yourself in a book , put on a funny movie, dance , color, or listen to your favorite music. Take a bath or shower sometimes it helps to calm you down . Anything you just want to get your mind occupied on other things and other thoughts to re wire to a place of happiness , not of fear. Reach out to a friend to chat . I am available if you ever get in a place where you need to talk to someone quickly to help you. It helps when you have a panic friend who goes through the same thing or did go through those things to better get you back to happiness and away from fear .
Obviously not your trigger ones of course , but it helps if you can eat a light meal . Your hands will be doing something and you will get your mind off fear. A lot of times if you starve your body , you will get panic . This one was more for when I first started to get myself under control years back. See another side effect of eating disorders is Panic , they do not really talk about that to young people but when you have a history like I do with years and years prior to panic with several eating disorders the two go hand in hand . If you are hungry that can cause panic and stress in your body . They do not really tell you this is an issue but it is. Sometimes just eating can de stress your body and panic will melt away. I know that sometimes lack of food can be an issue and that is not lost on me , dealt with that to , but eating was and is just one non traditional way that I used to deal with panic. Your body can go in shut down mode and food can help, t balances you out , regulates you in a way to align yourself back to happiness and out of fear. Sometimes the fear is only lack of food related .
Honorable mention SLEEP
If you actually can sleep this is the best thing for you . Your body calms and your breathing goes back to normal and your heart has a chance to slow and clam. Never really a luxury for me .
These are just ways that I use to lead the fear away . Personal to me and have worked for 17 years . It was hard at first trying to re wire and talk myself down but the more you make that your truth , the farther the fear pushes down. In the beginning it would take and could take up to an hour to completely come back as it were , but it got to the point of where within 1-10 minutes, 10 being a stretch that I was back to me and talked down. Now there are things you can do everyday to control your panic, but these just help you while you are in panic mode .
Today was a different day though. I likely should have guessed a big crippling one was coming . I have had a lot of caffeine lately not to mention chocolate , thanks to the Easter Bunny , so have had a few mini blips the last few months,( or so I thought those to be the triggers). I realized though that it is my day to day life , stresses, depression and overall unhappiness that decided to wham me hard today as a wake up call. I guess I let it all collide on me finally . hating your life, stress, resentment , anger ,not sure where to go or where to turn , having to many things on your plate to try and stay a float that only scratches the surface and never gets you ahead ...If you let it let it go for months and months something has to give sometime. I guess my body and soul and a big HELLO from the Universe to relax, calm down , trust and get back to gratitude , this was the only way to get my attention .
I managed to use this as my outlet so step #4 to calm myself down to a manageable state .
If you ever need anyone to talk to while in the midst o a panic attack , I would and could be that person you can reach out to . I know it, have lived it , can help it.