As someone who began having both panic attacks and anxiety (diagnosed anyhow) at age 13, I can testify that anxiety is a nagging feeling like you’re waiting for the proverbial “other shoe to drop”, while a panic attack can sneak up on you with chest pains with no other symptoms. Or sudden crying spells with the chest pains even with nausea. I’ve thrown up so many times from panic attacks. I had them out of the blue, when confronted with triggers, or, just for the fun of it, at the most INCONVENIENT of times. At the library, grocery store, concerts, etc. Anxiety can trigger a panic attack at any time, when a stressful situation is introduced, a trigger, or anxiety just happens to erupt. (I always have “emotional hangover” from stressful situations that had happened, but the adrenaline would carry me through the actual situation.)
One way to utilize a “hack” for anxiety is by using a tactic called “Tapping” also known as “Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping”. It focuses on a few key areas of the body to literally “tap” to help calm and re-center yourself or to even assist with pain. The simplification that I was taught in Grad School was to cross your arms over your chest (hate to sound ominous here, but, coffin-style), place 2 fingers at the beginning of each collarbone and alternating finger taps, “1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3,” (etc.) I find that counting also switches the brain into a different part so it begins to become preoccupied with another task in your mind, if only for a few minutes. This site has a breakdown of the different spots that you can use (as some are more discreet which is more desirable when you’re out in public, obviously.
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment. Therefore, when we’re out and about and we’re having anxiety or we feel a panic attack coming on, as we sometimes do, we can use some of these little techniques to assist us in making it through the task at hand. I’ve written a blog about How to Be Mindful, but I’m going to give you a Cliffs Notes version of this to assist you in breaking it down into a few easy thoughts to guide you with being mindful during states of anxiety or panic-attack anticipation. Here are some scenarios:
**Please share your comments about how you’re able to manage Panic Attacks and Anxiety! Thanks for the read and don’t forget to follow on FB, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!