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What are some methods to relax when I feel an anxiety attack coming on?

Posted Aug 01 2010 1:21pm

I have developed a problem with anxiety attacks. For example, right now I’m experiencing heart-pounding panic, racing thoughts, and shortness of breath. I only slept four hours last night and woke up like this.

I have tried deep breathing and distracting myself with things like a movie or game. Nothing is working!! To reduce stress I quit one of my jobs but it hasn’t had any effect either.

You can probably find the answer in your question. Look at each of the symptoms and see if you can control it.
"Racing thoughts"- focus on calming your thinking. The basis of most meditation is to continually bring your thinking back to one simple thought. You could choose a word, "calm" works really well, and focus on concentrating on it. Equally you could choose an image.

When other thoughts pop into your head acknowledge them then return to your simple thought.

"shortness of breath". Force yourself to breath slowly and deeply. Concentrate particularly on the out breath as this is the calming breath. An advanced breathing technique is called the 7:11 technique. You breath in to the count of 7 and out to 11. It is harder than it sounds because it forces an irregular pattern. It is so effective it is worth practicising so it is available to you when you need it. This technique may also help the racing thoughts as it requires concentration on breathing.

Your heart pounding is not consciously controllable but will lower as your breathing calms your body.

You have clearly been over doing it. The clue is in the fact you have quit "one" of your jobs. Life can be tough but you need to put yourself first – you won’t be able to any work if the anxiety increases.

Look after yourself. You are worth it

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