Aug 13, 2020

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How to Stop a Panic Attack before it Starts

business, Communication, hair, Self Care (Mental Health)


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Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy…

No, it’s not Eminem rapping, it’s a panic attack. YIKES.

 I’ve been there, and I know you’ve probably been there too, the overwhelming anxiety that consumes your whole body and has you snowballing down a hill straight into sheer panic. 

You might not know (but you may be able to venture a guess) that I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my life. For about the first 30 years of my life, I had no idea what anxiety even was (let alone the panic attacks that started happening!). I honestly thought I was just a weird, quirky, awkward person who felt strange in certain situations (you too??). 

It wasn’t until I was 32 that I started to connect the dots to anxiety. The heart-pounding out of my chest, the nervous feelings for no reason, getting worked up before social situations – all of those things were my anxiety manifesting. The feeling of not being in control was the number one thing that triggered my anxiety (anyone else HATE surprises?)

These tools helped me stop my panic attacks (even after they had started):

  1. Slow down and remain present. Feel each step or movement you are making, be aware of your surroundings. Focus on how the ground feels under your feet, notice the colour of the roof or sky, notice the sounds, sights and even tastes that you’re experiencing.

  2. 3-3-3 rule: (this is super fun and easy to apply)

  •  Start with 3 things that you see around you, and name them to yourself (either out loud or in your head). 

  • 3 things that you hear around you and name them to yourself. 

  • Then move 3 things (blink your eyes, move your fingers and toes, stretch). Go through these slowly, if you find yourself rushing through them, go through them again. You’ll notice how quickly you begin to calm down. 

You might be like me that you associate your anxiety with negative feelings, but learning that my anxiety can be associated with positive feelings and excitement, changed the way I look at my anxiety. Wanna know more about my journey with anxiety? Check this out 

I can often get so focused on something that’s ahead (whether that’s something I’m dreading or looking forward to) that I speed through everything else so much that I don’t take the time to be present, which can cause the spiralling anxiety feeling.  

It takes time, patience, and practice. Believe me, I’m continually working on this! A lot of times we’ve become so comfortable with the anxiety that it starts to feel safe because it’s what we’ve always known. It’s uncomfortable to start changing your mindset. Don’t get discouraged if you need to remind yourself to stay present (that’s part of the process). 

If you’re an anxious creative like me, you should check out my podcast where I post new episodes each week!

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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