Good morning everyone, and welcome to the bed head chronicles. Today, I want to talk about those moments when we get deeply anxious — where, even to the point of a panic attack.
Last night on our chat with our Team Sirius Tri Club, someone asked about what to do when you’re having a panic attack on the swim portion of a triathlon. Now, when I talk about this, this can relate to anything. This could be when you’re having a panic attack at work. Or whatever it is — those moments when you get so deeply anxious — what do you do to pull yourself out of it?
What you don’t want to do is focus on the fact that you’re feeling this anxiety. Oh my God, I’m having a panic attack. Oh my God, this is terrible. Oh my God, I’m going to die or pass out — whatever it is. The more energy you give it, the worse you’re going to feel. It’s going to intensify the anxiousness. It’s going to intensify the feeling of panic.
What I like to think of if this ever happens to me, is if I were standing next to the kid version of myself (because I don’t have kids), or if I were standing next to my mom or my wife or somebody that I love with all my heart, and they were having a panic attack — what would I say to them?
Would I say “Oh my God, you’re having a panic attack!” and make it worse? No! Of course not. I would turn to them and say you’re going to be okay and take a deep breath. Everything is all right. I’m right here. Just take a moment to relax and breathe and think about feeling good again. Think about things that make you happy. Think about the fact that you have everything you need inside of you to get through this. Just remember what the truth is.
So, when you’re getting through these moments, try to find a way to:
1) Breath.
2) Think about what you would say to someone that you love more than anything in the world if they were going through the same thing that you’re going through right now. Speak to yourself as you would speak to that loved one. With love. With calm. Reminding them the truth.
So, for those of you with panic on the swim portion of the triathlon, just remember to slow down. Float on your back. Take a deep breath. Remember how strong you are. Remember how fit you are. Tell yourself the truth that you’re not going to die, you’re not going to drown, you just need to relax. Everything is going to be fine. You can take a moment to just calm yourself down. Remind yourself of the truth. Then, when you feel ready, move forward.
But, the last thing we want to do when we’re having a problem is give that problem more and more energy. Because as you give it more energy, it gets bigger and stronger and more terrifying. So, make it smaller. Breathe. Remind yourself of the truth. Focus on solutions, not the problem.
And, that’s a general thing in life. If you’re constantly focusing on whatever your problem is, like — Oh my God, I can’t run hills! I’m a terrible hill runner. The more you tell yourself that, you’re never going to run well on the hills. Instead, let’s focus on solutions to that problem. Well, I’ll start adding some hill training to my training plan. I will start focusing on uphill/downhill run form. I will read about hill running. I’ll watch inspiring hill runners running hilly courses. Focus on the solutions, not the problem. And that’s going to bring you out of that space and empower you rather than disempower you.
That will make you feel totally in control of your experience of life and what you can create. So, I hope that helps everybody know we all get anxious. We all get nervous. We all can get to a place where we literally feel like we’re panicking. Love yourself in those moments. Don’t give it energy. Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have. So, in that moment, you may not feel like — you may feel like you don’t have control. Don’t focus on that. Focus on what you do have control over. I have control over this experience. I can calm down. I can breathe. I can think about how I’m going to get myself out of this and love on myself and remind myself the truth. Have an amazing day everybody! And thank you for listening to the bed head chronicles.