Many of my clients struggle with panic attacks – either full blown attacks, or the panic that comes with the thought of having a full blown attack. If you have never had a panic attack you don’t really understand how debilitating they can be – heart racing, throat closes up, intense nausea and feeling like you are going to die. It’s like you are standing on the edge of a cliff, you are faced with your own mortality, wanting to leave your body, being so totally out of control that you want someone to come take it all away, all of it. You want to jump, but something keeps you here, keeps your feet fixed to the ground.
Being subjected to panic attacks for a period of time in my life was of the most terrifying experiences I have ever had. I feel so grateful that I understand them from the inside, and that I am able to help others move through them and move on with their lives. I use many different tools to do this, working with the body, the mind and the spirit, not necessarily in that order. It’s different for everyone, I make no assumptions.
Panic attacks can be started with a thought, or with a feeling. You can’t look at the root cause of the attack when you are in it, all you can do is get through the actual physical panic attack, ride the waves, so to speak. Panic is a last resort message to you telling you that you are in danger. In the jungle it freezes you so you can survive the lion’s attack. But in the city, it’s telling you that you are missing something, that you are not hearing something about you that you need to hear, and possibly take action on.
To work with the actual panic attacks I find real, solid objects like stones or crystals are wonderful support. Remember, the logical mind is spiralling out of control, so holding something in your hand to connect you to the earth really helps you come back to your centre and remember to breathe. Then you can start to breathing into the stone, “moving” the panicked energy out of your body and into the stone as if the stone was a sponge, soaking it all up. This is very powerful and has helped me and many of my clients ride the waves of an attack, until it flows away. If you can carry a stone or a crystal around in your pocket or your handbag, it also holds the energy of “I can get through this if it happens again” which is very empowering. (NB: If you choose to use a crystal it should be of a low vibration, grounding type like Jasper or Haematite, not of a high vibration like Quartz.)
For deep healing to happen, you have to work with the emotional and the mental aspects of yourself. I find the best thing to do is to come deeper into your body when in a safe space, and call on those aspects of you that are fearful and be gentle with them, ask them what they need. Remember, sometimes the root cause of the panic attacks is spiritual; such as you’re not fulfilling your soul’s purpose, or something in your environment or your thought process is causing you to contract your energy field, or cut off pieces of yourself so you fit in. You may find you have to make large life changes such as ending relationships or leaving a job, even moving to a different country.
Whatever the cause of your panic attacks, know that the panic itself will not kill you and you can work through it. Know that there are two aspects at work – the actual panic attacks, and the underlying cause of the attacks. There are ways to get through the attacks, and there are people who can help you work through the causes. If you decide to, you will survive and move on from this phase in your life. The most terrifying thing is facing this panic alone.