It took me awhile to figure out this vicious cycle and how to stop it. Believe me some days it is a battle to not give in to anxiety.
Anxiety is actually one of the easier symptoms to manage once you learn to recognize it and what works for you. My first full blown panick attack happened before I had any of my other issues. I was driving home, as I had for a year, and suddenly did not recognize my surroundings. I ping-ponged back and forth on the road to my apartment for an hour before I recognized where I was at. This happened frequently back then, but I quickly determined that I needed to trust my original judgment and continue in that direction. It took less time for the anxiety to pass. This lesson is something that I carry with me now when dealing with more serious problems like vertigo.
If I allow the anxiety to take hold when the world shifts, I would be unable to function. Instead, I stop what I am doing, even if just mentally, (This might only take seconds.) and take deep breaths in through my nose and out through my nose. I focus on slowing my heart rate while mentally forcing my body & mind into a state of calm. If I am somewhere safe, I will meditate, otherwise just slowing my breathing helps calm the panic.
If I didn’t have this technique down, I might never leave my house. The anxiety of what could happen would paralyze me to the point of being unable to function. It would cause even more anxiety, because I’d worry about disappointing others. The anxiety would cause my dizziness to worsen which would make it difficult to get out of bed.
For me anxiety is the most important symptom to learn to manage and the easiest, since this one is truly a case of mind over matter. To illustrate let’s take my panic attacks when driving and what I learned from them.
Recognizing symptoms of anxiety.
- Elevated heart rate
- Faster breathing
- Brain Fog
I know that this post sounds preachy, but I wish that someone had taught me how to take out the anxiety from the equation. Believe me it is not always easy to separate the anxiety when you are having symptoms of your illness, but with practice you will be able to do so.
I think I said that I meditate when I can. Meditation is a practice that is a good habit to get into. I can hear the grumbling now... But I can’t focus on anything for more than a couple of minutes. Well, neither can I. Having ADD makes it difficult, but all I do when my mind wanders during meditation is acknowledge it and start again. I prefer guided meditations or focusing on a flickering candle. It makes it easier to reign in my thoughts. And slow, deep breaths are the key in meditation, so by paying attention to your breathing it helps focus the mind.
I hope this helps.
Love, Peace & Light!