After the horrific panic attack explosion at work the other night, I find that my thoughts are starting to get a little crazy. These thoughts have the potential to ruin this day.
I can’t just hope everything will be ok, I have to show up to work later- and knowing what I know about my anxiety patterns, I must prepare and take action.
By the way, I have to throw in a little gratitude here. Thank God in heaven I have done this long enough to know what to do when I go off my rocker with anxiety. So while I certainly would prefer not to have to deal with this, it is what it is, and I am thankful I have tools to help me.
Here are comforting and helpful tips that will see me through this anxiety setback. If you happen to be recovering after a panic attack yourself, these tips will help you too:
1. About Sensitization
I realize my body and mind are highly sensitized right now. Everything seems a little different. Doesn’t everything seem weird after you have a panic attack?
I notice I’m super tuned in to my breathing, the bright morning light, sounds are amplified, I feel jumpy and tense. My senses are turned way up- this is the effect of adrenaline and other stress hormones doing what they do to my sympathetic nervous system.
Sensitization, while feeling pretty weird, is not going to harm me (or you) in any way. It is nothing to get excited about. So what if my sense of sight, sound, smell, touch, etc are a little crisper than usual. It will pass as time goes on. I will face these feelings and float right through them. It is not important.
2. I know I’ll be alright, I’ve done this dance before
Every time you get a huge panic attack it shakes you up badly, and leaves you feeling like you’ve never ever felt this bad before. Am I right? And it’s easy to convince yourself of this. Anxiety is a tricky beast.
But if you put a little space between the event and think about it, I bet you feel this way every time you have a panic attack. I know I do. Every one feels like the worst one ever. So I am not going to believe this false information. It is nonsense!
So while this FEELS like my first time, I have experienced this numerous times in the past. I have never died, been carted off to the loony bin, had a cardiac arrest, or anything else. This not my first rodeo with panic. Plain and simple, it was my reaction to my body releasing a ton of adrenalin and other hormones, period. I am not going to read into this and make it a big damn deal.
The truth is, it is not the worst I have ever lived though. And the other truth is, I did survive to live another day! Proof: I am typing this right now, and I have a pulse, lol! At the time I wouldn’t have believed this, but even after 2 hours I recognized that this was an old behavior pattern and it just kicked up sand bad and scared the living hell out of me for a spell.
I know what I have to do, and here are some posts to help: Panic Attacks Info Tip #2- When Fear Comes Wait
Yes I can certainly ride it out. I can resist the urge to give in to the feeling to tense up and run away. Yes I can do this.
Panic Attacks Info Tip #6- Know that Fear will Reappear - important anxiety self help tools are listed in post.
Good to know. No surprises. I will do what I need to in preparation. This is also a good time to remind myself how well I am doing overall, that my anxiety self help tools really do help me, and that I have made a TON of progress from my darkest days.
3. This too Shall Pass
Oh how I love to remember that This Too Shall Pass. It is one of my favorite tricks for getting through tough times with anxiety. That work experience will not mark my life in any way. None of the events or happenings were life
No matter how bad it was (and it was BAD), I know with all my heart and soul it will pass. The feelings will pass, the anxiety, the frustrations about the event, everything…
My body will once again go back in the direction of healing and equilibrium. I will breathe and allow it to heal naturally, for I know that is what bodies are designed to do. I won’t get in my body’s way by getting bogged down in negative thinking or projecting horror scenarios into the future.
I just went back and re-read this post for a refresher: Anxiety Self Help Tip- This Too Shall Pass. By all means if you need a refresher, give it a read. Wow that felt good.
Ok I am ready. I feel so much better than when I sat down to write this. Now I know what to do in this space after a panic attack. I hope you find these tips helpful for you too!
I wish you peace,
ps. – I recorded everything in this post because I wanted to listen to it over and over again to help me. Click here to listen.