What does an anxiety attack feel like?
It feels like you are stuck in a dark tunnel with no way out.
Like your heart is going to explode.
It feels like stomach is churning and knotting up inside like a reptile.
Like something is squeezing your throat.
Like it’s going to last forever and there’s o way out.
Ask anyone who has suffered from anxiety from panic attacks and they will vouch that the above statements are not just dramatic exaggerated statements, but the truth. Any form of anxiety attack feels very heavy on the heart, mind and soul and when one is immersed in the experience, it feels like a shore less lake. But there are some emotional tools you can rely upon during a panic attack that will navigate you back to sense of normalcy in less than 30 seconds.
Lie Down or Sit On the Floor
Sometimes all the external visual stimulation needs to be blocked out and during an anxiety attack; this is the most important tool for you. Lie down on a floor and gently close your eyes and breathe. Just breathe, calmly, softly and without too much effort. You must allow your thoughts to settle and help your body to return to normalcy.
Let Nature Help
Amidst an attack, try to surround yourself with nature in any form. Sit under a tree, on the grass, next to a potted plant, any form of nature is good. If you want to take it one step further, take off your shoes and walk on grass barefoot for a couple of minutes. This simple act of grounding will help release all the anxious energy from the body quickly whilst the calming effects of trees and plants, aids in stress recovery. BTW, have you heard of forest bathing? It’s time you do.
Feel It Deeply
The natural reaction during an anxiety attack is to fight it by ignoring its existence or by distracting the mind. But avoidance is hardly the solution because when it comes to the mind versus anxiety, anxiety mostly wins. Simply because most of us aren’t trained to deal with anxiety from a mental level. So the solution is simple; feel the anxiety, deep and strongly. Feel it engulf you. Then let it pass. Because it always does and more often than not, in less than 60 seconds. So instead of fixating upon fighting it, allow the anxiety to pass throughout and while that happens, just breathe.
If your anxiety attacks are so debilitating that you find it difficult to perform daily tasks, then seek professional help immediately. You owe this to your mental health and well-being. Also, a daily meditation practice helps to reign in the sense of losing control.
Here’s an excellent guided meditation to help you deal with anxiety.