Hello Sweet Peas,
I have quite a few Autumn/Christmas Fashion and beauty posts waiting in anticipation, I know I know, please do contain your excitement. However this Friday – 10th October it’s World Mental Health Day, so I thought I’d do a quick little post on a topic I’ve been wanting to express for a while.
As you’ve more than likely figured already I want to talk a little bit about anxiety and panic attacks, as without realization it’s something in which a huge number of people suffer with day in and day out. I hope in expressing my feelings and thoughts towards it, I can try and raise a little bit of awareness and assure people that they really aren’t alone.
I’ve never really expressed my dealings with anxiety as over the years I’ve overcome it massively and have discovered so many ways and techniques in coping and surviving each day. It has taken a hell lot of work and something I’ll continue to do but I want to show just how you can learn to deal with these anxious thoughts and worries and how despite what you may think you aren’t the only one.
For a long period of time panic attacks were a daily struggle for me and in which a lot of the time no one was aware of, even myself wasn’t aware that what I was suffering with was panic attacks. They’d rise up whenever and wherever they wanted, usually in corridors in school, tight busy shops or when I got out of the shower bizarrely. Although, they can happen just about anywhere and let me tell you they aren’t fun. I’ll give you a tiny insight… Basically you feel like you’re dying for a split second, haha. Usually feeling dizzy, feeling sick, light headed, and blacking out often occur and that tightness in your chest they causes the over breathing. They’re a complete build up of fear, excitement, and emotions. For myself it often feels like my head is about to explode, causing me to simply panic more. I often feel like the whole world is caving in around me and there is simply nothing in the world that will stop it but of course we know that’s not quite frankly true because there are ways of over coming and coping with these attacks.
My Own Coping Techniques
- Focus on breathing – I know this probably sounds way to obvious but in the case of a panic sorting out your breathing is pretty much vital. Slow deep breathing and allowing yourself to calm.
- Getting away from the situation – I like to go straight outside or simply moving away from the place I’ve panicked in.
- Being with someone – many people actually would rather not have any communication from anyone as it simply causes more anxiety and panic however one of my biggest preventatives is to actually go and find a friend or family member and allow them to be aware of how I’m feeling.
- Counting – counting strangely helps me deal with calming down, as it gives me a completely different focus.
- Lying down – I have a a dizziness issue, so sometimes lying down and again focusing on breathing techniques can help and awful lot
- Drinking water – this helps with any dizziness and feeling sick
Dealing with the thoughts…
However despite the panic attacks, I think it’s unaware of the huge issue simply anxiety plays along with this, the build up. I firstly want to express how a little anxiety and worry is normal and healthy, without it we would be completely reckless human beings with not a care in the world however when it interferes with every aspect and decision then driving you insane… that’s not so healthy. Again for a long, long time day in day out and still some days anxiety and it’s evil thoughts control my life, decisions and relationships. I can recall it getting to the point I was petrified of leaving the house simply because the possibility of being watched, followed or involved in a car crash ect. I became so obsessed and anxious over every bad aspect in life, which of course isn’t the way to live. Not only that but I become incredibly paranoid of those around me, assuming someone I’d never seen in my entire life hated every inch of me. I could hear my voice being screamed and felt as if I was out numbered in a crowded room, each one of them targeting me. I would stop socializing, talking, touching and even acknowledging other people. That constant ticking, irritating voice constantly giving you a friendly reminder of the unknown, which in the reasonable mind we know is ridiculous.
What if the unknown is equally as amazing?
That’s what I’ve grown to learn, that as humans we instantly jump to the conclusion that everything ahead of us could turn to disaster, this means we forget there and equal (even bigger) chance things could hold great wonders. Another great thing I’ve adjusted to through Anxiety and Anorexia is CBT therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy), which I would certainly recommended for various mental health issues. It’s type of therapy that looking into retraining the brains thinking patterns and thoughts in this it allows you to deal with problems or issues in your life a lot easier. Of course it doesn’t remove the problems, it does however allow you to see things in a much more positive light.
I now take each day as it comes and as soon as that little negative voice chips in, I fight back with the positive one. I’ve discovered that when I’m panicking over what the world sees me as – they are more than likely doing the same thing. I’ve also figured out that the future cannot be changed and neither can the past, so dwelling and worrying is never the answer. Lastly, I was you to remember no matter how much you refuse to believe it – there is always a positive to every thought, situation and feeling.
A Little Thought – Facing the Fear
Within my CBT I learned a very valuable lesson that I use in every anxiety flooding situation;
Imagine a spider, big, hairy and scary and what’s worse? You have the biggest fear of spiders.
No one else is there to get rid of the spider, meaning you have two choices; 1. Leave the spider to sit there, leaving you aware of it’s presence, keeping the fear keeping the anxiety bubbling OR 2. Feel the Fear and do it anyway, the anxiety shall be there yes, however imagine it in waves. Once you’ve faced the fear of grabbing the spider the anxiety level shall fall back down because it’s over – you realize it simply wasn’t as bad as you first thought.
When you have to face this fear again, the fear simply won’t be as strong because on the waves on anxiety each time you face it, it’ll become lower and lower and easier and easier.
“But, what started the panic attack? Why were you anxious?”
Oh the one question that actually drives me insane! Yes, I know that somewhere down the deep, dark routes of your brain there shall always be a reason behind anxiety/attacks however sometimes you simply just don’t know! It’s quite frankly the worst when you have that anxious feeling in your stomach and the distant sense that something just quite isn’t right. I’d like to express how it’s perfectly fine to not know why you’re feeling this way, or to be completely unaware of the reasoning behind the attack.
It’s just extremely important to understand you aren’t alone. I also want you to know that, it’s 100% possibly to begin to control anxiety and panic attacks and that you are not doomed for your whole life.