Practical Tips for Anxiety and Panic attack
If you are experiencing these:
difficulty to breath
pain in the body-chest, heart, back, shoulder, stomach etc
disoriented with the environment
drawn in your overwhelming thoughts and feelings
You are probably having a panic attack or experiencing a peak of anxiety(usually above level 6 in a scale of 10), which is actually very common and the majority of us would experience it at multiple points of our life.
The most natural reaction towards anxiety and panic is to get rid of it. There is no shame to admit that the first thing we think about is how to distract ourselves from it or to avoid things that are associated with it. A common example would be avoiding writing an essay that we very much would like to have a nice grade on. A less common one could be, in order to avoid the awkward feeling to be looked at or to initiate a conversation in a public place, we decide to go out of our house as less as possible.
Although at that very moment, we avoid the potential anxiety, in the long run, they often come back and in a lot of cases can make things worse. Part of you may already know that you are just running away from it and you need to be very careful all the time not to be caught by it. The fear of having fear ends up adding a continuous voice of anxiety at the back of your mind.
In a counselling or psychotherapy session, we are aiming to help you understand how anxiety works in your body and mind, get you prepared with various tools, such as grounding techniques and muscle relaxation techniques, to calm yourself in case of anxiety. In addition to these immediate interventions, we will also address the root of your fear by helping you identify the source and trigger, and work on your thinking patterns and believes. We will slowly build up your ability to cope with different level of anxiety just like how people train their body to gain more muscles.
A few tips you can use in daily life when it comes to anxiety:
Identify the triggers:
How is my body doing today? Alcohol, caffeine, lack of food, being lonely, being tired... can all generate anxious feelings.
Is there any specific thing going on? Is it about a recent exam, interview, public talk or it has been bothering you for long?
identify the practical solution: If it is a big task, break it down to small parts and keep them in a to-do list. Only do one thing at a time. If you are too anxious to do that, then maybe you can:
try some relaxation techniques
If you tried all of these and the anxiety still come back frequently, then probably you need to do something different:
Talk to someone - either if it's your family members, friends or a mental health professionals. The sharing itself helps. It give you a chance to process and release. You do not have to hold everything on your own shoulders. No one could.