In this week's podcast we're responding to the following question:
"I had my first anxiety attack a month ago. I have been suddenly feeling heat in my body, and sometimes I actually start sweating, I feel shaky and my chest feels tight. My mind races and I feel really scared. I’ve started listening to your podcasts but would appreciate your advice too."
An anxiety attack is a very frightening experience. And the first time it happens is especially scary.
I remember having panic attacks in my teenage years where I would break out into a sweat that would show on my face and go through my clothes and I would feel very anxious about anyone noticing. The more I thought about it, the worse it got. I can relate strongly to this question.
The Panic Attack Problem
Unfortunately, what tends to happen is that our mind gets very disturbed by our first panic attack and we get very scared that it will happen again. And that is part of the problem: our fear that it might happen again increases our anxiety, it increases our adrenaline output and it increases the chances of us having the very experience we so want to avoid.
When I suffered from anxiety attacks I would get a sense of dread that it might happen again and I would manifest the thing I feared most right there and then.
How I Freed Myself from Panic Attacks
I am relieved to say I don’t suffer from panic attacks anymore and I hope that we can help you break free from their hold too with the following tips…
1. Look out for what increases your anxiety
Be aware that caffeine and other stimulants can increase anxiety.
For example: - coffee - black tea - energy drinks
Look out for anything that makes your heart race, or makes you feel wired, anything that increases your stress.
Be aware of what you are letting into your mind: violent movies, drama (real and on the screen), the news, emotionally intense reading or viewing can all increase stress and anxiety.
When my panic attacks were at the worst I found that the news really increased my anxiety. So I decided to avoid it.
Reduce anything that you notice increases your anxiety as much as you can.
(This is covered in more detail in the podcast below.)
Be aware of social pressure and stress. If you are feeling unwell due to anxiety it’s perfectly acceptable for you to choose to stay home or be somewhere you feel safe.
If you had a migraine you would not be expected to go out and engage with others, anxiety is just as real. If you don’t feel up to it - don’t do it.
We are not saying you have to become a recluse, we are saying it’s OK to step back while you help yourself get settled and get in control of anxiety.
2. Start working with ways to decrease your anxiety
Now we are looking at a double-sided approach. Reducing what makes your anxiety worse and increasing what helps you feel calm and in control.
For overcoming panic attacks we recommend:
Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy - available from Amazon and Nelsons.
Reading success stories - finding hope from others who have conquered their anxiety.
Learn the Quick Anxiety Stopper - this simple technique can stop panic attacks in their tracks and help you quickly regain a sense of control.
Listen to the full podcast here:
If you would like more support with panic attacks or general anxiety please join us for our Support Circle where we will be available to answer your questions.