#111: Anxiety & Panic Attacks- A Different Approach

April 17, 2024

                                                                                       Listen on…

Navigating anxiety and panic attacks can feel like traversing a treacherous path. It’s a journey filled with uncertainty, fear, and moments of overwhelming distress. As someone who understands the gravity of these experiences, I want to share insights and strategies that may help you gain a sense of control over your mental health and well-being.

Firstly, it’s crucial to acknowledge that anxiety and panic attacks are real. The struggles you face are valid, and my goal is not just to label your experiences but to empower you to make positive changes. While medications like benzodiazepines (often termed “Mother’s Little Helper”) can offer temporary relief, they come with risks of addiction and cognitive impairment.

I recall a moment with my mother, where the allure of benzodiazepines was evident. In a stressful situation, she opted to shut out the world temporarily. While this provided immediate calm, it was not a sustainable solution. I wished for her to find long-term coping mechanisms that didn’t involve dependency on medications.

Understanding anxiety goes beyond a mere diagnosis. It’s about recognizing the myriad ways it manifests—through hyper-awareness, triggers from past experiences, and the resulting cascade of physical and emotional responses. Triggers can be both positive and negative, influencing our state of mind profoundly.

One approach I advocate is HeartMath, a program that connects your heartbeat to your cognitive brain. By syncing your breath with your heartbeat, you can induce relaxation and combat the domino effect leading to panic attacks. Grounding techniques, identifying triggers, and involving trusted individuals in your support network are also vital steps.

Collaboration with healthcare professionals is essential, especially if medication is part of your current management plan. Exploring lifestyle changes, understanding triggers, and embracing techniques like HeartMath can complement medical interventions.

Remember, the journey to managing anxiety is multifaceted. It requires patience, self-awareness, and a willingness to explore various strategies. Each step you take towards understanding and addressing your anxiety brings you closer to reclaiming control over your mental and emotional well-being.

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