I talk about anxiety and panic a lot on my Instagram. I give some tips on how to get through it, but I’ve learned that you really need to fight your anxiety in order to win. When trauma enters the body and mind, it changes our perception of the world around us.
When experiencing trauma, our cortisol raises, as well as our adrenaline, and we become physiologically addicted to the trauma (trauma bonding also known as Stockholm Syndrome) because our pre-frontal cortex shuts down, our amygdala goes into overdrive and our hippocampus loses memory. I honestly do not remember much of 2019.
This is where we freeze up, shut down, get angry, flip out and have little to no recollection of what happened, but we know we needed to release the stress somehow. The constant anxiety can make you physically sick too, as in a decrease in appetite, shutting people out because you feel ostracized in your own mind, and becoming agoraphobic, because the outside world seems like an incredibly dangerous place now.
The good news – all the damage from trauma can be repaired. You won’t be exactly the same, but the new you that emerges will have a strength and resolve unlike anything you’ve experienced before. But, you have to fight for it. And you have to remember, the people who love you will always welcome you back when you’re ready.
My Tips for fighting anxiety and panic:
- Get Away from the Triggers – whether they be objects, places or people, each trigger sets you back a thousand steps. Remove yourself to help yourself.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Your Choices – this can be confusing, as often, in the midst of a panic attack, the choices we make can seem extreme, but in reality, those choices can be life-saving.
- Write – journaling your thoughts and feelings at the time of your anxiety or panic attacks if you can, if not, try writing directly after to see where your thoughts go off-course and how you can take steps to stay ahead of panic attacks.
- Get Physical – run, cycle, yoga, swim, lift, kill it in your barre class, but get out of your head and give your physical body some much-needed love.
- Meditation – whether active as in knitting, sewing, drawing, crafting or inactive as in full on Pratyahara and, retracting from the external and Dharana or withdrawal of the senses. Going further in your meditation is always an option as well. Do what makes you comfortable.
- Music – I cannot stress this enough, Sound Therapy is so important to our healing. Music soothes, and one scientific study says music takes thirteen minutes to release sadness and nine minutes to make you happy.
- Dance – in any way, at anytime, to any music and raise your vibrations to clear away negative thoughts and feelings.
- Get Together with Friends and Family – don’t sit around making things worse. Connect with people, ask how they are doing, find different subjects to talk about and think about.
- Eat – my anorexia kicks right in when I’m stressed, even if it’s in liquid form, get your nutrients in.
- Counseling – Talk to someone with experience, who can give you the tools to cope with trauma, and will help you understand that escaping trauma bonding is like getting out of a physical, mental and emotional prison.
These things can be done in stages. Don’t attempt to solve all your problems at once. Remember, these issues have taken years, even generations to manifest and bring you down, nothing will be solved in a day. Each day, remind yourself you survived and thrived, and grow stronger from there.