A School for Creativity, Consciousness & Clarity

Pause The Panic; A Quick Class on Anxiety

After a deeply challenging week, where I felt pushed, drained and everything felt like it was on high definition, I went into free fall panic. It’s been a LONG time since I panicked hard, and the anxiety hit me like a tsunami. Nothing in particular triggered it, rather a simple yet quick succession of small things walked through my minds door demanding attention. One by one, they were surmountable, but together, they felt like they broke me. 

I ended up bawling my eyes out to Arran, and then crawling over to a friends house for tea and spontaneously crying there too. I was literally consumed with negative thinking. It felt like every weird thought, fearful thought, and all the mean ego ridden thoughts all crawled out from their dark holes and were shouting at me. It still astounds me how quickly we can become gripped by these thoughts. Intellectually, we can understand that this is not a reality, but just thinking. Yet, that’s not enough to help in that moment and wrench ourselves from it. 

To get myself out of this awful state, I used a sequence of techniques that I know work, after decades of dealing with anxiety and panic. Meditation was not one of them. Meditation is a longer term solution. When panic is closing your throat over, meditation isn’t going to help in that exact moment. Other things will help immediately though, and then there is meditation as a day to day practice to reduce panic and anxiety overall. 

What I realised from this little sequence of panic attacks was that I had not had one in such a long time. This is where meditation is brilliant and for it I am forever grateful. I used to be an internally blithering mess from my anxiety and am so thankful that is no longer the case. So although I was not immune to panic all together, my recovery time was, in all honesty, astounding. I was able to move from deep seated overwhelmed and panic into a calmer more grounded state and stay there, 10x faster than in the past. 

I then had two friends call me with the exact same situation. I joked it would be nice to blame it on a planet given we were all having this simultaneously, but in reality, it’s just life at times. When we push ourselves hard, live in the modern world, have high expectations for ourselves and juggle a lot; the results are that we will fall into our lower selves. But also, even when that doesn’t happen, we can still be gripped by panic. I have felt the worst I have ever felt on a holiday! It’s not just in the grip of deadlines and a million other things. 

I walked these friends through some steps to recovery, and Arran suggested I create a proper pack for anyone in a panic. I am still working one the whole pack, but wanted to just give everyone some quick things to begin with, as we had so many people email with their experiences after I first wrote this a day ago. Stay tuned for something more detailed. I have been wanting to work on this for so long, and I do ponder if the universe gifted me this panic attack so I could truly remember how awful and hard anxiety can be! 

Pause The Panic; A Quick Class on Anxiety

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