Sisterhood Agenda

How to Overcome Anxiety and Panic

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Carline

You can overcome anxiety to prevent panic attacks.  It is a process, however, you do not have to live with stress and panic.

Trauma can be triggered by an accident, a violent attack that happened in childhood, or in adulthood. Trauma can also be triggered and exacerbated by stress, from battling a life-threatening illness, bullying, domestic violence.  The sudden death of someone close, a breakup of a significant partner… these are just two examples of the many possible causes of trauma.

READ MORE: 10 Signs to Recognize Trauma

ACEs are Adverse Childhood Experiences that can lead to trauma that expresses itself in adulthood.

The brain remembers a traumatic experience and signals your body that it’s happening again, even if it’s not. The brain connects patterns so that even the slightest detail can make you relive the moment again.  That’s how trauma works.  For example, if you were assaulted and the attacker smelled like coffee, the smell of coffee might terrify you as if the attack is happening all over again.

Fear can have a debilitating effect on anyone.

Your body turns stiff, you can’t breathe, you feel dizzy and it feels like the room is getting smaller…

Any event that gives you feelings of hopelessness and helplessness and leaves you emotionally shattered can trigger PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and you can have panic attacks.

Anxiety is a term used when you are terrified about something that hasn’t happened yet. It also describes persistent fear.

Whatever your fear is, facing it can build strong confidence within yourself to overcome it.

My first panic attack happened inside a cinema while I was watching Infinity Wars. I was perfectly safe, seated on a comfortable Lazy Boy chair.  The brain does not always recognize when you are in a real dangerous situation because the fight and flight response just kicks in and you can have a full-blown panic attack.

According to my Mom, there was a fire in the cinema when I was little.  Although I can’t remembehttp://medco-corp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/nonprofit-ymca.jpgr the details, this experience is embedded deep in my brain.  In addition, my father also recently passed away when this happened.

When you face your fear, there’s a big chance that the anxiety or panic won’t happen again.

I didn’t watch a movie in the cinema for months It took a lot of courage to face my fear. Nevertheless, I did it again.  I went to the same cinema where it happened and I took the same seat. I told myself:

You are not in danger. You are fine.”

Guess what? It didn’t happen again.  I also had my Lavender essential oil to calm me down.

If you panic one day flying on a plane, for example, it’s best to schedule your next flight as soon as possible.

What to do when you’re having a panic attack?

Breathe

Feel your diaphragm move, breathe slowly and deeply, and just focus on your breathing.

This trick helps your mind get used to coping with panic.

Distract yourself

Go for a walk, take a warm bath or focus your eyes on something. This allows your brain to forget your fear.

Think of your happy place

Close your eyes and visualize yourself in a place of safety. Imagine you’re walking on the beach and the sky is up. Or, think of a happy memory.

Talk to a friend

Having a support system or talking to someone who understands what you’re going through will make it easier for you to overcome a panic attack.

Practice mindfulness

Meditation or practicing mindfulness makes you grounded, it makes you aware of what is truly happening. It allows you to listen to your body, it calms down your nerves, your thoughts and will put you in a very calm state. Lots of guided meditation for anxiety can be found online if you are new with the concept of meditation.

When to get help?

Feelings of anxiety usually fade weeks after a traumatic experience. However, if your panic attacks are so intense and it’s already affecting your daily life and your ability to function, you may need help from a professional.

  • It’s been more 2 months and you’re still in constant fear
  • You’re having difficulty functioning at home and at work
  • You’re having a difficult time connecting to others and you don’t want to interact with people
  • You’re having suicidal thoughts

Trauma is an awful thing that can happen to anyone, but this should not dictate how you will live your life. This should not have power over you. You are strong you are brave and you can get through it.

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” Helen Keller

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