We're seeing many posts and receiving emails about a rise in the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks at this challenging time. One recurring theme is the fear of anxiety, or fear of an attack and that's what we're talking about today.
Points covered in this episode:
Anxiety attacks tend to be short-lived, they usually only last a few minutes, but they are frightening and can be very physical and that leaves long-lasting effects.
After an anxiety attack, it’s common - and understandable - to feel fearful about it happening again.
Sam says ”I live with the constant fear of having another massive anxiety attack.”
And Megan asks: ”How can I stop being scared of anxiety attacks?”
The answer lies in learning how to stop an attack. That's something anyone can learn, and once you know how to stop an attack it changes everything. You won't fear an attack when you know you can stop one.
Anxiety attacks are such frightening experience that we can develop a distrust of ourselves, we might feel like there’s this scary thing that can fire off in our body at any time. That fear only increases the chance of it happening. So we get caught in a vicious cycle.
The key is in taking action
The answer is in is taking action, but the mind might challenge us. Even when we hear some hope and action steps to follow, the anxious mind tends to freeze. We need to push through that resistance and take action to find relief.
Ayurveda teaches one way to do this is to use the body to support the mind. Get moving, walking, breathing, make the intention and take action to move. Regular walking lowers our heart rate, releases adrenaline and moves our lungs. This alone will start to calm general anxiety.
Then we need to look at any underlying triggers that might provoke an attack and weed those out, and we need the tools that can stop an attack.
The anticipation of anxiety should receive as much care and support as an anxiety attack. To anticipate anxiety is to suffer twice, it's exhausting and it wears us down.
The first step is to acknowledge that this is what's happening. To voice it to someone you trust rather than hold it inside.
The next is to wind back and actively support the fear of the fear. The anticipatory anxiety needs help first because it increases general anxiety and it’s likely to provoke the very thing we fear.
Bach Flower Remedies
Rescue Remedy for the shock and supporting general anxiety.
And the Mimulus remedy supports the fear of known things. Fir example, the fear of an anxiety attack.
You can find out more about Bach Flower Remedies and how to mix your own blend to calm anxiety attacks inside the First Responder Series Anxiety Attacks course.
Tapping is very effective for stopping both the fear of an attack and the attack itself, you can learn how to do that in our Anxiety Attacks course or by one to one coaching, where we can support your specific challenges with anxiety.
ASSOCIATING A PLACE WITH FEAR OF AN ANXIETY ATTACK
Another question we received is: “Can you discuss associating the place where the anxiety attack happened with having another attack there again... for example, I’ve had a few at night in bed and now I associate going to sleep and being in bed with anxiety attacks.”
This is also a very common experience with anxiety attacks, and it’s especially challenging when it happens at night. There’s a lesson on this in our free course where we use the example of someone who had an anxiety episode in a shopping centre and felt a strong aversion and fear to the place where it happened the next time they were there.
This locational anxiety is a subconscious response to a frightening event that’s trying to protect us. We get a sense of unease and rising anxiety that warns us that this place might not be safe because we had anxiety there before.
Here are a few things that can help:
Change up your sleeping space, with lighting and colors that feel positive and calming to you.
Massage some lavender oil on your wrists and chest before sleep, lavender helps calm anxiety and also invites a sense of trust.
Use a Guided Relaxation to help you get to sleep without your mind firing off.
Learn EFT Tapping so you know how to dissolve the fear of an attack before going to sleep.
Keep Bach Flowers Night-Time Rescue Remedy by your bed. Take some before sleep and again if you wake feeling anxious in the night.
If you do wake up, turn the light on and get up and move to another spot if you need to.
If you wake with an attack you can pace to move your body and disperse the adrenaline and use Tapping to calm the attack.
You can then use a Guided Relaxation again to get back to sleep.
It takes less time and energy to get up and deal with the anxiety than it does to stay in bed and let it escalate.
Resource: First Responder Series Anxiety Attacks Course
Everything we've talked about today can be found in detail in our first responder series course for Anxiety Attacks. Available now for 25% off the regular course price with the coupon code: mayday
Learn how to make your own personal Bach flowers blend
Know how to stop the fear of an anxiety attack
And get our guided SOS Tapping Sessions to help you stop an anxiety attack in its tracks.