Don’t worry; I’m still doing amazingly well warding off my panic attacks. On Monday I went out for an impromptu meal at our new local pub (with two pool tables, result!) and had a couple of drinks. Walking home I mentioned the fact that just a year ago I would never have been able to have a night like that, it’s remarkable the change in me. But I do want to touch on the topic of relapsing as during the past couple of weeks I’ve had a wave or two of panic, or anxious moments I should say, that have come to try to strike me down. They haven’t won yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t one day. So this post really is for me as it is for anyone else fighting anxiety and panic attacks, ready for those days when the adrenaline overtakes the mind.
5 Things to Do when a Panic Attack Comes Out of the Blue
- Stop that trail of negative thought. Remember that the negative thoughts feed the panic; they make you scared and believe that something bad is happening. Stop what you’re doing and think about how your mind is being taken on a rollercoaster but you can get off it.
- Next step is to remind yourself that you’ve had panic attacks before and you were alright at the end of them.
- Now tell the panic attack to come and do its worst so you can carry on as you have been doing day after day. Don’t be afraid, so what if it comes, you’ll have the rush of adrenaline, your heart may palpitate, you might shake, your vision could go funny, you may have strange and worrying aches and pains, you might want to cry, be sick or lie down and sleep…But when it passes you know that you will have survived. You know all that already so welcome it in like an old friend and you know what? It won’t come, because it doesn’t like it when you’re the strong one with the control. Panic is a bastard like that.
- This is one of the most important steps I think – Don’t beat yourself up about having a relapse. It’s perfectly fine and it doesn’t mean they will keep coming back. Panic attacks can strike anyone at any time and it just so happened that today it was you. There’s no need to dwell on it or feel like you’re back to square one, you’re not, your journey continues.
- Take a look at how you’re taking care of yourself. Are you getting enough sleep or too much? Are you stressed out? Are your hormones playing up or have you simply had a bad day? Do something to pamper your mind – meditate, start your exercises again, cut down on the sugar, remove the caffeine, have a relaxing bath, talk to someone about your worries, online or in person.
Panic attacks feed on your fears, doubts, confusions and emotions. Take care of yourself and welcome in the enemy with open arms, it will soon retreat back and you can pick up where you were just moments ago and continue living without panic, as you have been doing for a while now.
Do you have any tips to add? I’d love to hear them.