Emotions are a part of life. They come and go – I guess that is the most important thing to remember. Your high of happiness won’t always be (and that is a good thing – otherwise, how would we continue to appreciate it?). Just like your depressive low or an anxiety attack won’t be around forever either.
I don’t know why I am writing this, nor why I am writing this so soon after a panic attack. But last week I started shaking as I went to sleep. The shaking progressively got worse and so did the nausea. I haven’t thrown up from an anxiety/pots attack in about a year but, after shaking for hours on end, the next morning I did. All night I kept being woken by my shaking body, thanks to my out of control nervous system. Having to sit up multiple times in the night because I thought I was going to be sick … and then I finally was.
After I threw up my body calmed down, stopped thinking, stopped shaking and I was left feeling like an exhausted shell.
I wanted to share this I guess because I haven’t had an attack like this in a good while. I haven’t had that feeling of being locked inside my head and thoughts, unable to break out for months.
After the attack, I went to instagram to ask my fellow followers for help. After going through anxiety and pots attacks I still can’t really describe how horrible it feels – I have been through a lot with my health but nothing quite compares to it.
I have listed 32 of the responses I received. They are all tips from different people with different experiences on how to help and cope with anxiety attacks and what works for them.
Top Tips for Anxiety Attacks from Fellow Anxiety Sufferers
The most common responses were:
Don’t be alone while it is happening and if you are than call someone
Try some breathing techniques (some suggested included: square breathing, alternate nostril breathing)
Meditation, prayer or reciting poems and lyrics
Try grounding techniques and become aware of your senses – try tapping, feeling and focusing on things around you
Try figuring out what caused or triggered the attack.
The lovely people who stopped and took time out of their day to reply to my call for help said this (in no particular order):
1. “I use a poem or lyrics that mean something to me and recite them slowly to lower my heart rate” @eddiehoward3
2. “Breathe, meditate, take five minutes to yourself to evaluate what set
it off.” @imaginationbycat
3. “For panic attacks something I have learnt from my therapist is to name it to tame it. So you say to yourself ‘this is anxiety I am ok or there is no danger’ take some deep belly breaths about ten. Then you need to force yourself to do something that will use the front part of your brain I do dishes or something like that. When you have a panic attack the front part of your brain the thinking part stops working. That’s why you feel like you can’t think and you want to just curl up in a ball. Keep repeating this process if you have to until it calms down. Meditation breathing work and yoga have helped a little too.” @halee_dee86
4. “About an anxiety-attack; Focus on your breath. Put your hands on your lower back and breathe into it. Focus on the movement of your hands with every breath. Your breathing will slow down and you will start to feel better. I’ve been to an rehabilitation-clinic for 3 months, specialised in chronic pain/-illness/exhaustion. I’ve learned all these kind of tricks. Also something to ‘ground’ your feet. Because I was dizzy a lot and even fell a lot. But these exercises really work! Well, for me at least I hope the breathe-thing will help you too!” @inkie_90
5. “Deep breathing, meditation or distraction” @meemoface
6. “Focus on your breath, be aware of your environment and try to just be instead of rejecting.” Anonymous
7. “Deep breaths have saved me many times. And grounding techniques!”
“Yoga, meditation and nature!” @midvenna
8. “Working out what triggers them (if possible) can help” @monasheeandme
9. “Try not to be on your own when it happens, even if it means calling someone you trust.” @ohyeah_rachael
10. “Deep breathing!! Try any kind of breathing technique. Call someone or text someone. It can completely calm you down if its the right person. Rub your legs if you are shaking. Feel things around you; touch the grass, feel a fuzzy blanket. Use sensory things” @happylittledandelion
11. “I like to use physical items such as a stress ball/fuzzy blanket” Anonymous
12. “Meditate” @palisadesparkmeditation
13. “Deep breathing, take your mind away from the problem, start doing what you enjoylike cooking, dancing, exercising. Whatever you like to get away from it.” @photosbycris
14. “Breathing exercises.”
“Remember you have been through it before. You are safe. This will pass.” @dansenindestorm
15. “Take slow and deep breathing. Feel your sensations. Feel what you touch and describe it… describe and focus on one thing that you see… its color shape etc..close your eyes think on a good thing you really like… relax then your muscles by trying to shake it off. Muscles tense while having panic attacks.” @gp_talks
16. “I usually hold my partner or ring him if he’s at work, his voice calms me down” @han_evaward
17. “I find focussing on problem solving is best. I deal with my problems head on.”
“Or talking with someone as it’s happening may help. Like a big ol’ cry and blurting out your feelings” @brittany.crabb
18. “A quick video on square breathing for anxiety: https://youtu.be/HAlTJscAuy8 “ @tksstories
19. “Pray, then count your breaths, wait for your mind to return to the present moment. Your mind will always return no matter how scary.” @rose2wellness
20. “Prayer and meditation and medication” @amberyesamber
21. “Taking a shower” @joccelins
“Grounding. Close your eyes and ask yourself what you smell, what you feel etc.”
“Breath in for 6 seconds until you feel yourself calming down” @megweston
23. “Resume remedy, visulisation” @mama_scrumpy
24. “I’ve found meditating helps a little” @myfavesjournal
25. “It helps me to be with someone while it’s happening and imagine myself on the beach” @christina.b.johnson
26. “Tapping is great and deep breathing with reassuring yourself” @kathy.stoner
27. “Mindfulness videos on Youtube, just focusing on breathing (imagine that there are three chambers in your lungs)”
28. “Weighted blankets help a lot for me (or anything that puts gentle weight on you)”
29. “Grounding exercises (finding three things you can see, three things you can hear etc.” Anonymous
30. “The happiness course at the art of living foundation. And Youtube meditations” @namaste.eh
31. “Insight timer app has great panic attack meditation, I highly recommend it. Also alternate nostril breathing and EFT tapping” @racheyg123
32. “Get a dog” @susiegracee
I guess my tip is – always try to be present even though in the present it can feel so awful. Just focus on what is right in front of you –take life one step at a time.
Make yourself see there is no real threat. The future will come and the past has been. The only thing you can control is the NOW. It is not easy. It can be so difficult but just don’t forget it. I try to remember to say “you will be safe and okay no matter what” to myself over and over in a calming tone.
Please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations that might help too! I hope this post was somewhat helpful xxx
Also it’s my 2 year instagram ANNIVERSARY
And I like this photo because I feel like it’s me embracing life blood tests and all