With a scary day coming up this week, I found myself in the midst of a pretty big anxiety attack yesterday. The quick breath, the gnawing chest, the racing brain – I was struggling all afternoon and into the night.
But with My Anxious Life in mind this time, I tried my best to really think about the attack, both during and afterwards, more logically – warning signs, behaviours, coping mechanisms – in the hope of helping myself next time, and maybe somebody else too.
These are all things I’ll go on to talk about in more detail I’m sure, but here’s a summary of my top 3 observations:
Sit down. Breathe. Rest
Blazing around the house like Kim and Aggie on speed is not helping anyone. You could wash every single item of clothing in the house and polish that mirror until you wear through to the wall, but the problems will still be there – and you’ll be able to add post-frenzy physical and emotional exhaustion to the list.
Stop punishing yourself with negative thoughts
You’re a nasty piece of work, brain. You would never dream of saying any of the awful things you say to yourself to other people. Pause, think, and remind yourself of all the good things, even the small things… especially the small things.
You are not mad
You might feel anything but normal in the midst of an attack, but normal you are nonetheless. You’re not out kicking puppies or pushing old ladies into traffic. You may be emotional, sensitive, thoughtful, flawed… but you are normal. And you are not alone.