Who has already experienced a crisis of anxiety knows how much the main fear is to redo one. We say that the anxiety crisis will arrive without warning and that we will know, once again, to control it. So we're freaking out, even more.
And yet, there are many ways to prevent it, and manage it when its first signs appear. Indeed, even if the anxiety crisis is repeated, it is never a fatality. On the contrary, it is enough to defuse the vicious circle of anxiety, by learning to know each other, by valuing one's resources and practicing healthy anti-panic rituals for the body and mind. By following the axes described, your mind will gradually free up and regain self-confidence.
Know the first signs
If the signs of an anxiety attack vary from person to person, they are often quite similar for a given person. Identify the first signs, even very light, to react before the pressure cooker explodes. It can be a painful breathing, a slight dizziness, a thought that invades you, etc. As soon as these signs are recognized, do not repress them, but listen to them. Write what went through our heads, get some fresh air, talk to someone, go for a walk or run, do a cardiac coherence exercise, and so on. Cognitive and behavioral therapy can accompany this self-knowledge.
Learn to refocus
To refocus, the r is the best ally. Cardiac coherence, in particular, can help us, in a preventive way or in case of first signs of anxiety. The explanation is simple: the anxiety attack is favored by hyperventilation and excess CO2. Finding a slow breath can therefore reverse the steam. Try this breathing exercise to help prevent or alleviate an anxiety attack: inhale deeply, block your breathing for 3 to 5 seconds. Then exhale as slowly as possible, as if you were blowing on a candle without wanting to extinguish it. Another useful exercise in case of an anxiety attack: breathe by mouth in a plastic bag (closed on the mouth) or breathe in a straw. These exercises help to stimulate the parasympathetic system and calm the heart rate. And thus to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Practice them for at least 3 minutes, until the nervous tension drops.
Take care of your body
The body is our main resource without which the anxiety crisis develops. The less you listen to your body, the more you try to control it, and the more you risk an anxiety attack. We must learn to act in the opposite direction. Listen to him, welcome him with his hazards and pamper him. Taking care of your body is like taking care of your home. The more we take care of it, the more we feel safe. It is important to move regularly, to stimulate endorphins (sport, sexual activity, etc.), to compensate for deficiencies (in particular B6 B12 vitamins and folic acid that play on stress), to treat health concerns, have a rhythm of sleep granted to your biological clock, etc. Supplementation with omega-3 and prebiotics (fiber found in the diet such as asparagus) would also have a benefit on stress according to some studies. And of course, it's important to avoid poisoning your body, especially drugs, such as alcohol and cannabis. These substances are indeed associated with an increased frequency of anxiety attacks.
Sanitize your environment
To feel serene, the environment is more than important. Obviously, we can not act on all environments, but we can at least act on his housing, and perhaps a little on his work. This is to reduce toxic stimulation or sources of stress. Again, it's important to listen to yourself and the things that stress you. And to act accordingly, in all benevolence with oneself. For example, if you do not support the metro or the car, you can walk to work, or at different times to avoid traffic jams. Sorting your stuff, and getting rid of things that do not make you happy, is important, especially if you feel "overwhelmed" at home. Take a vacation regularly to "breathe" in peace. Moreover, who says environment, also says close entourage. Surround yourself with people who reassure us, protecting themselves from "toxic" people is essential. The more we create authentic bonds, the more we are in trust and the less we have anxiety attacks. You should not hesitate to talk to those around you, especially when an anxiety attack occurs. The exchange, if it is sincere, can very quickly defuse the crisis.
Make peace with your emotions
The anxiety crisis may be the result of physical phenomena (pain, hyperventilation.) Or emotions accumulated somewhere in our mind. Unlocking these emotions, or even learning how to manage them to prevent them from "locking in" can take months or even years, but is a necessary way to prevent the anxiety crisis.
To tame his emotions, and to learn to make them a force rather than a ball to hide, there are several ways. Cognitive therapy based on mindfulness learns to sharpen one's attention to the present moment, ie to become aware of external stimuli, but also inner ones like thoughts, emotions and sensations. She therefore cultivates a more peaceful and fluid relationship with oneself, and therefore with the world.
Other therapies with varied mediations: hypnotherapy, EMDR, even osteopathy, can be beneficial. Voice therapy, administered most often by art therapists or teachers of people, can learn to manage stress and use the voice to connect with one's body and emotions. Art therapy, too, can help restore a more peaceful relationship to oneself and defuse anxiety through creativity.
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Author of this article "Preventing the anxiety crisis" : Dr. Ada Picard, psychiatrist and child psychiatrist