Anxiety/Panic Attack Help!

Spirit asked me to do a re-post of a very early post I did many, many years ago on what an anxiety/panic attack is, how it affects our body and mind and how we can actually do something about it. Simply because when explained it loses it power over us, as all things do. Understand them and we can set ourselves free. It is something that will touch us all in the many stressful situations we find ourselves in, but because of its nature we don’t want to tell anyone because we don’t want them to think we aren’t handling something or are going crazy. And believe me, it can make you feel like your going crazy but when you see how it works in your body to make you feel as you do, you can take back that control you thought you had lost.

It is a strange beast anxiety, seemingly taking you when least expected and driving you insane with many things that do not seem related to anything but your mind…which makes it all the worse. But when we realise just what drives anxiety we see that it is such a simple thing but its affects can truly make you feel terrible and lost, and the more you worry about it the worse it gets. It is called a negative loop locking you into a way of being that can over time become chronic, simply because you don’t understand what is happening and afraid to speak to someone because of how you think they will feel towards you. But it is a very common occurrence, at the very least speak to your doctor or a counselor, they deal with it day in and out. But I must add that there are some conditions that affect the adrenal gland as well so it is important to speak to a doctor anyway to initially wean out that truth. And trust me, whatever is found, when you finally see what it is the relief is unbelievable.

So read on and understand what it actually is…and begin to live again, really live and be free of it once more…

The mind is an amazing thing. It has all the power that you give it. And we can create some of the most incredible things when we focus on something. But in one area its power can be very traumatising and debilitating by the affects that it produces. We all have fears in so many different ways and how we deal with those fears come in many different forms, but the one common denominator in them all is the anxiety that they all produce. Even reaching a point of what are called panic or anxiety attacks when a fearful event becomes imminent or even for no reason which can be quite frightening because you think your having a heart attack, it is that pronounced.

Well, after having been through a time in my life many years ago, where I also went through a stage of ‘The Dark Night Of The Soul’ and had panic/anxiety attacks all over the place, I found a small written piece about how to handle these attacks and with the current training for my Massage Therapy at the time (synchronicity is amazing), I was able to put two and two together and take control of my life again, and very quickly at that.

This is an important part for keeping your stress levels and health in a good place while you’re trying to find your way through a very trying time, and that is while the situation can be very emotionally and physically draining, you must keep your eating and sleeping in as good a balance as you can while you are dealing with everything. The emotional side of this takes longer to go through for obvious reasons but if you keep the physical side going well, it will support you while you are dealing with it all.

This next bit sounds like a biology class (but very brief), and it will help you to deal with what you are going through. The adrenal gland is always working in your body to keep you functioning normally, it helps in walking and a million other physical things to keep your body functioning well to do many things. And in dangerous situations it is a trigger of the ‘fright or flight’ response where it gives a huge hit of adrenaline, like when you almost have an accident or fall down some stairs so that it allows you to react quickly to that danger for safety. But while going through a stressful time you are teaching your adrenal gland to release adrenaline at a constant rate above what is normal, and you will recognise it by a constant sick feeling in your stomach. But under constant stress it can begin to fire up at totally odd moments like when your just sitting quietly and not doing anything stressful, and unless you realise what it is, it can be quite scary. This is what they call a negative feedback loop when we do something for so long it becomes normal. And some of the symptoms for this are: the sickness in your stomach, you can’t focus your eyes properly and your vision can become blurry, your heart rate increases, you start breathing faster, you start to pace (you actually want to lay down because your sick but if forces you to get up and do something/anything but where you are because of that fight or flight response), you get sweaty and feel hot, your mind is going ten to the dozen and all simply because of the adrenaline. And this can be exacerbated by other medical conditions like andropause/menopause or using other hormonal medicines (not a finite list).

This next bit is in how to cope with an anxiety attack regardless of your circumstances. I’ve never seen it not help someone wherever you are at in your journey.

And this can be used even if you have not reached the above severity of the above symptoms, you need to get into a habit of some exercise (walks or anything for at least 30 min) at the end of the day. It will burn up any adrenaline in the system so that you can sleep. Any adrenaline that is still there keeps you awake as its purpose is to get you ready to run, so it keeps you wide awake. Burn it off and this will also create hunger which you need to keep yourself strong physically. If your eating gets out of balance, so does your body, adding more stress to an already stressed situation. It may not seem much but you will be surprised in the difference a few weeks of this can make. Stay strong physically so you can support yourself emotionally going through this time.

Now this is the important bit…

Whenever you feel an attack starting to occur, totally relax your body down, take a seat, lay down or whatever position will relax you. (After a while you can actually relax your system down even while you are actually doing things…you will be surprised in what you can teach yourself to do). Begin by slowly relaxing your toes and focus on them relaxing for 20 seconds, then do the same for your feet, then lower legs, then upper legs, waist, chest, hands, arms, neck and head. While you are doing this, regulate your breathing to a slow intake and outflow of a medium size breath. Don’t breath like a bellows, that increases the oxygen and forces the adrenal to fire more and aggravates the attack. Force yourself to breath slowly and regular. As the attack subsides you will naturally reduce your breath rate to a small regular breath. If you focus on these things, you are in fact retraining the adrenal gland to stop firing and relax. You will regain control of your body and teach it to function at its proper level. IE: It will then only happen when you nearly tread on a snake…or your mother in law is coming over for dinner (I’m only kidding, mother in laws are beautiful πŸ™‚ ).

Your body is only out of whack because of the stress that has slowly piled onto it and it loses its ability to respond under a normal circumstance. After you do this relaxation continuously whenever you feel an attack coming on, you will begin to notice the difference of how often the attack occurs as it will begin to get longer and longer between attacks, and the severity of them will be reduced. I began to feel the difference within 2 to 3 weeks and the realisation that you DO in fact have control of your body, and not the other way around, is such a huge relief that it gives you greater confidence and it begins to disappear faster.

And when you begin to take control physically, you then have the strength to support the emotional turmoil that you have been going through. It is now time to put something in place to enable you to deal with what has been the stress that has caused this to occur in the first place. First and foremost, dial a friend, even if for just support. They are worth their weight in gold. Secondly, don’t look at it as you have been, that has caused your predicament in the first place. Try something else, another direction, or even remove the stress if possible. But do not just ignore it, it is there for a reason. Your approach to it, even if it is coming from another person, needs to change because what you are doing is not working. You need to take control of your life, even if that means confronting something that scares you. Get support from a professional therapist or couselor to walk you through it first. Have the backup of friends.

And first and foremost, after you go through something like this, you begin to appreciate just who you are within. You see the journey you have been through, and see that you do have what it takes, you are a stronger person because of it, and you now realise you have what it takes to be that beautiful person within. You have gone over a hurdle that you have balked at for a long time. You are now YOU, and fully appreciate the love that you now give to yourself because of what you have been through. Take a bow my friend, for it is a journey to find that unconditional love that is within us all. I wish you well, and hope this information gives you strength to continue on your journey, as it did for me πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

24 thoughts on “Anxiety/Panic Attack Help!

  1. Thank you for sharing these great tips, Mark! While completing my hours at the clinic, we learned another very effective way to bring someone out of a panic attack (if they couldn’t do so by calming their breathing). Place an ice pack on the back of their neck. The shock of the cold helps disrupt the physiological symptoms coursing through the body. Great post! πŸ™‚

    1. Ooh, I’ll have to remember that one, the ice would indeed be a good ‘shock’ tactic πŸ˜€ This post was from something I found in a library (as well as my Anatomy & Physiology), and it was on a very old cassette tape (you know, those things we use to play in our cars before digital even got a look in πŸ˜‚). And the help was just a God send while in the middle of those ‘things’ we face in life that seem to tear us to pieces. Thank you for sharing, and I hope it can at least give you, or anyone, just that little bit of confidence to know it is beatable. To understand it, takes away its power over us ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

  2. Thankyou for this important post dear mark… understanding what actually happens makes all the difference. Actually love the tip about exercising at the end of the day to help you sleep❀️ sending love x

    1. I always remember when I was going through it and the anxiety of not knowing what was happening to me and actually making it worse because of that. And like everything I have found since, if you understand something, you let it go, it is no longer tumbling around in that worry pot called ego. So if I can at least give someone a hope, a direction within themselves, then it has achieved its aim. Much love to you also dear lady, and I hope that your heart is well considering your journey. Grief is a great stress but only because of the power of that love in its connection, that openness you have given one another to find that within yourselves.
      And just a side note,and I should put this into the post…but don’t exercise too close to your sleeping time, your adrenal gland pumps up to do the exercise as well (but as well as the exercise using up what is just sitting there in that sickness in the stomach feeling), and it will tire you more but immediately after exercise it is still in your body for a while until the body removes it. Probably exercise an hour before the evening meal, then the meal will focus on digesting and want to sleep a couple of hours later. A non power walk is fine, just a casual walk isn’t pushing the body for adrenal as much and can be done after the meal ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹ xox

        1. As you do also kind lady, thank you πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

    1. Thank you Michele, in our crazy world, and especially with all that has happened with the virus, it has pushed our anxiety levels very high so I (actually it was Spirit), decided a little update and re-post was in order. Thank you for sharing kind lady, may your heart be stress less and loving free πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

  3. I am so glad you decided to repost this topic and I feel it is needed. Your post is beautifully and powerfully articulated as only you can choose the words that drive a point home.
    The technique reminded me a lot about events healing and a session I once did to combat pain. Like you we focused on every part of our body, simply acknowledging the pain without the desire to fix it or control it. We allowed it, noticed it and moved on to another part of our body. Awareness is also very powerful and sometimes it is the acceptance, that surrender, shifting our attention that can make all the difference.
    Thank you πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’™πŸ¦‹

    1. Thank you dear lady, but I do have Spirit to thank for this re-post (and it did need a tweak). Always a help for someone, somewhere in whatever way πŸ˜€ But yes, it is indeed that ability to focus with that power of heart and mind to release our pain, instability or even just to obtain a balance in our hearts. And with anxiety it is worth its weight in gold to give us something to hold with our world going crazy, a place to just rest and get our breath. And thank you for sharing kind lady πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

    1. Indeed Cindy, their systems are working correctly, they are in fact in a panic and it responds exactly as it should. It just requires an adjustment by the operator. The others just get run over πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

  4. Those who have not experienced it can never fully understand. We need to support those who do as best we can. Education helps. Great post.

    1. Thank you Pam, and yes we should help in any way we can simply because we ‘know’ that journey and understand that just a friends company, a simple hug or a smile can work wonders while we are lost in its mayhem. When I found this my life went from night to day so quickly, seeing something that seemed to have no end but gave a hope like nothing else. I hear your heart dear lady and a very tough path, and that journey to find you. Compassion is its destination and you always bring a smile in your posts my friend. You know what it is like to be in that place, and give accordingly. Thank you πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

  5. This is such an important post, Mark. I am sure, many can relate to what you wrote here because many suffer from any side-effects of the pandamic. May it be lonelyness, losing their jobs, fear of getting the virus, or others. I had panic and anxiety attacks (in the end several times a day) for years regardless of the pandemic. Stress in a job I never fit in, private situation. But then I found out that what caused the constant nervosity and the attacks were my changed hormones. Since I got that under control again, I feel much stronger and never had any attack again. Also, I changed something in my job situation (not less stress yet, but on the way, and that already helps). It is terrible when you realize that constant stomach pain has become normal.
    Thank you for re-posting, Mark πŸ’–

    1. Yes it is important as many do not realise what drives it. And as you know, understanding it reduces the effect and gives us power back over it. It is a distinct lesson in our journey to see how our fears weaken us and how we can, by facing them, gain our courage, that acceptance of ourselves and in doing so, love ourselves from doing it. I am of a mind that there are few who do not face it at some time in their lives as it is a part of understanding us, and in doing so go past what before held us in so much pain. Many things hold us within it, sometimes something so small we do not realise what is happening. We can feel the stress but think we are holding our own. But as time goes by that inside wall starts to crumble so that we can face that part of us unsure of who we are and allow in that light to see inside that darkness. It is a hard path, hence the post, but it will still, and with a great love, build something within us never to be torn down again. I am glad to see that within you Erika, that light from a compassion built from a self love that this journey gave in return for your courage. A big hug dear lady for a path well met ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

      1. That’s right, in the beginning and even in the longer run the tendency is there to make it up with oneself. I am such a person anyway that things she has to manage things on their own, not bothering others, not showing a weak point… how silly. But at one point you need to look around, try to get the bigger picture to realize what aspects may cause the problem. Usually, it is a combination of a few and not a single problem. It is indeed a huge lesson and step in self-development.

        1. Indeed it is dear lady, and as you have said we try to do it all ourselves because of those doubts of ourselves. We don’t want anyone to think we can’t handle this or that and just struggle on until it sneaks up and grabs us and we don’t know how to handle it because we’ve never been here before. But it helps us to find us and as hard as this journey is, it is that very hardness that asks us to go through our walls to find that love and happiness we ever search for. And it is only because we are a tough nut to crack, and it is us that have to do it, that we appreciate the beauty in what we find. Unfortunately not during but at that incredible place at the end when it opens to us BECAUSE of what we have done to find it πŸ˜€ ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

          1. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said here. And as the saying goes: Live begins at the end of our comfort zone. We need the struggle to realize the misunderstanding. We need the pain to to look beyond it. It all goes along with big efforts and at some point a turning back is not possible anymore. The challenging it may be but then we are completely on track.

            1. It is a beautifully created journey Erika, always asking us to go one more step, be a little better, and love ourselves a little more. It can’t be seen initially but it most certainly can be felt, that lack of something, our doubts and that ever search for love and happiness. But that is its core, asking us to look and find that incredible place within, that over time builds a faith and belief in us to counter what we go through. And then one day, and usually after going through that anxiety and panic attacks above, a window will open because we have dared to go beyond its pain, and discover what we had always searched for had in fact been gently waiting inside us and waiting for us to look beyond this place of fear and finally come home to a place of understanding and find what it has all meant. Thank you for sharing your discovery my friend, we all share that love and can be a helping hand in all we do ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

              1. You always find the perfect words to describe a process, Mark. Life will be enjoyed so much more and with so much more power once we broke our own construct of fear and anxiety because we broke with thought patterns.
                I thank YOU, Mark. Have a wonderful Sunday!

          2. Would you allow me to quote you, Mark: “It is only because we are a tough nut to crack, and it is us that have to do it, that we appreciate the beauty in what we find.”

            1. Most certainly dear lady, that work we all do is appreciated because of the effort it takes to find us. In the end it can be seen for what it is, and felt by the love we have now found within ourselves ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

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