So you’ve just had a panic attack? Here’s how to help yourself!

Hi everyone! I keep saying that I wasn’t planning to post more but I felt like this was something I needed to talk about and, hopefully, I can open up a conversation about anxiety. As of today, I have experienced probably the most severe panic attack that I’ve ever experienced in a while. It was bizarre. I honestly thought I was having an allergic reaction. It was that bad. I have had some bad panic attacks in the past but I’ve since learned better coping mechanisms and I wanted to share those with you. Whether you have experienced panic attacks before or you’ve had your first one, there are some useful things you can do before or after.

  • TALK TO SOMEONE!!! Honestly, the worst thing you can do while feeling anxious is isolate yourself. A tiny bit of alone time is fine but you need to reach out to someone and it doesn’t matter who it is as long as you trust them. This has been my biggest source of help.
  • Find a distraction. When you’re coming down from anxiety, your natural instinct is to analyze everything you’ve just been through. This isn’t the best idea. Turn on your favorite show, read a book, go for a walk, or do whatever your favorite hobby is. I find this to be very centering.
  • Get a “totem.” My mom stole this idea from the movie, Inception. If you remember, each of the characters in the movie had a distinct item that they used to help them tell if they were still in a dream or not. This is the same concept. Find a small item that you like  and keep it on you. If you start feeling anxious, find that item and use it to center yourself. My choice is a small Iron Man plushie. I like to keep him in my bag and he makes me a little happier.
  • Breathing exercises help a lot. You feel a panic attack coming up and your breathing starts to pick up. This can lead to a few more problems. Look up breathing exercises to use in order to prevent any shallow breathing or hyperventilating. This can also prevent you from feeling light headed or faint.
  • LET IT HAPPEN!! If you feel a panic attack coming on, the worst thing you can do is to try to fight it. I’ve had panic attacks in public places and it’s not a fun feeling. It doesn’t matter where you are when it happens but you need to let it pass. You will feel better when it is over. I’ve only felt better after a panic attack. It feels like a giant balloon bursting and then I’m just deflating. Afterwards, I just feel tired. Don’t be embarrassed. Just take care of yourself. Someone will understand, I assure you.

I’ve realized that I’ve started getting into lifestyle territory now but I’m going to connect this back to literature because I’ve read a few books that specifically tackle anxiety and other mental conditions. Some have been accurate and some are not. I’ve learned to incorporate some of my feeling in my writing. I hope that this helps some of you. Feel free to leave some of your tips in the comments. I’d like to keep the conversation going.

Spiraling Out of Control: Reviewing Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

So I’ve pretty much recovered from my cold just in time to run through a gauntlet of midterms starting on Monday. I decided to finish the book so I wouldn’t have any distractions while studying. I mean, I’ll find distraction anyway but my urge to finish this book will not be one of them. Just a note for all of you have not finished the book, I promise to not spoil it. In fact, all of my reviews have been spoiler free but I can happily do some spoiler discussions on my blog if you are interested. For now, I will give you my review of Turtles All the Way Down, John Green’s latest literary venture.

Aza Holmes is trapped in her own mind with her recurring thoughts of bacterial microbes. When a local billionaire, Russell Pickett, goes missing, she finds herself thrust into a world outside of her worries. Along with her best friend and famous Star Wars fan-fiction author, Daisy Ramirez, Aza sets out to find out what happened to Pickett and bring his son, Davis, closure. Green’s latest novel is a journey of self-relization, over-thinking, and coming to terms with the world on a micro and macro scale.

I’m a bit biased because I’ve been a John Green fan since high school but I have to say that this book struck a cord with me that the other books have not. Aza is a chronic over thinker and so am I. Though she deals with OCD whereas I deal with anxiety, I still understood where she was coming from. Green uses his signature wit and philosophy to create a narrative about dealing with the uncontrollable. He isn’t afraid to tackle any kind of illness, mental or physical, and how it affects teens. The plot summary on the book makes it sound like a road trip kind of story but it’s more of an internal journey about finding how to cope with your problems, knowing that they may never leave you. That may sound depressing but I promise that the novel is way more hopeful than that. John Green fans will certainly not be disappointed by his latest endeavors and new readers will understand Green more through this novel. Turtles All the Way Down is a step forward in teen literature in its own honest and remarkable way.