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Chapter 54 - Hello there, Sudden Anxiety

You ever feel like something awful is about to happen? You start checking in on yourself, focusing on your surroundings, sit wherever you are and try your hardest to breathe? Wondering why your heart is pounding? Wondering why your head is spinning with racing thoughts?

Am I doing okay? What if I have to be taken to the hospital? What would my husband think? Am I going to pass out? What if he has to carry me to the hospital? That would be embarrassing.

Not thinking about WHY this is happening, but more concerned about how others would react to this happening to you. A genuine concern, a mental health struggle, yet you find yourself thinking about what others would say as opposed to what you need to get better.

Hop on :)

Anxiety is like your extended family - it shows up unannounced and doesn't share an ETA as to when it will let you get back to your routine life. When it drops by, it ensures that a regular phone call would make your heart palpitate, it would have the oddest situations make your palms sweat. Basically - not rainbows and butterflies, but also not normal. The fact that it shows up unannounced is not helpful either, it brings upon the fear of the unknown and that can be extremely suffocating for someone that is already on edge pretty much 24/7.

Stress in general has a huge impact on your thought process - and it's not easy to deal with sudden bursts of mental health attention that is required. Who has time for that anyway? Nobody. I mean I am speaking for myself, I do not have time to take care of my mental health as much as I would love to. There are times in my life that I feel like a passenger of my own life, instead of the main character. I watch the racing thoughts and sadness wash all over me like a wave - some nights I find myself wake up in a pool of sweat cz I'm losing my mind, other nights I would stay in my car a little longer just to embrace being alone and embrace the anxious thoughts that are trying to break through.

The most frustrating part of the whole scenario is the inability to pinpoint the source. What is triggering me? You can figure out a piece of what is triggering you, but the whole pie is somewhere in Narnia.

Here are a few things that might help you, or help someone you know with this feeling of Sudden Anxiety.

First and foremost - know the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack.

A panic attack includes symptoms such as a pounding or a racing heart, sweats, chills, feeling faint, dizzy or weak, shortness of breath". According to the Connections Wellness Group - these symptoms typically last 30 minutes or more, peaking at around 10 minutes. An anxiety attack is more when your body gradually begins to worry about an upcoming situation, and is anticipating a negative outcome. This can also be accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, chest tightness, long term headaches etc.

Secondly, begin working on finding the source of your anxiety - no matter how hard it may be to pinpoint it.

It is of course highly recommended that you speak with a professional licensed therapist to help narrow down the cause of your symptoms. However, if you are unable to see someone, you can always reach out to a close friend or family member. You can also always meditate (not my cup of tea, but could be yours!) and mindfulness techniques. This is to encourage having a space or dedicated time slot for yourself to reflect on what may be causing your anxiety. Welcome your anxiety, embrace it - for it is a part of you, and try to help yourself during this dedicated time slot and try to figure out what is happening.

Look for patterns on when you begin feeling this way. Is it around travel time? Is it around a significant other? Is it juggling several tasks at once? Is it the socializing? Try to keep a journal or just jot down in your notes on your phone of the events that made you feel anxious and eventually a common denominator would turn up.

Thirdly, believe the fact that this feeling will end.

We are wired in a way that our nervous system is triggered, we get into a fight-or-flight response and this can be stopped by engaging in deep breathing exercises along with positive affirmations. So technically - you can keep practicing these techniques when you are not going through a tough time and when the hardship comes, you can be ready.

As lame as it may sound - you can repeat phrases as simple as "this is just a phase, it will end soon, I will be okay and will come out of this"

Lastly, just know that anxiety is not a life sentence. It's tough to deal with and requires a lot of patience, especially when you feel anxiety crawling up your back at the worst possible time. It's truly okay, we have been through so much in life - it truly is okay if we feel anxious. It's just how we're programmed.

Just remember to breathe, and reach out to someone if you really need the help.





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