Anxiety still gets to me after all the work I do to try and help myself with Mindfulness and Meditation.
I find in the depths of an anxiety attack, when I feel my heart racing, I’m sweating and sheer panic is coming over me. I try to focus on my breathing.
Breathing can support your nervous system to realise your not in actual (I’m going to die) danger but in fact, this experience is actually reminding you of a previous event that made you feel uneasy and uncomfortable. This is how the mind is trying to protect us by bringing up a past memory for you to refer back to that made you feel the way the present moment is.
Clever though this is of the mind, it can have all sorts of downsides when it comes to living our lives.
We always steer away from feeling uncomfortable and when the anxiety takes hold of us, we often want to run away from it.
When you can sit with this and breath we can have an overwhelming sense of freedom that occurs when you can do it.
I know as I’ve experienced this myself. I have a huge fear of traveling. It started with car journeys and now has moved into all areas of traveling including train rides. I was taking a trip to London which is always met with trepidation, as I know my mind goes into overdrive and starts the worrying before I’ve stepped onto the carriage.
Before the journey I was repeating a phrase in my head, all is well, I am safe. As soon as I was seated in the carriage it started, the hot feeling running through my veins, the shortness of breath, the feeling of being trapped and wanting to run out of that train the moment it stopped.
But while all this was going on inside of me, I started to focus on my breathing. Breathing in for a count to 5 and breathing out for 7 counts, trying to get a full deep breath in my lungs.
Just as I started to emerge from the anxiety I noticed a couple, laughing in the seats opposite me. I looked out of the window and saw people living their lives and coming back to this moment realising that all is in fact well, and I’m safe on the train and it won’t be long before I’m at my destination.
The breathing can support you with creating some space to focus on the feelings and try to distance some reality in what is actually going on. This is what I practice each time anxiety rears its head. I find counting the breathing really gets me back to the present moment and then I can start to become aware of my senses, listening to the laughter, looking out of the window, feeling myself sitting in the chair.
This sounds easier said than done but with a little practice, you can start to have a better control on the moments that send you into an anxiety attack.
The one thing about anxiety is that it makes us feel ashamed to feel like this. We keep everything that happens to us a secret because we assume that no one else feels like this.
By talking about your anxiety, opens up to sharing our stories and you often find someone else has experienced some similar.
It’s estimated that 1 in 4 Britons suffers from anxiety in a year, that’s a staggering number. Also, the number of people using anti-depressants has grown in recent years with people being medicated and still suffering from the effects anxiety can have.
There is another to look after yourself when an anxiety attack occurs and in my coaching sessions, we look at some causes of the anxiety and how we can work together to overcome some of these attacks, for you to have a brighter future.
I know my attacks won’t be cured but I’ve got a better control on them now and see far less of them that I used too 5-6 years ago.
Why not contact me and find out how I can help you with your anxiety and even talk about it can make you feel lots better.