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Panic attacks and anxiety can limit you from living the life you desire. You may find yourself planning your life around the possibility of having one of these episodes. I thought I would write about my experience and how I was able to cure these symptoms with mindfulness and meditation.
How Mindfulness And Meditation Helps You Reduce Anxiety
“Stress, anxiety, and depression are caused when we are living to please others.” Paulo Coelho
Do you experience anxiety or panic attacks and feel like it is controlling your life?
These symptoms may be keeping you from living a healthy life because of your fear of triggering an episode in a public place.
The Scariest Day of My Life
I experienced my first panic attack about 20 years ago, and it was by far the scariest day of my life.
My heart rate felt like it was going to explode. I started feeling dizzy, and my breathing became very irregular. I experienced chest pains while my temperature quickly skyrocketed.
It all happened so quickly, and I had so many negative thoughts racing through my mind. The next thing I knew, I was hitching a ride with an ambulance to the hospital.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was quickly treated as a high priority patient because I had all the symptoms of a heart attack.
But after they ran all their tests, there were no signs of having a bad ticker. When the doctor was explaining what happened to me, I laid there in the hospital bed, trying to comprehend his diagnosis. A panic attack? Anxiety?
Are you kidding me?
What the hell was a panic attack?
This couldn’t happen to me.
Why am I experiencing one of these?
I am not stressed. I am too young to have anxiety.
People Like Me Don’t Get Panic Attacks
I was in complete denial. I refused to accept that I had anxiety until it happened again, and again. I felt like I had lost control of my life.
For 15 years, I experienced anxiety and panic attacks.
I couldn’t go into certain places because of the fear of triggering another episode. My doctor prescribed me some medicine, but I hated it the way it made me feel groggy. I only took it when absolutely necessary.
Alcohol seemed to be my best resort to keep me from experiencing another episode.
The Panic Attacks Would Come At The Worst Times
I remember when my wife and I were moving from Washington to our hometown in Montana when I experienced a panic attack while I was pulling our travel trailer.
All the sudden, I got that feeling.
I could feel my body starting to get hotter, and my blood pressure rising, which caused my heart rate to beat faster and faster.
We made it to a gas station where I had my wife get me a six-pack of my favorite beer. At the time, I felt like alcohol was my only cure to reduce my anxiety attacks. It seemed to calm me.
But this was merely a band-aid for my problem.
I thought this was the end of the line for me. My wife had to drive the pickup pulling a travel trailer white-knuckled while I was over in the passenger seat, drinking my suffering away.
These episodes continued happening more regular after we got settled in our new home. I tried sucking it up and just dealing with it but caved into seeing a doctor.
What a joke.
I wasn’t given any tools or recommendations on how to rid the issue, only another prescription.
My Search For A Cure
It seemed like there wasn’t anything to cure me of this disorder. I stayed up late watching infomercials on anything which might help. I read books and tried just about everything.
Until it finally happened.
I was able to cure my panic attacks naturally and can honestly say I have been anxiety free for over two years now. Plus, I haven’t had a desire to drink any more alcohol and have been sober for over a year and a half.
How did this happen you might ask?
Mindfulness and Meditation
“We’re ingesting information all day long. When you meditate, you start to let go of all the accumulated stress and information.” Emily Fletcher
I learned how to practice the ancient art of mindfulness and meditation. It took me a while to figure out how to perform my routine correctly. There is so much involved then one could ever imagine.
My overstimulated thinking mind was out of control and needed to be tamed.
I watched YouTube, I read many books such as the 3 Pillars of Zen, and I even went through Emily Fletcher’s powerful trifecta Ziva Meditation course.
It was great to have like-minded people working together, keeping me accountable. Well worth the investment.
She not only teaches you how to establish a healthy meditation routine, but incorporates two other vital ingredients which are mindfulness, and manifestation.
What I learned about stress was crucial to my success in overcoming my anxiety.
Stress Is A Silent Killer
Since the beginning of time, our body was designed to fight off treacherous animals such as the saber tooth tiger. When this happened, the fight-or-flight response would release chemicals such as adrenaline throughout their body, giving them an overload of energy to keep from being eaten alive.
Well, we may not be having to deal with tigers, but we all are continually surrounded by stressful moments that we must deal with daily.
Life is full of challenges. You work an average of 40 to 50 hours a week at a job where your workloads have increased, while your deadlines have gotten shorter.
Then in between all these so-called extra hours, you have bills to pay, laundry, the house needs cleaning, cooking, and the kids need picking up after school.
The list goes on and on.
It is like you are on a treadmill of stress.
Day after day.
And finally, you get a weekend off.
But do you really get two days off?
Because who isn’t thinking about having to go back to work on Sunday. So, does this really count as a day off?
My point is, you are continually dealing with stress throughout your day, and your body isn’t getting enough time to unwind. Every time this happens, your sympathetic nervous system is dumping chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Your body’s immune system is being overstimulated, causing it to breakdown. It is no wonder there are so many people experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, and not to mention autoimmune diseases.
It takes about 30 days to create a habit. So, if you have spent most of your life experiencing stress, your body has been conditioned to release these toxic hormones when you least expect it.
Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and lemon have been known to aide in reducing stress and anxiety. To learn more about essential oils and the different brands available, check out this in-depth review from Consumers Advocate.
Understanding Your Mind
“The mind unconsciously loves problems because they give you an identity of sorts.” Eckhart Tolle
But there is hope. You can take your life back. You can change.
To better understand how meditation and mindfulness thoughts work, you need to understand how your mind works.
You have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. The conscious mind is like the tip of an iceberg while the subconscious is beneath the surface where you don’t see it. This is where everything is stored.
The conscious mind takes up only 10 percent of your daily patterns, thoughts, and actions, while your subconscious has control of the remaining 90 percent.
But the good news is the conscious mind is supposed to be the master while the subconscious is the servant.
The problem is most people are not MINDFUL of what is going on throughout their day and allow the subconscious to run on autopilot.
A great example of how this all works is a road trip. Have you ever been driving for a while in a daze and when you finally arrive you couldn’t remember how you got there?
You have conditioned your mind for so long it is like a GPS. You gave it instructions on where to go, and while you were daydreaming, it drove you to your destination.
Little scary right?
This is continually going on in your life. This is what is going on every time you have anxiety or a panic attack.
It is scientifically proven we can rewire our brain. It’s called neuroplasticity. Neurons that fire together wire together.
The best way to rewire your brain is to become the master of this subconscious mind by commanding it to sit and be still while you strengthen your focus and will power during meditation.
It takes time and repetition. But it will get easier, and you may even start notices sensations you never could imagine.
When You Meditate, You are Changing Your Brain Waves
Every time you meditate, you lower your brain waves, slow down your breathing, and drop your heart rate. This practice releases stress from your body, allowing good feeling chemicals such as serotonin, melatonin, and endorphins to flow freely.
My life has never been better since I have been meditating. I have experienced many miracles in my life since taking up a consistent meditation routine.
I stopped drinking and haven’t been sick for over two years. I sleep better, overcame a pinched sciatic nerve pain, I am more intuitive, less stressed, and I am anxiety free. Not to mention, I am more passionate about life, and I am just all around happier.
Mindfulness Keeps you in Check
While meditation is great and all, mindfulness thoughts are also very crucial to keeping yourself in check.
Mindfulness is the antidote for overcoming stressful situations which directs where your energy is flowing. Whatever you focus on is where your energy will flow, and this is what will manifest in your life.
Continuous practice will start to light up your prefrontal cortex improving your clarity.
So, if you keep focusing on all the stress in your life, then it will keep coming. But if you redirect your energy and onto something more positive, you will be able to handle your stressful situations better.
There is no getting away from this stress. It is just how you handle it. Plus, you must learn how to shut it off.
You Are The Gate Keeper Of Your Mind
You must continuously be standing guard at the gates of your mind. Because what goes in will become stored into the database of your spirit, creating either good or bad habits. Being stressed out all the time is merely a bad habit which can be changed.
So, start being more mindful of your old habits and patterns while being consciously aware of what is going on in your life. Turn off the phone and start paying attention to your surroundings when you drive. Listen and focus on other people’s conversation instead of checking out in dreamland.
You are the master of your fate and the captain of your ship. You must consciously wake up and be more mindful of these poor habits which are sabotaging your life.
Make The Time And Reap The Rewards
I know what you are thinking.
How are you supposed to make time to meditate for 20 minutes twice a day when you are so busy?
Well, I work 8 hours a day at my day job, I blog for 2 hours, I spend an hour self-development, I exercise for 30 minutes, I meditate for 20 minutes twice a day, plus I have two very active girls.
We all have 24 hours in a day. So you must make every second count. No excuses. It is crucial to your success in living an anxiety-free life.
It can be done. In fact, I owe all my productivity to my meditation because of the energy it provides me.
You can overcome your anxiety if you are willing to do something about it. It is time to make a stand and take your life back.
You have a choice. Either continue living your life in fear or start practicing mindfulness thoughts and meditation — it’s all up to you.
“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” Caroline Myss
Live long & prosper,