5 Tips For Anxious Minds & Panic Attacks

Today’s blog post will hopefully help some of you who suffer with severe anxiety or panic attacks. If you don’t suffer with those above things, this may be something to remember in case you ever find yourself in the situation, where you need to calm yourself down or someone close to you. The terrible thing about panic attacks is that there is no quick fix solution, no one can say ‘just calm down’, ‘do this or that’ and you will feel instantly better, unfortunately that’s not going to happen. What you can do is find ways to cope through a panic attack until you come out the other side and to try ease the symptoms. Never feel alone or embarrassed about having anxiety or a panic attack, it can happen to anyone.

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Anxiety and panic attacks have so many symptoms and they can appear different for different people from mild to severe. Here are some of the main symptoms…

♥ Intense overwhelming feeling of panic, fear, dread and anxiety.

♥ Feeling sick

♥ An uneasy churning feeling in your stomach

♥ Heart palpitations (racing very fast heart beat)

♥ Difficulty catching breath, fast breathing, shortness of breath, tightness of chest.

♥ Ringing in ears

♥ Hot flushes and chills

♥ Shaking

♥ Feeling of loosing control or going ‘crazy’

♥ Feeling faint or dizzy

♥ Pins and needles

♥ Sweating

♥ The need to remove yourself from your current surroundings

Here are some ways I think can help you through a panic attack and calm you down..

1. Take some time alone with yourself. If you’re the kind of person who wants to be alone and escape from the situation you’re in then do it. Take a second out to gather your thoughts and compose yourself.. Forget about what people might think etc, if it helps you to calm down that’s all that matter. You might recover faster and be able to return back to the situation calmer, if not that’s okay you win some you loose some. It’s okay to say ‘I’m feeling very anxious, I’m going to take a second on my own, please nobody fuss over me’ you’re human, do what you need to do to help yourself, don’t worry about everyone else, taking yourself away for a second means you may be able to calm yourself down without feeling self conscious of others watching you and being fussed over by them.

2. Take headphones in your bag and when things get too much on a train, bus, walking, in a car where ever it may be, put those headphones in and shut out the world. Play relaxing, soothing music or sounds. There is a great app called ‘Calm’ where you can pick a live, realistic scenery with sounds and music to go along with it. Focus on that scenery and the sounds, imagine you’re here, Ignore your racing thoughts and bring your mind back to the scenery and sounds on your phone.

3. Slow your breathing down. I know this is hard when your heart is racing and the panic is building up inside you making you breathe faster, but take control and breathe in and out slowly. Holding your breathes in and slowly breathing out. Another brilliant app for this is ‘Relax Lite’ the free version has a breathing counter, where you can focus on your breathing and watch a little pie chart telling you how long to hold and release your breaths and how often. You can even change the settings if the timings set aren’t right for your breathing. Forget how fast your hearts beating and focus on how much slower you can get it, don’t rush, slow everything down.

4. Take a second to take in your surroundings WITHOUT using your thoughts. Use your 5 senses, eyes, touch, smell,  taste and listening. Look around you, where are you? is there any real danger in front of you? or is your brains fight or flight responses miss firing again. No matter how scared your brain is telling you are and how scared you feel, is there danger in front of you? don’t let your brain tell you you’re in danger if you’re not. Your eyes won’t lie to you, if there’s no danger you see, your brain is miss firing. Touch something and focus on what it feels like, smell a sweet lip balm you have and focus on what it smells like and reminds you of, anything along those lines. If you’re at home light a candle and watch the flame flicker, notice the smoky smell, the warmth and how it moves. Have a warm bath, shut your eyes and focus on the feel of the water against your skin, the smell of the bubbles and the sound and warmth of the water. When your brain sends you tons of thoughts, let go  and refocus on your senses.

5. Remember you’re ok, no matter how frightened you feel during the mist of anxiety and panic. It will pass, emotions can’t last forever. Your body and brain is simply trying to keep you safe by triggering your fight or flight response, our brains can do this when there is no danger. It’s just a chemical reaction within our body’s and brains, it can’t hurt us, it can make us feel temporarily terrified but that’s all. The less fearful of what you’re feeling you are, the calmer you will become and the quicker the emotions will leave. Fearing it will undoubtedly bring more fear. Out logic your brain, you know your gong to be ok, thank your brain and body for keeping you safe when it’s not even needed.

 Don’t get frustrated with yourself. I know sometimes you feel angry about what you’re feeling because there is no reason to be feeling scared, frustration will raise your heart beat even more and stress you out. It’s okay to not know why you’re panicking, don’t try to work out why you are, think less and breathe deeper, when all those rushing thoughts pop into your head ‘why am I panicking’ ‘your stupid’ ‘this or that might happen’ ‘people will think I’m weird’ etc, ignore them, don’t entertain them this will only make them stronger and raise your anxiety levels, notice them, let go of them, refocus on breathing or any of the above steps. Being able to try to control your panic and anxiety won’t happen over night, practice makes perfect. I hope this helps someone even a little bit.

 If you have any good tips for panic attack and anxiety sufferers, leave them in the comments, lets help each other!

Stay strong,

Anna

 

 

 

Bach Rescue Remedy: Does It Work?

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Bach Rescue Remedy is something I have been using for a while now and I thought It might be useful to give my opinion on how it works! So what is ‘Rescue Remedy’? It’s basically a natural remedy containing flower extracts that are meant to comfort and reassure you when your feeling, anxious or stressed etc! You put 4 drops on your tongue or in a drink of your choice. Rescue Remedy says It contains,’Impatiens’ for when your feeling impatient, ‘Star Of Bethlehem’ for trauma and shock, ‘Cherry Plum’ for when you feel like your mind is running away with itself and your losing control of your thoughts, ‘Rock Rose’ for panic and terror and ‘Clematis’ to bring clarity and alertness the present moment. The only other ingredient in it is grape alcohol! Its meant to help comfort and calm you down in times of need, obviously if you have an underlying reason of why your feeling like you do this isn’t going to be a cure or something you should rely on, you need real help.

I have seen a lot of articles and writing about how it doesn’t work its all a placebo effect meaning people think there taking something to calm themselves down therefore they do calm down. I still don’t know if my positive experience taking this is due to a placebo or not, but I feel like if it helps me to calm down then maybe its worth it. Bach do a variety of different versions of this. They do the droplets like in the picture above, the spray, soothing pastels, a sleep remedy and even one for pets! A lot of people buy this for driving tests, exams, job interviews and public speaking, but of course its to be used for any situation you want comfort and reassurance during in, these are just examples.

My Experience

I first discovered Rescue Remedy when I was in Greece. Long story short I had a bit of a panic before I got on the plane to fly to Greece and refused to get on, I finally got on and eventually I calmed down. I don’t think it was the flying itself rather than just the anxiety of leaving my comfort zone and a fear of being sick on the plane. My OCD seemed to latch on to this and as going home got closer my OCD started to play up and fear came flooding in. I was having all sorts of crazy thoughts ‘What if the plane crashes?’ ‘What if these aren’t thoughts and there premonitions?’ ‘If I don’t put/do such and such in a certain way that might mean the plane will crash’. I was having vivid images of me and my family crashing in the plane and it terrified me. It was a new feeling to me as I’d been on planes before and although I had been nervous about flying this was a fear like nothing before. I generally feared for mine and my family’s lives. I thought this was ‘signs’ I should go on a different flight which lead to me wanting to not fly and stay the night to get a different plane. Might I add I know this sounds crazy but that’s OCD for ya!

On the day of flying home I was adamant I wasn’t going to fly and the holiday rep recommend going to the chemist to buy some Rescue Remedy as she heard it was helpful. My Mum was desperate to find a way to get me to fly, so she went with the rep and bought me some. I finally got the Rescue Remedy which I was very skeptical about but really needed it to work. Leading up to leaving for the flight I could not stop crying, but as we got on the coach and I started taking the rescue remedy I seemed to calm down. I was still very worried don’t get me wrong, but I felt more able to control the emotions like it took the edge of it. Whether it’s because I was hoping it could work or it did I don’t know, all I know is I’m not sure how much worse that flight home would have been without it. I got on the plane, no tears just a little shaky but a lot calmer. Since then I have bought it on and off, I carry it around in my bag so if I feel anxious in public I can have a few drops to try calm me down. I also take it at home when my OCD is very bad and I’m feeling particularly stressed and anxious. I don’t know how much it does calm me down but I feel like I do notice a difference. I know some people can be funny about what something is going to taste like but I wouldn’t say it’s bad, my mum said it tastes like brandy!

 

I hope this has helped you decide whether or not they want to go ahead and purchase some Rescue Remedy or given you a little info about a product that might be useful for you! For a 20 ml bottle it’s £9.99 which is a little pricey, check out your local chemist, pharmacy or supermarket to find it. So I understand some people would be against paying out the money for something that could possibly be a placebo, but anxiety can be an awful feeling so I think its worth trying, if you don’t use it to often it should last a while.

Let know in the comments if you have tried Rescue Remedy and what your experience taking it was like?