I’ve been threatening to write about my bouts with anxiety and panic attacks for a few months now. . .part of me has been reluctant to share my journey fearing judgement, which I realise is mostly my own. . .today, I felt the spark within me ignite to put into words how I cope with my anxiety and panic attacks, as I know the holidays are not easy for all. What I’ve learned is that anyone can start suffering from anxiety and panic attacks at any age, and the root cause is different for each person. Therefore, the management techniques vary but I’d like to share my journey with you and what worked for me in the hopes to help others in the same boat!
I never knew what panic attacks really were until I started getting them at the beginning of the year. My first full on panic attack shook me to the core. . .oddly enough, I was teaching a class on the Root Chakra when the panic attack struck. . . I felt a need deep within me to run outside and be in nature. . .I asked the class to join me outside. . .I tried desperately to maintain my composure as I stood in the sacred circle. . .I tried my best to focus on my breath and connect with my Root Chakra, but I couldn’t ground myself. . .I intuitively felt that I needed to place my hand onto my friend Amanda’s shoulder. She became my anchor as I couldn’t be one for myself.
After a few moments, I was able to ground and center myself enough for the other women and me to return indoors . . .I felt drawn to asking the women who were so compassionate and loving during my panic attack, “how many of them suffered from anxiety and panic attacks?” I was surprised to see that 90% of them raised their hands. . .all of a sudden I felt like I wasn’t alone and had nothing to be ashamed of. The class ended and I knew in my heart space that I needed to seek help, as I didn’t want to have another panic attack, especially during a class when I need to hold space for others.
I made an appointment with a wise woman & healer, who has training in many modalities including NLP and Hypnotherapy. She worked with me to find the root cause of my panic attacks and anxiety. During the regression, the root cause was pin pointed with the need to be perfect, which stemed from my childhood. After clearing the energy, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders but the panic attacks and feelings of anxiety didn’t stop. All of a sudden, I developed a fear of having another panic attack in public. I realised that one session wasn’t going to resolve the issue, so I made several appointments, as I wanted to deal with my internal crisis and not let it control me.
As she and I dug deeper, I realised that the anxiety started when I began to paint and made a conscious decision to share my art with the world. My art is a personal representation of me, and part of me feared that what I had created wasn’t perfect. Finding the root cause of my anxiety and panic attacks was crucial, as that helped me finally release the expectation of being perfect that I had partially imposed on myself. I finally felt free of my anxiety and panic attacks, but took me several months to get past the need to be perfect . . . and part of me still does struggle with perfectionism. . .an ongoing battle, but one that I am slowly winning!
A few weeks later, I saw a piece of paper fluttering out on the balcony. . .the paper said “aragonite – balances energy & emotional healing.” Logically the paper must have floated onto my balcony from one of the apartments above, but the mystic side of me felt that the message was from the Divine. I did a quick Google search to find out more about aragonite and found several sources that said the crystal was perfect for people who suffered from anxiety. I flew out my door to a local metaphysical shop and bought two pieces of aragonite, one to place in each hand. I started working with the two crystals to help control my anxiety and panic attacks, and slowly started seeing results. Whenever I felt a panic attack coming on, I’d reach into my pocket for my pieces of aragonite and focus on their calming energy.
Honestly a part of me feels blessed to have experienced panic attacks and anxiety, as oddly as that sounds, because I able to better relate to others who experience the same. I haven’t had a panic attack since June and my anxiety hasn’t been high lately either because I’ve learned techniques to manage my stress . . .took me awhile but I found what works for me. Yes, aragonite is on the list along with the following crystals: black moonstone, red jasper, black tourmaline. . .basically any crystal connected to your Root Chakra or whatever you feel drawn to!
I carried with me a tissue with a few drops of lavender essential oil. I would sniff the tissue anytime I needed to shift my energy from anxiety to calmness or when I felt a panic attack coming on. Try out a few different essential oils to find the best one that works for you. Essential oils can used in an oil burner or diffuser and be added to a carrier oil. Make sure to do your homework first, so you don’t have any adverse reactions and are using the essential oil properly.
I also started to journalize religiously. . .the act of expressing my thoughts and feelings into words was cathartic. . .helped me to sort through my internal turmoil and find peace. Find a journal and write without stopping until you feel you are done. . .afterwards, you can go back and read what you wrote or you may feel you don’t need to. Make journaling a daily ritual and after a few days you will begin to see the results, as your anxiety will start to ease.
In the midst of a panic attack or when I felt highly anxious, I would try to focus on my breath work. I would take a long deep breath in through my nose and pause with that breath for as long as I could. I would then gently push the air out through my mouth and repeat the process. I connected with my sacred breath until I felt calm and back in control. Also, I began to meditate religiously in the morning and evening to center and ground myself by connecting to my Root Chakra.
My mala was another saving grace, as I repeated the mantra, “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,” 108 times each day. The mantra is connected to the Root Chakra and Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles and challenges. I also made an effort to eat more red foods, such as red bananas, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and so on, on the days that I felt more anxious to help stimulate my Root Chakra.
Anxiety and panic attacks can take a toll on a person’s emotional, mental & physical health but luckily techniques and methods are available to ease and break free from the chains. Finding the right coping tools takes trail and error. If you suffer from panic attacks and anxiety, please don’t allow yourself to suffer in silence, instead seek a healer or another professional to help you find the root cause and get past those emotions. I hope that sharing my journey helps even in the smallest way.
Love & Blessings,