Panic Attacks & Anxiety
It's been a fretful year, to be sure. But in 2020, I suffered my first bout of panic attacks during the waning days of the year. The thing is, it just comes. There is no trigger for it. Once, it was so bad that I couldn't get up from bed. I was dizzy, out of breath, and it literally felt like I was dying. It's scary stuff. And no matter how many times my husband told me to breathe, I couldn't. It felt like my heart is going to pop out of my chest.
I don't know if it has to do with the times or whatever I ate prior to the attack, I really couldn't tell. Breathing exercises didn't help. Lying down, doesn't either. While an attack was happening, I fell asleep sitting down. Also, the cold numbness that goes through my body is something else. If you or someone you know are going through the same things, I did some research into how to ground yourself in the midst of a panic attack.
- DEEP BREATHING. Inhale, hold your breath for 2-3 seconds, release. Do this exercise until your hyperventilation stops.
- ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU'RE HAVING A PANIC ATTACK. More often, our minds will naturally go to extreme and think we're having a heart attack instead of a panic attack. The added stress is counterproductive.
- LAVENDER OIL. If you have a humidifier or ionizer at home, keep some lavender oil on hand. It's been proven to have some calming characteristics.
- MUSCLE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES. Simply work your body slowly into a relaxed state. One muscle at a time. Start with your face, limbs, until your entire body relaxes.
- REPEAT A MANTRA. You can keep saying, 'you're okay' to yourself, or 'this too shall pass'. I, on the other hand, prays. I've never been a praying person, but I found it helpful.
Those are just some of the things that I found helpful. I hope you're all taking care of yourselves during these times. Now, more than ever, let's not neglect the most important person in your life: YOU. The reason we're told to put our life vests first before helping our loved ones in an event of a crash is because you won't be able to help anyone if you can't save your life first.