Lately I’ve been having some trouble sleeping due to a pesky problem: panic attacks. They come out of nowhere and seem to strike when I’m most vulnerable - in the middle of the night when my body is at rest. At first, it felt like my whole body was shaking and I couldn’t get a steady breath going. Then, my heart started racing and my mind was spinning as though it was stuck in a tailspin. All these emotions then culminated in feeling an intense fear that seemed to take over my entire being.
I knew immediately that this was not something I could just ignore; tackling this issue head-on would be the only way forward. So, cautiously, I began experimenting with different coping strategies. The first thing I did was start writing down tangible ideas for how to manage the anxiety that pops up whenever these panic attacks occur. This made me more aware of how I feel during one of these episodes so that I can learn how to control them better. Secondly, meditation has helped me get into a calmer state where I can better understand where these feelings are coming from, thus giving me more control over them. Finally, talking through the episodes with someone else has helped ground me and give perspective on what’s happening internally for me so that perhaps eventually they will stop occurring altogether (fingers crossed).
Having experienced many panic attacks over the course of this journey, I have found solace in knowing that relief is possible by actively working through them instead of succumbing to their power each time they come around.