That Time I Had A Panic Attack

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I like to put on a very calm, level-headed face for people, even those most close to me. But I can't hide the OCD I inherited from my father and the planning gene from my mother.

Spontaneity scares the heck out of me. There, I said it.
Sometimes, I have slight panic attacks when I think of all I have ahead of me. For example, moving to Paris. It's exciting and wonderful and inspiring. But it also requires a boatload of paperwork, e-mails, forms and, my least favorite part, money. There are days when I'm checking things off my to-do list one after the other, and there are others where I stare at my ceiling and let the amount of tasks I need to do float through my head while I lay motionless. Anyone else have these moments?

Over the years, I've acquired a habit of repeating calming mantras to myself so my crazy, adventure-filled, on-a-whim life doesn't get the best of me. Here are a few of my favorites:

Via Pinterest
via Women on Fire

via Everything Fab
via Venspired
via Remain Simple
And although I've never been particularly religious, the song 'Be Still' by The Fray, derived from a bible verse (Psalm 46:10), has an ability to make me stop & take a breath during even the most hectic of times. 

via Tumblr
Actually, my entire Pinterest board "Because inspiration is rare" is pretty much dedicated to anti-panic mantras. I get the most amazing calming feeling after reading through a few of them.

And they work, for the most part. I used to be very uptight about things and hold them internally, but my form of meditation - in addition to the tips & tricks from my favorite Buddhist teacher - have made a world of a difference in my life. Remember when adults used to tell us to fake it until we made it? I guess it's kind of like that. I repeated the mantras in my head, pretending that they would calm me down until, eventually, I was whispering the words subconsciously. It could be because I have a constant conversation going on inside my head - seriously, it's like a never-ending extended family dinner, except with just myself - but I have found so much peace in being able to shut up the differing opinions with a simple phrase that they all can agree on.

Alright, I'm making myself sound crazy.

In a nutshell, my rational side can no longer question the decisions that my heart makes, because they've both kind of fallen in sync. At the end of the day, I know that everything I do is going to benefit me in some way. And even though the mounting pile of things to do seems like Mount Everest at times, there's a strange reassurance within me that I'll get it done, not only because my track record says so, but also because it is something I need to do.

So although Paris has already given me the run around and I haven't even arrived, the high I get from traveling and the insane wisdom it imparts on me is something I could never trade out, even for a life sans panic attacks.

Anyone else have a panic attack when they look at their to-do list? What works best to calm you down after a moment of panic - mantras, exercise, etc?


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