The first time I had a panic attack was the second time I had my driver’s exam. I was so stressed that I started hyperventilating and basically I was a danger to everybody and their mother. Needless to say, I failed. Ever since that moment I’ve had panic attacks now and then. The worst one was on a cold December night in 2013. Somehow everything became too much and I started crying. The crying became worse and I started hyperventilating. The hyperventilating got so bad that I could barely breathe. I thought I was going to die. So did my mother.
Yet, whenever I tell somebody about these panic attacks, I get looked at with pity. “Why do you worry? Just chill.” That is very easily said but in reality it is not so simple. So that is why today I want to take you into the minds of an anxious person and I will tell all you anxious people out there how to deal with the biatch that is called anxiety.
“Just breathe in and out. Or go read a book or something.” I have heard this many times. I have also heard many times that I was exaggerating. I mean, how can you panic about nothing right? It is nothing right? Let me describe the thought-process that happens before my average panic attack:
“Oh I am so tired. I should really go to sleep. But I still have so many things I should do…and what if I don’t do them on time? What if I fail at everything? What if, if I don’t do this random thing right now, something terrible will happen? Something terrible is going to happen! Oh my god, how can I think about sleeping if I have so much left to do and worry about. I am never going to make it. I am a failure. Ok, calm down, you got this. No you don’t really. Oh my god breathe. Stop breathing so fast. I can’t breathe anymore. Stop crying, breathe breathe breathe. I am going to die. This is the end. I don’t want to die. Calm down. No I can’t calm down. Help. Somebody help me!”
I can assure you that feeling as though you are going to die is not a great feeling. And I know I am not the only one who goes through this and I know I am not the only one who is misunderstood. So without any further ado, here are some tips from someone who knows what it’s like to be anxious.
1. Think straight, meditate
It is not easy to calm down when you are already in panic. So make sure to calm yourself before you have a panic attack. When you’ve had one before, you will know when you’re starting to get into panic mode. Sit your ass down somewhere quiet, put on some music, breathe in through your stomach and don’t stop until all the worries have left your mind.
2. Let it go
Honestly. Let it go. I know it is easier said than done. I know that your worries seem to be the most important thing in the world and if you don’t fix your problems then alpacas will go extinct (we can’t have that happen!) But trust me, everything will be alright. So what if you have not finished that project on the exact deadline? So what if you can’t help everybody who asks your help? Think about yourself first, because you are the most important person in your life.
3. Get rid of negative people
There will be people who want to help you and there will be people who say you just want attention. Cherish the first category, get rid of the second. You don’t need any more negativity in your life when you’re dealing with anxiety. As a matter of fact, you do not need any negativity at all. So ass bump those negative people out of the door and be the fabulous person you are.
4. Hakuna Matata
It used to be my favourite song back in the day when I was still young and innocent, but it’s message is more important now. Hakuna Matata, ya’ll. Life is a bitch and it is rather short so why not make the most of it? I suggest we all go sit in a circle now and sing along:
Most importantly, know that it is ok not to be ok sometimes. Know that there is nothing wrong with you when negative thoughts get stuck in your head. Know that it will always get better, even though it might take a while. Anxiety is not cool, but it is not the end of the world and you will be able to overcome it. Now go out there and show the world how amazing you are!