What Panic Attacks Have Taught Me About Life & People

1da993478074f5705ae03fa9ab4d7301 (1)Everyone feels differently. I can tell you that as a living breathing person that we all may see the world with all its sunshine, rain and the people around us, but our heart feels it differently to others. Some may see the moon as a beautiful white pearl, where as others may imagine werewolves coming out at night. Some may stare delightfully at the raindrops against the window pane, and some may shed tears. In this case, everyone will feel a panic attack differently. The main reactions are similar (eg. hyperventilation, crying), but we all experience it individually – physically and mentally. The feeling of dying is real when you have a panic attack. This feeling runs over you like water in a shower and the world seems so empty in those moments of breathlessness.

I have previously written in more detail herein terms of dealing with panic attacks and anxiety. There have been moments where it feels as if they come out of no where, and other moments where you can sense it coming. From my personal experience, most of the time it’s always for a reason even when I cannot see it in that moment.Panic attacks are not a sign of weakness. The biggest thing I have learned is that in the adult life, most true emotions are hidden. Panic Attacks, Anxiety and Depression are not a weakness. It’s something we learn how to cope with.

What I’ve learned is that:

  • Not every person is understanding in this world, and that’s okay. Most people will come to their own conclusion or decide for themselves why you are having a panic attack, when they 1) don’t know you or 2) are making pre-judgments.
  •  Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. At the end of the day, the ones who are going to judge you or make you feel worse about things don’t matter. The ones who love you won’t judge you for anything. They want to bring out the best in you.
  • Happiness is a choice, not a destination. As with everyone, some days are good and some days don’t go quite as you imagined. But in every day there is something that we can be so grateful of and that is the most comforting thing of all.
  • People are scared to cry and scared to show emotion. It’s not appropriate to cry in public, and I would agree, as over the years, I have cried at work before and it’s a situation I definitely want to avoid. However, crying is not taboo and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We are emotional creatures.
  • The ability to have empathy is a powerful gift. If you have panic attacks, it is very likely you can be a lot more understanding of people who are suffering or simply upset.
  • Positive self talk is extremely important. This means being kinder to yourself and loving yourself. If the negative voices get in the way it can really trigger a panic attack.
  • Embrace your feelings and acknowledge the sad ones. Most of us want to look and feel happy. Smiling is beautiful. Yet, it’s important to acknowledge when you are sad. Don’t ignore those feelings but feel them and know when to let go.
beautiful illustration by Yelena Bryksenkova

4 thoughts on “What Panic Attacks Have Taught Me About Life & People

  1. Love this post about what panic attacks can teach you. I just wrote a post on anxiety, and your post speaks to me a lot. Agree with you that panic attacks, anxiety and depression are not things to be ashamed about. We all deal with emotions differently, just as our bodies are wired physically and emotionally different. Sometimes we have these episodes because that is simply the natural way our body reacts to situations around us.

    “being kinder to yourself ” I think we all need to tell ourselves that and remind ourselves that it is okay to make mistakes. It is okay for us to feel a certain way because we are not perfect, but we are human. We all have our own strengths and talents and should listen to ourselves more.

    1. Mabel, I just read your article about anxiety and I want to thank you for touching on a topic that not many people will talk about (even though it is a lot more common than we see). Anxiety is such an internal thing, but it’s often visualised or misunderstood by people as abnormal. Living with anxiety has not been the easiest thing, but it has taught me a lot about life as well as myself. We indeed are all human at the very end of the day, which is so important to remember. x

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