Anxiety and panic attacks are frightening experiences. Your heart is racing, you can't think straight, your body is tingling and you feel extremely overwhelmed. Here are some things that you can do in the moment to help relieve the symptoms and help them subside.
This is one of the most powerful things you can do in this situation. It may seem counterintuitive because humans have a tendency to want to distract and run away from pain but that only gives it more power. Simply allow it, without resistance.
Sit or lie down, close your eyes and come fully into your body. Feel all of the sensations you are experiencing and be completely present with them.
Yes, your mind is going to try to take over but that will only exasperate the situation. Keep bringing your attention back to the physical body. What does it feel like? Where do you feel it? Is it moving?
This feeling just needs to be felt, as hard as it may seem in the moment. You will get through this and remember, whatever you feel, you are processing and releasing. Feeling the emotion or sensations is how they are released from our energy system.
Now that you are tuned into your physical body, breathe. Breathe into the sensations. Breathe love into them. Breathe love into yourself. Every time your mind wanders, keep bringing it back to the breath and body.
The deeper the breaths, the more relaxed you will become. Try focus on breathing deeper and deeper into your belly and slow them down.
Prolong the exhale and count as you do so. Gradually slow the breath down more and more as you breathe deeper and deeper.
Now you can begin to ask some questions, with love.
If you feel a tightness in the chest you could ask: "What colour would it be?", "What would it look like?" Describe it in detail in your mind. This helps us go deeper into the sensation to process it.
Then go deeper, "What is this trying to tell me?", "What could the message behind this be?"
The answers may come as symbols, visualisations, words, sounds. Don't question it. Trust your intuition.
If no answers arise, that is perfectly ok as well. It may come to you in the following days.
An example of extracting the information could be, if you have a tightness in your chest:
"What would it look like?" - Blackness, darkness, heavy and sludgy.
"What is this trying to tell me?" - Who am I holding onto? Who is suffocating me and making it hard to breathe? I need some time away. I need some time to breathe.
Write down your answers in a journal. This is a great way to process what is going on for you.
I find having a positive, and negative journal to be very useful. The negative one can be a place to let all the darkness out. Swear, scream, rant, process and dissect the darkness in this journal.
Keep it somewhere safe and when it is finished and you are ready to let go of it, burn it. Let go of the old.
Chances are, these attacks are coming up because there is something out of balance in your life or energy field. They may be a sign that something is off and you need to make some changes.
The Emotional Freedom Technique is an extremely powerful tool that helped me tremendously throughout my journey with anxiety and panic.
It combines psychological acupressure with cognitive and exposure therapy which allows you to feel, process and release these heavy emotions in a safe and contained space with a professional.
Getting to the root of WHY this is happening is where the magic lies. You don't have to keep running, hiding and suppressing.
If you are interested in having a session, I am a practitioner and happy to help you along this journey. Get in touch here.
More about EFT here.