These last couple of weeks have been filled with important decisions and actions. Because I’m starting grad school next month, I’m accepting huge loans, registering for classes, looking for a place to live in a very intimidating city, and other general things that feel like they could make or break the whole dream.
I say “could” because while every misstep feels like the end of the world, they rarely are. The actual end of the world will likely not come from some twenty-something missing the financial aid deadline for spring quarter. I’ve never seen that disaster movie.*
Still, the other day I found myself on the edge of a panic attack. I haven’t had one in years but I could feel it building and, of course, started panicking about panicking. Thankfully I was able to talk myself down thanks to some previous advice, which I would love to share with all of you.
Close your eyes, deep five deep breaths, stretch your arms above your head. Tune in to this moment on a physical level. What sensations are happening in your body? Where is there pain or discomfort or numbness? Listen to how your breath moves in and out of your lungs.
Just physically forcing yourself to stop and remember your physical body can begin to put you back into reality.
Take a Moment
Ask yourself if 5 panicked minutes of work followed by a breakdown will get the job done better or faster than 15 minutes of calming down followed by a fresh head. Sometimes the rush you feel isn’t real and definitely isn’t helpful.
So take a walk around the block, get a cup of coffee, or stretch for a little while.
I recently read that rather than asking yourself why your panicked, you should ask yourself what your avoiding. We’re all avoiding something, the real reason we’re panicking. Journaling about it can help but so can just sitting back and having a chat with yourself. You know what it is, naming it can help you get past it, like screaming “I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU” at the monster under your bed.
Talk to someone, anyone, for five minutes. It doesn’t need to be a long heart to heart and you might not even need feedback. I’ve placed and received more than one call that was a rant of worry followed by “man, that really sucks, I’m sorry.”
Sometimes sharing can mean blogging about it too 😉
Best of luck.
*but holy hell, someone make that movie, please.