After 20-years I would have thought that I’d have mastered the skill by now. Apparently not. Over the last few months I have got progressively worse at this breathing malarkey and at times I appeared to forget how to do it all together. How can I get something that is fundamental to my survival so wrong?! Well that is the beauty of the panic attack.
It was only last night that the latest one pounced when I was unaware and unprepared. They seem to have some sort of omniscience so that they know when to strike so that they will cause the most damage. I remember watching a Frozen Planet episode that showed a pod of killer whales successfully submerge a seal that was perched on a slab of ice. It was a bit dramatic but I feel as if it does have some relevance to my relationship with these episodes of panic.
That seal’s face kills me! Those literal waves which I am using metaphorically as anxiety are a bit of cliche but that is because it rings true. That poor bloody seal. The whales outnumber and outsmart it in a way that leaves it with no way of escape and that is often how I feel when I am left alone with my thoughts.
Mindfulness has been recommended to help stem the anxiety but I can’t get it to work for me. As a sceptic, I had foolishly not invested myself into mindfulness until recently and despite it not improving my anxiety, it has helped with my sleep. Previously it would have taken 3+ hours to drift off but now I can get to sleep on most nights in under two. I have found that sleep deprivation plays a large part in my general mental health so would highly recommend for anyone else who initially dismissed it to give it a go. There’s nothing to lose! Here is a link to an article that shows the simple steps that can be taken to help with sleep that I found really beneficial.