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How to cope with anxiety & panic attacks
…or any other kind of stress, really
We all feel a little overwhelmed at times and some of us even struggle with serious mental health issues such as anxiety, panic attacks or depression.
What all of us need to do more of, is to take care of ourselves and listen to what our bodies need.
Mental Health is a subject that is really close to my heart and that’s why I want to start a little series or even category here on my blog and talk about things like how to cope with certain MH problems and just selfcare in general. I’m not sure where this is going yet but I’ll start today with a post about breathing and more so breathing techniques that can help you calm down during a full on panic attack but also – with regular exercise – help to make them appear less often and help with your mental stability and self awareness in general.
The following technique I discoverd first and it helps me in situations where I need to calm down or concentrate.
First be sure you sit (or lie) in a comfortable position and maybe close your eyes if it helps you to concentrate.
You have to take a deep breath and while breathing out count to four, then breath in again and breath out while counting to five. Continue doing this until you’ve reached counting to eight and start going backwards, so you breath in and count to eight while breathing out, breath in again and count to seven while breathing out and so on until you’re back with counting to four. Repeat this maybe 4 or 5 times and because you’re concentrating on counting you’ll be getting calmer in the process and eventually stop stressing out.
If you don’t have enough breath to count to a certain number while trying this for the first time, please stop at any point where you feel comfortable. You’ll be able to count higher if you practise regularly.
The second technique I like better personally as I tend to get confused about the counting when I’m already in a tense state of mind.
While this is exercise is also based on breathing and counting it’s not so much about counting to a special amount so you are able to concentrate more on the actual breathing.
You just count while breathing in and out so:
– inhale, exhale –
– inhale, exhale –
– inhale, exhale –
and so on…
You have to continue and count as high as you can but what I like about this technique is, that it isn’t about how high you count. If you loose track of where you’re at you just have to start with 1 again.
For me this is the perfect exercise to calm down during a full on panic attack or any situation where it’s seriously difficult to have a clear thought.
If you want this techniques to become a reliable tool and want to be able to use it long term you need to pactise regularly and espescially in situations where you’re not feeling unwell and have a stable mindset. I’d recomment to find 5 minutes every or every other day where you try and practise like a kind of meditation to get to a point where your brain automatically knows when and how to resort to the learned behavior.
I really struggled writing this post as I didn’t want it to sound like I think this can “cure” all of your mental health problems. It’s just something that helps me personally and I thought if it could help anyone else it’s worth sharing.
If you try out the techniques, please let me know how you get on with them. Also feel free to ask me any questions you have on the subject.
What helps you fight anxiety or panic attacks? What do you incorporate into your everyday life, that helps you coping with stress?
*These tips are for informational purposes only and reflect my own expiriences. They do not compensate talking to a professional. If you seriously struggle please get professional help.
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