Before we get going any further let’s look at what the definition is of a panic attack:
A quick type in Google and we can find the following definition “A sudden overwhelming feeling of acute and disabling anxiety” (Google Search, 2016)
For many of you, that suffer from panic attacks I’m sure you can relate to the above definition. I know the above definition was true for me many years ago when I seemed to suffer from constant panic attacks. Panic attacks make you feel exhausted, tired, Apathetic in nature and one almost feels like surrendering to the inevitable daily trudge off the day. We surrender our control to the world and let the world do what it wants with us. We feel abandoned by society because society doesn’t understand our issue and in many cases can’t help us with our issues. Sadly you can waste thousands on so-called alternative treatments and read hundreds of books without seeming to make any noticeable movement forward.
I know this because this is how my own journey started. I grew ever frustrated by the lack of knowledge and results from so-called CBT, Counselling, Psychotherapy and trying this technique and that technique. However, I’m determined that no one else should have to go through the same experience and feel like they’re stuck in a thick sticky quagmire. Today I’d like to share with you 3 ways in which you can make a start in tackling your own panic attacks and gradually regain control of your life.
Before I launch into the 3 tips I want to cover some old ground to set the foundation right for you. The first thing we must understand is who exactly these feelings on panic belong to. So ask yourself now “Who do these feelings of panic belong to?” Do you see that these feelings of panic belong to you? It’s your panic and your feelings. Recognising this represents a big first step in overcoming the anxiety. You see if you don’t know these feelings of panic belong to you, then you’ll always blame external events for you having panic. You’ll look everywhere bar yourself.
So now step 1 is in place knowing who these feelings belong to we then need to delve deeper and look at what essentially panic is. Now panic as far as you and I are concerned is simply noise, it’s mind noise. That’s it. So now we know the panic belongs to us and it is just our mind making noise. We might not like it or agree with it but already we can see a little clearer. So now we’re ready for the 3 tips.
1)Daily Intention: Having a daily intention of what you are going to do during the day seems almost irrelevant. How does this help with my panic?? Well by having a clear idea as to what you are going to do during the day your mind is going to focus on that very thing. That’s important as we all know our minds love to wonder and play all those Hollywood blockbuster movies of destruction and chaos. A focused mind becomes clearer and more tamed. A mind left to wonder leads to complete anarchy and you and I both know all about that don’t we? So what do you want to do today? You can mope around and blame the world for how bad you feel and drive everyone mad or you can take control and live your life to the full. What would you like to do? Great so can you think of just 3 things you’d like to do today. Make them positive, exciting, uplifting. You might decide to go for a relaxing walk on the beach, read an engaging book, spend 20 minutes focusing on your goal and imagine achieving it. So what is it for you?
2)The Secret Of Mind Quiet: How would you like to save yourself thousands and let me show you the fastest way to getting free from panic, achieve greater well-being, get your goals and much more? Sound a plan… Well, what I’m about to share is something I only recently discovered and since then it has found it’s way into every session I conduct. Why? Because it works real quick. You see what they don’t tell you in the secret and in that plethora of self-help books is what the mind is and what quiet is. Now you are very familiar with your mind because you hang out with it every second of the day. However even amongst all the chaos in your life right now there have been fleeting glimpses of your true state, your natural state. It might surprise you to know that anxiety and the emotional state is un-natural. We weren’t born with emotions instead in our early formative years we made connections based upon certain emotional experiences. For example, we might start off with hating the sound of a bus air breaks because it scares us or makes us jump. Over time this ‘scared’ feeling get’s stronger as we begin to make deeper stronger connections with the bus and airbrakes. Then we take it further and paint every ‘loud’ noise with the same emotion and before you know it you have created a phobia response or severe fear.
So what is our natural state? Well, that state is quietness of mind. It’s best described as the state where everything just works out fine. Our mind is quiet, we accept ourselves 100% and things just effortlessly work out for us. In a world of panic attacks, we may only achieve this state for very brief periods during the day. So the next question I get asked is: “What, you mean to tell me your big idea is to get a quiet mind and I’m never going to get a panic attack, anxiety or experience any negative emotion?” And my answer “ Yes, so long as you STAY in quiet you’ll never have any issue”
Your mind might be kicking in now and thinking “There’s got to be more to it. I’ve got to figure this out. He doesn’t get my panic attacks. You can’t just get quiet and be free of it. It can’t be right…” Well, there’s a reason why I run London’s Leading Anxiety Clinic and that’s precisely because I know exactly what I’m talking about. I invite you as part of your daily morning routine to try out this little routine:
Step 1: As you wake up in the morning just sit up in your bed with eyes closed. Just focus on taking a deep relaxing breath in through your nose and out either through your nose or mouth, whichever is more comfortable for you.
Step 2: Think about achieving your goal. Focus on what you want and not the picture you don’t want. How does it feel to have it? Just notice all the sensations of having it.
Step 3: Now think about those positive beliefs you have now you have it. E.g. “I feel so relaxed and peaceful now” “I feel surrounded by the feeling of safety and security” “I am safe now” “I love myself now” You get the idea. These affirmations are another new thing I’ve discovered that work really well used in the right way.
Step 4: Begin to surrender all those feelings now to quiet and just go back to focus on your breathing. As soon as you feel centred and your head feels relaxed your good for the day. Every time you feel overwhelmed during the day just think back to the positive goal and you’ll lift yourself up. The more you stay positive the more your life will change for the better.
3) Momentum: The Key To Success
Momentum sounds like something associated with a boulder charging down a mountain and gaining ever increasing strength and power. In short, this analogy is perfect for why momentum is so important. Like a boulder charging down a mountain, it takes a bit of time for the boulder to reach its full speed and power. Like the boulder the more we practice and develop healthy habits of success the more power and strength we accumulate and the better and more abundant our lives are. In the beginning stages, it takes effort and a real push to get the boulder of success to topple on down the hill but once we achieve this we can ease off the pressure and just continue to repeat what worked for us the day before and in so doing grow and achieve ever greater levels of potential. So think about what action you can take today to take a step closer to achieving your goal. Is it sending an email or a proposal off because you fear failure and rejection? Do something or forever be trapped within the paralysis of nothing. No action=No Results. Action=Feedback=Results.
I hope these few tips have helped you and do please share this article and comment below. If you feel you'd like further support from me then why not get your free 30 minutes "Prove It Works: Get Anxiety Free" Session where I'll give you a taste of the magical state of quiet. I only have 3 spaces a week so get in touch with me now if you want in. I have successfully worked with people all over the world including the USA as we use zoom, a great way to chat using your computers video.
Anxiety Disorder, intrusive thoughts, irrational fears. Incredibly annoying things to experience. Despite the immense inconvenience and worry that it is giving me, my experience with anxiety made me realize something profound.
Before anxiety, I have struggled with depression. As a young teeneager I became so desolate at some points that I had attempted to end my life several times. I hated everything about me, I was in denial about my sexuality, I was afraid to befriend girls cause god help me if I'll have a crush on them.
Fortuntely, I managed to reflect on my thoughts and actions, I knew it wasn't right. I wanted to be happy, or at least less miserable. So I started to think, what can I do to stop being miserable?
And from then on I managed to reduce my depressive episodes, I forgave people who bullied me, and learned to let go of bad feelings, I still had depressive episodes but I was less suicidal.
Everything was alright, or at least better than ever for some years. I got my degree and made good friends in college. I even like myself now.
Unfortunately, due to a cup of coffee with an extra kick, I had a panic attack and had anticipatory anxiety which was accompanied by worry and obsessive thinking blah blah blah. And I became afraid like I've never been before in my life.
So the profound thing that I realize. I just want to be well, compared to my experience with depression, my anxiety isn't rooted from self-hate or destruction, I just want to be well. That's it.
I am still working on it, I am hopeful, it's just difficult sometimes but life goes on.
I have been scrolling through my tumblr when I saw this post on a favorite blog:
-How do I banish the anxiety loops in my head, that I know are ridiculous, but my stubborn mind won't quit scared my fragile heart with?-
I found lazyyogi.tumblr.com answer to be poignant:
I was going home this afternoon when I felt like I wanted to pee. I had an intrusive thought about vaginas. When I was going to the bathroom I thought '' Time to drain the lil puss puss'' which I thought was inappropriate. So I became a little disgusted with myself which in turn made me anxious and I couldn't take the words ''lil puss puss off my mind. Next is I had intrusive thoughts about swallowing coins. When I came into my room, I deposit the change in my pocket into an ice cream container. Seeing the amount of coins in there I had an intrusive thought about swallowing them. I attribute this thought to watching a television program in my childhood about a child who died because she accidentally swallowed a coin. I had quite a large amount of small change, I was planning to have it changed into bigger bills at a store.
I decided to do that today. I counted all the coins until I had the amount of one hundred pesos, and during the time I was counting, I had intrusive thoughts and images of swallowing them. I pulled through and got it changed without having a panic attack.
I felt glad that I did it, that I managed to count despite having fears. This lead me to a realization that despite having anxiety and intrusive thoughts, I still have control. I feel hopeful that I would be able to go back to normal or close to it.
All of my anxiety and intrusive thoughts have stems and triggers that my disorder blows out of proportion. I will list down my fears and intrusive thoughts and expand on the sources.
1.) I was afraid of thinking the word ''vagina'' or anything related to it because of its inappropriateness. I attribute this to receiving a picture of a vagina from a girl whom I chatted with and it freaked me out. Needless to say, I don't chat with her anymore.
2.) I was afraid of being inappropriate or having inappropriate feelings to friends or people who are girls (especially those attractive ones) , I attribute this to my high school days when I had feelings for my best friend who is a girl. It was a difficult time in my life. I managed to push away my best friend because I was still hiding or denying my sexuality.
3.) Blowjobs, I had intrusive thoughts about this which I attribute to reading ''The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'' where the protagonist of the storywas forced to perform fellatio on her legal guardian. I already read this book before my history of anxiety. I also read this during a time when I was anxious, so there we go.
4.) Intrusive thoughts about incest. I saw the movie ''The Dreamers'' about paternal twins who have an almost incestual relationship. The film was graphic and I saw it when I was anxious too.
5.) Fear of going crazy. This I attribute to having anxiety alone, it can make one feel like she is going out of control.
Now that I know these stems. I know that I am in control, and that the only time that I may lose control is when I get a panic attack because of anxiety. And this is very treatable, can even be cured, or even make me turn out to be a better person.
The day gave no sign that anything unusual was going to happen that day, it was supposed to be any other day, started with a breakfast with coffee.
After breakfast, I chugg.ed down the last of my coffee and proceeded to wash the dishes, mom was in the living room watching television and my brother was somewhere in the background.
After washing the dishes, I felt a little warm and nauseous, my nose was itching, I thought that I was going to come down with the flu. I sat down, feeling tired all of a sudden when a wave of nausea hit me, my heart beat fast. I turned to my mom, not knowing what to say, I did not want to worry her, I told her that I felt dizzy.
She replied with a reprimand as my mom usually does, so I turned my head back to the television. But I just could not shake off the nausea.
It got worse, my head felt like it was spinning, I could hear my heart beating fast, I was trying to catch my breath. I told my mom calmly, help me I feel dizzy; I think it was the coffee.
My heart beat faster, my feet were constricting and so did my hands, my arms and legs followed until it went up my chest, it feel so tight, I could not breathe and I thought that I was having a heart attack, that I was going to die.
I was told to breathe deeply, and I did, my brother bought me a glass of water, my mom massaged my arms with oil, they yelled for my dad.
I remember my mom telling me to pray. I was scared as fuck so I tried it and went ''God, please''. Of course, as an atheist, I immediately felt silly and dropped the prayer and focused on my breathing.
They took me to the emergency room, the nurses sat me down. The doctor checked my vitals. She said that my airways were not blocked but my pulse was abnormally fast and that I was probably having a panic attack.
They put me on bed and gave me a paper bag to breathe in. I must commend the nurse for making a sturdy bag out of used bond paper and adhesive tape. Clearly, it was newly made because I could still smell the adhesive. My brother came in to watch over me, and said to me in a serious manner ''Janna, if this is because you got pregnant, just tell us already''. I could not help but laugh, he did not know I was gay.
I was trying to calm down, watching the paper bag go in and out of itself was calming. My limbs were tingling all over; I could still hear my heart. I was alone with until a nurse came by and I was cheered up, although I was undoubtedly in distress, I was not blind, she was pretty. She chatted with me a little as she wrapped the blood pressure measuring apparatus around my arm, I couldn't help it, I flexed my biceps.
Still feeling shitty but happy, a different nurse came in asked my bro to leave and conducted an ECG, it was cool, they stuck some electrodes on me which was no problem because I had no bra on in the first place.
The doctor came by to interpret the results, it was normal except for the abnormally fast heart beat. She prescribed something to slow down my heart which my sister did not approve off. My sister is a doctor herself and was worried that my heart would slow down to much. So she gave me just a tiny bit of the meds.
It took me about 5 hours to calm down, they were going to confine me to a different hospital but just got a second opinion instead and I went home. I would like to say that was the end of it but alas, it was only the beginning.