When you get stressed or anxious, one of the feelings that you may feel is being overwhelmed, feeling that your life is out of control or that you feel distant from the world around you (almost like you are living life in a bubble).
If you experience any of these feelings, the impact on you can make you feel even worse and it could escalate into panic.
Common symptoms include having chest pains, difficulty breathing, tightness in your throat, dizziness, sweating and numbness or tingling in your body.
I know that these are also symptoms of a heart attack but let me tell you this:
You are probably not having a heart attack! And if you genuinely are concerned that you may be having one, stop reading this and call for an ambulance. But you probably are not having a heart attack. A large majority of people who go into doctors and emergency rooms with any of the symptoms mentioned here are most likely to be having a panic attack.
It’s really horrible when you think that your heart is about to give up and the doctor tells you that there is nothing wrong with you! The less informed doctors then categorize you as a GOOMER (get out of my emergency room!) instead of offering or referring to psychological support (a little pet hate of mine….)
It is definitely not easy to control anxiety but know this:
You’ve felt this way before and you have survived and there is a really good chance that you are going to survive this too.
Try to sit quietly and acknowledge the anxiety for what it is “I am having an anxiety attack. I AM NOT DYING!
And then really focus on the here and now.
Zone in on your 5 senses –
What am I looking at? What sounds can I hear around me? Breathe! What can I smell? What am I touching? (including the feeling of your bum on the chair, your feet on the floor) Breathe! Sip some water, notice how it cools your throat. Sip some tea, notice how it warms you. Breathe! You are alive! You can do this. Squeeze your stress ball or a tissue balled up in your hand. Breathe! Close your eyes for a few seconds, centre yourself in the now. Breathe!
I know that you can do this. Now you have to believe that you can do this too.
You can have control over this!