Many of you have asked me to tell you what are some of the tools in my basket that I use to help me deal with panic/anxiety. I felt the easiest thing to do was to post a part of the chapter in my book A Scarlet Cord of Hope...my life living with guilt, shame, and fear. This particular chapter has my "tools" listed.
This comes from part of chapter 30 titled Let The Healing Begin
1. Breathing….deep breathes in and out.
2. Remove myself from the situation-even if its around the corner for just a moment-close my eyes and breathe.
3. Peppermint! My symptoms always start in my stomach with nausea. Peppermint is amazing!
4. Ginger tea… I keep ginger tea bags on hand at all times. I breathe in the smell of the tea and slowly sip it, feeling the sensation of the warm tea going down my throat-trying to focus on this sensation rather than my anxiety.
5. Slow down… listen to the sounds around me.
6. Keep hydrated…I always keep a water bottle near me.
7. Take a few moments, when needed, to just sit down in a quite room and close my eyes (even just a few minutes makes a huge difference).
8. Be aware of trigger points…my triggers are movies, books or newspaper articles that deal with mental, verbal or physical abuse. Some things bother me more than others- I just have to be aware of how my mind and body are reacting to it. I have asked my husband to keep me accountable when it comes to what we watch on TV.
9. Prayer and reading the Bible. I also write scriptures on index cards and post them on mirrors or cupboards.
10. Physical touch…a hug or hand squeeze (even texture- a soft blanket, a fluffy pillow).
11. Journal - writing things down has really helped….thoughts, feelings, memories, prayers, etc.
12. Listen to soft instrumental music.
13. Communication….talk things over….don’t let things fester or get pushed under the rug.
14. Acknowledge the choices I have. Maybe I can’t change the situation but I can choose how I handle it, if I stay in it, and what I want to do about it.
15. Medication. This was very helpful for me in the beginning of all of this, but now, it is a very rare moment when I need this anymore.
* there is more in this chapter, this is only the list of tools, but I wanted to skip down to the end and share the What I Know Now with you as well:
What I Know Now:
1. The tools I listed above may or may not work for you. I share these with you to give you an idea of the tools that are in my tool basket.
2. As I have learned more about myself my triggers and how my body responds there have been times when I have tried all of my tools and ended up taking medication to ease the panic attack.
3. I will always have panic and anxiety, but as my husband reminded me , it will never be like it was in the beginning. Dr. Anne once said, "you can never unlearn what you have learned".
4. I believe God can use doctors and medication to help or heal.
5. Isaiah 12:2 "Behold God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation".