Panic Attacks: Three Helpful Tips + Personal Tesitmony
Hey friends! It is time for the second featured Guest Blogger for January 2018! This post I am very much excited to share with you all. The title gives you the details of what this post will be about! It was written by a wonderful friend of mine, Bianca! You can follow her on twitter, and her blog at positivecastle.com! She loves art, music, and talking about mental health. If you follow her on Twitter you will know she loves to spread positivity. Be sure to give her a follow if you aren't already, and leave her a comment on this post with your thoughts!
Here you go folks....Bianca's Guest Post!!!
Hello readers! I’m super excited to be a part of Travis’ blog and talking about something he and I are very familiar with: anxiety. Dealing with anxiety has been a huge stress in my life and have been dealing with it for years. With having anxiety, I stress over a lot of things to the point where I’m too stressed to deal with anything else. It makes me stress about how I talk to people, worrying if I’m coming off too strong or if I’m too much, stress about why I’m not ahead in life (going to grad school, working my dream job, married, kids) compared to many other people in my life; it’s exhausting. Not only does anxiety make me stress profoundly, it can push me to the deep end: having an anxiety attack.
In the fall of 2012, I was attending a university. I live in the dorms because the school was about four hours from where I lived, but I enjoyed that aspect because I was able to be away from my family and learn to grow up and practice living on my own. I had two suitemates at the time, and eventually becoming three. It’s a very long story, but to put it short, I felt uncomfortable with the soon-to-be third suitemate, expressed how I wasn’t feeling comfortable with her, but felt pressured to agree to allow her to move into our suite because the other two loved her.
I didn’t think she was going to move in by me being pressured to agree, but she did, out of nowhere, without me knowing until the day of. There was a lot of tension with my suitemates and me, to the point where I avoided them because I felt so uncomfortable in my living situation. The uncomfortable vibe turned to them banging on my door and yelling at me if I didn’t inform them I called maintenance to fix my window, to laughing and closing doors whenever I was around; it was bullying all because I felt uncomfortable with the person that moved in.
In Come the Attack
Fun fact: I do not like confrontations. I don’t like expressing negative feelings to someone, I don’t like being put on the spot; it makes me burst into tears. Going back to the story, I expressed to the RA that the situation was making me feel uncomfortable. The RA made my suitemates and I (before the third suitemate moved in) have a meeting, which led to me bursting into tears and my suitemates cornering me and making it sound like I’m the problem. After the third suitemate moved in, I expressed again to my RA that the environment was getting worse and I felt distressed, so she decided to throw another meeting, even though I expressed to her beforehand I wasn’t comfortable speaking to all three girls about the situation.
I did my best to avoid my RA so the meeting wouldn’t happen, but of course, she caught me at the lobby as I was picking up my takeout food. She told me we’re having the meeting soon, and, just to brush her off, I told her, “yeah sure, just please let me get my food”. I got my food and quickly ran straight to my room. After I entered my room, I quickly locked my door, and something happened to me as my RA was banging on my door, shouting at me about the meeting. There I was, in fetal position, desperately shouting at the top of my lungs to my RA to please leave me alone. I was hyperventilating, my heart was racing, sobbing uncontrollably, and chocking. I called my mom, during my anxiety attack, to call my RA and tell her to leave my dorm and give me space.
How to Calm the Storm
That moment was one of the scariest moments in my life. I never experienced an anxiety attack, and I had no idea what to do to control myself. After this incident, and the other times I’ve had an anxiety attack, I know a few things that have helped me relax after the attack. One of them is counting and breathing. Now, what I mean by that is I slowly breathe in for seven seconds, and slowly breathe out for eleven seconds; this popular technique is known as the 7-11 breathing technique. By doing this, it really helps to calm down, catch your breath, and relax.
Another technique I use is giving myself a mental pep talk. During my anxiety attack, if I’m able to have some sort of consciousness, I start talking to myself mentally, saying, ‘you’re okay’, ‘you won’t be hurt’, and ‘everything will be okay’ (optional, but I like to imagine myself in the ocean as I give myself these talks). The last tip is one of my favorites: music. Just by playing music after my anxiety attack, it helps me calm down, come back mentally, and give myself time to bring myself together. I recommend listening to songs from your favorite artists, music that you find inspiring or motivational, and something with a positive message. Anxiety attacks can be extremely scary, but you’re stronger than the fear, and if you go through an anxiety attack, just know that you’re okay and you will be okay.