Today's blog post is going to be completely different from my usual, happy and positive thinking one's, because it is about Anxiety. Anxiety, I feel, has been a huge topic over the past few years, people are becoming more aware of what it is and how it can be helped. More celebrities are opening up about their experiences with anxiety, for instance, the popular YouTuber, Zoella, has highlighted her Anxiety story for years through blog posts, Youtube and now her book. This has only made me more eager to share my story. Everyone has a different story and I hope this can help at least one of you lovely people reading learn how to cope with panic attacks.
It started when I was in school, during GCSE Mocks in year 10, I was just turning 15 years old when I had my first known panic attack in form time. I say 'known', because I knew I have had many other attacks before hand, however just brushed them off as a sickness bug, because I never fully understood what 'Anxiety' and 'Panic Attacks' were back then. But this day it hit me bad, I felt like I was dying, literally, I had all the teachers running around after me with cups of water and tissues, with my mum on the phone instantly.
After that day things did change, my school was so supportive of me, including my friends and family. I had a weekly Councillor which helped me break down this barrier of emotion I put between myself and others, I was finally opening up about how I felt. Things gradually got better and with time I learnt how to deal with my attacks, which happened mostly at school due to stress of exams. But I made it.
This time last year however I took a turn for the worst, with actual GCSE exams in the loom my stress and anxiety was rising. I started having panic attacks nearly every day, I skived school to get away from it all and had endless nights of crying. I started my exam period in a nervous state,which soon turned to me zoning out. But again I made it, and so can you.
Here are some tips and tricks I have learnt for panic attacks:
Whatever you do, remember to breathe, Not short breathes, but long deep ones where you can feel air sinking into your ribs and out again. A breath should last a good 3 seconds before you ex hail, honestly after doing this for a few minutes you will feel calmer as your blood will be circulating properly.
2. Position yourself
If you are sitting down, straighten your back, relax your shoulders and have your arms and hands resting on your knees, facing up wards. It's a form of meditation, slowly relax your fingers and hands, you can do this with or without your eyes closed, whatever suits you best.
3. Take yourself to your happy place
A technique which always works for me is, when your are in the correct position, with slow deep breathes, take your mind else where. Think of a past event that made you happy, it may be a festival, a holiday or a walk in the park. Think of that place. Picture yourself being there. For me it was always the beach, I imagine the sound of the crashing waves, the salty sea breeze through my hair and the sand in-between my toes. Picture it.
4. The rainbow after the storm
It could take 10 or 30 minutes, but hopefully this technique will help prevent a panic attack when it strikes you. You will still feel tired and maybe even sick after that Anxiety storm, however it's better than the actual thing, right?
I hope this strategy helps at least one of you in a time of need, just remember you are not alone, many people suffer from panic attacks for so many reasons, be the rainbow, not the cloud.