I, too, have been a longtime friend of "anxiety." I'm not sure this will help the guys out there, but for what it's worth, when I feel an anxiety/panic attack coming on, I try to start breathing the way they taught me in lamaze classes. I learned the technique over 25 years ago and it helped then, and it helps now!
Sometimes reading something or watching something on TV helps. However, during an episode, I cannot read anything too intense or complicated and definitely cannot watch anything on TV that is stressful, medical, "busy" or unsettlin in any way.
If I'm out of the house, I generall rely on the breathing and/or remove myself from the situation.
In the air or in situations where I cannot readily remove myself, I have found Inderal to be helpful. For me, it slows the heartrate, generally gets my heart back in rhythm and tends to settle some of the anxiety I am feeling.
I don't have any tips I'm afraid, :-), but I do like this thread! I hate to see people turn to addictive drugs like Zanax when there are so many other options out there like yours. Of course, I imagine that there are some cases where the addictive drugs may be needed. IMO, that should be the last line of defense.
I'm going through an "episode" right now - not right at this moment but at this general time in my life. For me, being in fresh air helps. I can't be in a stuffy room when I'm feeling anxious. Going outside and just "breathing" a bit is good. I am trying to find non-medicinal ways to deal but it is hard.
I think we all could make an ammunition belt full of tangible, concrete pouches full of anxiety-reducing, panic-averting actions. Anxiety loves helplessness, not so hot on hope either.
I remember the first psychiatrist I saw telling me the story of going to the movies with his mother-in-law and feeling an anxiety attack coming on. He asked her to exchange seats with him so that he could take the aisle seat. End of story, no panic attack. He explained it as taking control and a little movement did the trick. Interesting, huh?
Here is an action that I have used successfully...I change positions, that is, if I'm walking, I sit, If I'm sitting, I get to moving. Anxiety likes to paralyze and we show we are in control.
Last one,(I promise). The cadillac for defeating anxiety might be to help someone. For example, there are many posts on this forum that don't receive one single response. Pick one out and give some meaningful words of encouragement. Try it. Monitor what happens to your anxiety in the process.
Can you feel any heft in that belt you are weaving?
Who thought of this thread anyway? I can't stop thinking about health. Anyway, after reading all these posts, which you must admit aren't the most uplifting, I went out and got a magazine. Men's Health. Get it? I turned the page from thinking about illness and mental states and switched to health. Only cost me $3.95.
My apologies. I think I am panicking about not being able to stop this health kick.
I already mentioned in my other posts that only certain books have helped me overcome 95% of my panic attacks. But I need to bring something to your attention. Before these books, since none of the meds have helped me, I switched to an herbal "Valerian Root". Since it was herbal I thought it was o.k. to double up the recommended dosage. Well, my PVC's got worst and more severe, and I never thought that Valerian Root which is suppose to calm you down can cause an increase in PVC's or cause "abnormal heart beats". Read below what I found on Google. Once I stopped the Valerian Root my PVC's were less severe. I don't know if the Valerian Root was the cause in the increase of my PVC's, but it sure seemed like it. Just because they are herbs does NOT mean that herbs are always safe. BTW, I did not combine Valerian Root with prescription meds. If anybody chooses the herbal route, BE CAREFUL!
BTW, my 5% panic I usually get at night. Getting out of bed, checking e-mail etc. usually helps me overcome this. Staying in bed makes it worst.
Is valerian root safe?
"Side effects from valerian are rare but can include mild headache or stomach upset, abnormal heartbeats, and insomnia. 2, 3 Because of valerian's calming effect, you should not take it at the same time as other calming medications or antidepressants (or do so only under medical supervision). You also should not take valerian if you will be driving or need to be alert.
Thanks, lets stay away from that stuff. I love your idea about getting out of bed and doing something at night. Staying in bed waiting for those rotten thoughts to arrive is agony. Get up and even if you have to, wander the halls. Anxiety does not like vertical positioning at night.
I had a client once that would "welcome" anxiety provoking thoughts. Instead of fighting the thoughts, trying to sidetrack them and using up all that kind of energy, she would in effect dialogue with anxiety and say, "Hi there, nice to see you, I have been expecting you. What have you got there for me?" It worked for her and she was not my client anymore.
Exercise of any kind--in my case pilates is particularly successful. Like your style, fjohn!!
Good thread. I'm a bit dubious about posting about wht relaxes me when I'm having a bad time of it - you guys will be thinking I need to be sectioned!!! LOL
But believe it or not my best relaxation is - wait for it - watching cartoons with my 4 year old son :)
That is so cute...and effective. I have this vision of anxiety cowering behind the sofa as you watch with your Son. I think you hit on something very important when you wrote that you "are having a bad time of it." We all do. I remember when I had months and months of an infection in my prostate gland (I will spare you the details) and finally went to the urologist whose first words were, "Oh, you are having a bad day." That was so cool for him to say because I had been stuck into long-term despair and frustration and his words narrowed the whole thing down to having a bad day. Yeah, I can work out a bad day. I don't have to be overwhelmed with the preceeding months.
Don't you think anxiety likes to build off the previous experiences that we had with it? It comes down to our interpretation of anxiety.
So, whats your favorite cartoon?
When having a panic attack I use my Bath & body works aromatherapy body lotion for " Stress relief " then I deeply smell my hands it calms me down .
I do have a question though next week May 13th I am getting on a plane to fly from Grand Rapids MI to Fort Myers FL to get married I very worried I will have an attack in the airport or on the plan when I have an attack in public I like to run away leave anyone have any ideas what I can do to help me get through !!!! ????
Also I just started taking St John's Wort to help but I have only been on it a week it said it takes 4-6 weeks for full effect
I have battled this for years. Anxiety is a trained way of thinking and once you learn that way of thinkiing then you can learn to stop!
Trust me its hard expecially when Im driving and feel as if im going to pass out. I am a big oh god Im going to get into a car accident because I cant breath and the what happens if I die my kids will be all alone.
I started seeking counseling and then learned and even my psychology teacher tought me alot ......
Just take a minute for yourself to think about something else,....like being on an island and enjoying the sun.
another for me is I always think someone else knows im having a panic attack and it makes it that much harder for me to get over......so my counselor was right who cares what anyone thinks or if they know. Everyone in some point in time goes through something and this is my time. No one knows but if they see you doing deep breathing dont be afaid to tell them. Its life they need to deal with it and if they cant well then they have a problem too:)
It also helps to keep your mind busy. Dont let the anxiety take over you. If your worried about passing out (like I do) well you will wake up! My mom said she passed out on the floor one day and woke up with a cup in her hand ready to take a xanax....she said you will wake up. You cant let it take over your life.
I am a avid lover of the FAN! I sleep with it on every night sense I was a kid. I feel when I cant shake the panic I turn on the ol fan and laydown to do some breathing and relaxing.
Find your comfort zone and use it when needed!
Well I know this thread looks like it was from months ago but im bumpin it because it should be discussed more.............BUMP