Hey, you! Yes, I am talking to you.
I know what you are going through. I know you just can’t wait for this day to end. I know your life sucks! You are probably wondering why God sent you this agony, right? Well, I was asking the same question. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find any answer. Maybe He wanted to teach me a lesson. So I can be stronger. For days to come. For hard knocks. I am not sure whether I learned my lesson, but one thing is for sure—I came out from all this shit like a winner.
I simply didn’t want my anxiety to overwhelm me. Because that’s not what I am. I am much stronger than that. And I can be over my problems no matter how hard they are. I still remember those days when I couldn’t sit at the coffee shop and drink my coffee in peace. I couldn’t be focused on people talking to me because I was thinking about panic attacks. I thought it will happen to me again.
I suffered from panic attacks and anxiety for two years. And I must say that was the worst period of my life. I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. There wasn’t my infectious laugh anymore. It just vanished. And I wasn’t happy with my mental state. I would just lay down in my bed, waiting for a day to finish. I thought it will be better in the morning. But I was wrong. Every morning was the same negativity. You can just imagine how it feels to have a constant feeling of nervousness and unease every single day for two years. It was awful. And I had to do something about it.
So, I started doing some things to help myself. Here is the list of things I did through that period. I know they helped me so much and that’s why I want to share them with you. This is for all of you out there who are struggling with this insidious disease.
Hope you will find some help in these lines and remember—you are not alone.
So, let’s start!
1. Take a deep breath
Breathing is essential when having panic attacks. It helped me to calm down in stressful situations. It also made me be focused on people talking to me more than focused on myself.
The catch is that when you think about yourself, you will always have negative thoughts. And that is the fact. So next time you go out for a coffee or just for a walk, take a deep breath. Arm yourself with patience and try to get the most out of your current situation.
Try to relax and enjoy. Don’t think you will get a panic attack the moment you step outside your home. Don’t think it will happen to you the same moment you sit to have a drink with your friends.
If you fight against it, I am sure you can win. I did and you can, too. This is just a phase of your life. It won’t be there forever. There are big chances that you will always be nervous and anxious more than others but that doesn’t prevent you from conquering the world if you want to. So, do whatever makes you happy—let’s get the ball rolling!
2. Think positively
It is not simple to think positively when you are fighting to get some air, right?
Been there, done that!
I know this is awful but you MUST show your anxiety that it can’t rule over your life forever. It is just part of you and you can get rid of it whenever you want. Even it doesn’t look like that, YOU are the one who can finish this agony.
So, don’t let negative thoughts deluge you. Think positively even if you don’t have a single reason to do so. Fight for yourself, because honey, if you don’t do that, nobody else will.
3. Be patient
Anxiety and panic attacks can be pains in the butt. I know because I have been there. One important thing to stop feeling down all the time is to be patient.
This healing process can differ from person to person. Some people will recover in half a year and some will need two years to be themselves again.
Take your time.
Bear in mind it is a long process and you need to go through all those stages to be healthy again.
Do things that make you feel good.
Don’t let your social life suffer just because you had a panic attack a moment ago. Be persistent about your decision.
If you want to go for a walk and you know that you will be anxious, don’t quit. Just go. Fight. That’s the only way you can defeat this awful disease. If you keep being the same person who gives up in the face of the first panic attack, you might not defeat it.
On the other hand, if you keep fighting against it every single day, at least you will know you didn’t just drop by the wayside. And this is the way to show your disease that you have all the control over your life!
My therapist gave me an excellent idea. She told me to create a good atmosphere so I could relax. So, I ended up in a room full of scented candles repeating my mantra, “I can do that!” or “I am stronger than this!”
And you know what? It really worked.
My mom knew when I was meditating because she saw how peaceful and calmed I was. After a month, I began to feel better.
I had more energy ( BTW—When we are anxious, our energy levels are really low.) and I was pumped-up all the time. My friends told me I was a completely new person. They finally got me back from the jaws of depression.
So, do whatever you think will work. Hang in there because you are not the only one in this. And remember—no pain, no gain!
5. Get some lavender
This medicinal herb has been used to treat anxiety and depression for many centuries.
The good thing is that I have a lot of lavender in my garden so I could smell it from time to time. I also wrapped some lavender in small bags and kept it in my handbag. Whenever I felt I was about to have a panic attack, I would take out the lavender and smell it.
It helped me to relax and to concentrate on my breathing. Even though panic attacks and anxiety are ancient history for me, I still keep some lavender close to me. Every time I smell it, it makes me think of those times when I was just a puny imitation of myself and gives me a reason good enough to go forward!
The bottom line is that you should never give up. Pull yourself together and do even the impossible.
You are responsible for your life so get up and fight. I know it takes time. I know you will feel down sometimes.
But that’s all part of the healing process. Just remember that you CAN do whatever you want.
And the only person who can prevent you from saving yourself is YOU!