That feeling when your heart is beating faster than you can count, your lungs are expanding and collapsing all in the same instant. Your scared, your worried, your anxious, your stressed, your overwhelmed, and you feel like something is about to happen.
Something is happening, the worst is happening right inside your head. Your brain feels at full steam as your thoughts are racing, jumping from one thing to the next. No time to solve any problems just jumping reminders of the stress that is consuming you, the emotions in this moment that aim to overtake and the breaking of your knees as you fall to the floor in exhaustion from what your experiencing. Your heart may rip out of your chest with the heavy weight it bears all while you realize that this is a panic attack.
If you’ve never had one it’s hard to explain them, and even harder to answer the question when your loved ones want to help. These anxiety attacks become a new member of your soul that pop up at will or at the onset of the slightest trigger.
There is isolation and loneliness as you feel completely crazy, no one seems to understand, no one gets it. Maybe they think your crazy? Is this the rest of my life, will this never cease, have I lost all control? And then a panic attack comes with just the mere thought of how out of control you are for having panic attacks.
I’m lost. I’m tired. I feel weak. They are a battle, a daily constraint to the world that wants to grab me. The world that toys and dangles its control in front of my eyes. The world that slips in and becomes part of the brain waves that flow through my mind.
This panic, this anxiety, is just what it is called, “an Attack”. An attack at my heart, a battle for my soul, a strong-willed tug-of-war at what is truth in my life, an on-slaughter of my identity, and the intensity of a dark storm with a seeming future forecast of even stronger torrential weather.
Just breathe. Calm the nerves. You are in there somewhere. Let it flow. Let the anxiety happen. Watch it drift as it reaches its peak and allow it to slow down. It’s almost done, your heart is slowing down. You’re coming back to life. Breathe the air, feel your feet touch the ground. Notice your shoulders and relax them down. Big breath in through your nose, out through your mouth as you feel the last piece of air leave your lungs. Now do it again. Slow down. You’re ok. Everything’s ok. It’s almost done.
Panic attacks are more common than we want to talk about and more present than we want to admit. They are a battle, and you and I have strength. Fighting them isn’t the strength you need for this battle, it’s being present with them. To slow them down, to remind your emotion there are others present within yourself to soothe your aching heart. This will pass, and the next one will pass too. You are not alone, you are not crazy, you are under attack.
Be present, be aware, and find your control. This is what my body is learning through each emotional attack at my life.
Be present. This is happening. It is about to happen. Brace for impact, but notice where you are. You are safe, you are grounded to the earth. Look at the clock on the wall, see what time it is, notice what day it is. Be present when your body starts to go back. Step outside, feel the air, notice the trees, open your eyes, see that there is more in this moment than the attack within you. Be present.
Be aware. What do you notice, make observations? Where do you feel it, why does it hurt there? Notice. Notice what you see, notice what is coming up. Find the emotion that seems the biggest, what is happening inside you? Be aware. The lack of awareness is what will make you feel out of control.
Find Control. Let it happen. Tell your body to do its thing. Breath through it, become not afraid of the emotions that consume you, of the physical response that holds a remote control to the senses of the moving car inside you. You are in control, let it happen. You are going to be okay, remind yourself that “you are okay”. This is a moment, a new moment will come. A future awaits when this moment is done. Life has a bigger meaning and more purpose than this anxiety wants to take from your soul. Talk to yourself as you find the voice inside of you that can still speak, there is control in there, find it.
Anxiety attacks can be a season for some and a lifestyle for others. They are conflicting, they are confusing, and they are the friends within you that can pop up at any moment. You are more than these moments, there is more going on. You are safe now. You are comforted, and you are not alone.
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