Let's Get Sensory!
Lori Westhaver shares a pro's tip: The 5,4,3,2,1 Grounding Technique. It engages all of your senses to bring you out of the panicky moment.
Take a deep belly breath to begin. 5 - LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them. 4 - FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel. 3 - LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds. 2 - SMELL: Say two things you can smell. 1 - TASTE: Say one thing you can taste or your favorite taste.
Take another deep belly breath to end.
Carrie Jordan-Moore recommends another pro tip: Bilateral movements.
"Bilateral stimulation is stimuli (visual, auditory or tactile) which occur in a rhythmic left-right pattern. For example, visual bilateral stimulation could involve watching a hand or moving light alternating from left to right and back again." (AnxietyRelease.com)
You can do this by alternating movements from your right side to your left side. This can include tapping your shoulders, tapping your knees, looking from right to left, etc.
Many readers suggest playing with your dog or petting your cat when you're feeling anxious. I agree. There's nothing more relaxing than a purring cat in your lap. There's a reason that pets are used for therapy animals!
A newer form of coping is cannabis oil, or CBD. It's legal in most states because it doesn't contain the THC (the part of marijuana that gives you a high), but still contains calming properties. There is tons of research online about this, so read up on it and form your own opinion. Google = Your Friend.
If none of these remedies work for you, please discuss your anxiety/panic with your physician. He may prescribe anti-anxiety medications for you that can ease your suffering.
There are so many things that can work... you just have to find the right combination for you. I feel the most important thing to remember is that you're not alone. So many of us struggle with it- it is a real thing.
A reader, Mandie Anderson, reminded me of something I said in a book, (IF YOU LEAVE, a romance featuring an ex-Army Ranger who suffers from PTSD). "The good news is, fear is a choice. You can stand in front of it, punch it in the face, and move on with life."
I know it's not that easy, not when you're dealing with an anxiety attack. But I do know that for me, that's going to be my new mantra when I get anxious. "Fear is a choice." I'm going to try some (or all) of these tips, and I will make it. You will too. You know why?
Because....we've survived every bad day, every bad moment, every bad anxiety attack so far. We'll keep doing it. We are women of steel. We will not break.