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Anxiety attacks can be scary. They can paralyze people with fear. Dealing with them is something that is very personalized and can vary from incident to incident. Finding relaxation techniques for your anxiety can be a wonderful tool, one which I aim to help you achieve.
An anxiety attack cannot even be defined, since it means different things to each person. They are relative and subjective entities, unlike a pulse rate or a blood pressure reading. For me, the moment I feel it is truly an attack is when the shaking starts, and I am unable to think about anything other than the thing that is causing me to react.
Even as children, we learned that music can help calm us. Bugs Bunny told us time and again that music could calm the savage beast, and proved it with the Tasmanian Devil! Today, women in various stages of pregnancy are encouraged to play music for their unborn children. Nursery rhymes have been utilized for ages to try to get children to sleep. A lullaby is actually defined as a song to get a baby to sleep.
This stands to reason, then, that music should help calm us adults, should it not? My stance is yes. It works for me, at least, which is why I share it with you. The right kind of music is important, of course. I don’t want to listen to “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon”, or “Little Jack Horner”. I want actual music, not nursery rhymes.
There are a lot of types from which to choose. Popular themes are white noise music, such as waves crashing on a beach, or rain forest sounds. Others prefer new age kind of music like you might hear in a spa. I prefer something I know so my brain can follow along, yet no words… piano music is my go-to. I like the sounds of Jim Brickman and George Winston, and I enjoy Kenny G for something other than piano.
Distractions for the mind. That is what I need, anyway. Something on which to focus other than the thing.
I find that Sudoku is good for this. Hard or expert level especially. I have to concentrate and focus in order to make any progress at all, so my brain is forced away from the thing. Crossword puzzles are also a good fix here for me. Just not the easy ones. Maybe not the Sunday version from major newspapers, but not so simple you don’t have to think.
This is a broad subheading that can cover a lot of ground. I will stay specific to relaxation for anxiety as much as possible. The first thing that may jump out at you when you read manual therapy is massage. Truly, this a wonderful relaxation therapy. My more focused aim in this post was for anxiety attacks, however. Setting up a massage usually takes time.
There are many items available to the public that can assist with manual therapy. Handheld massagers can be excellent devices to relieve muscular tension, which can, of course, help reduce anxiety at the same time. These same devices can be used on specific pressure points to target virtually every system in your body.
Even without any device, pressure point therapy is an extremely useful tool in managing your anxiety attacks. There are important pressure points that easily accessible which can help decrease these feelings within minutes. Pressure point therapy can help quite nicely with headaches as well, which frequently come with anxiety.
Tapping is a great tool. It would be easier to demonstrate than to explain, but I can at least give an overview. It takes no equipment, no extras of any kind. All it takes is focus.
There are many varieties of tapping to learn in order to help with anxiety and depression. The simplest is still my favorite, and the method that I use when I am in a crisis.
You simply have to close your eyes, and slowly tap your legs, one at a time. You coincide the tap on your left leg with your eyes looking left, while still closed, then looking right with the tap on your right leg. The beauty once again is that you have to focus in order to do it.
Find Your Tools
Obviously, not any one tool is going to fit everyone. Many of the examples have hundreds of variables that can be explored within them. To me, the most important thing you can do is to find something that will distract your brain from what is causing your anxiety.
When you think you have found something, remember that it has to be something powerful enough to keep your attention and to keep your brain from wandering back to the anxiety producing situation. This is a reason that I prefer music I know, so that my mind follows the song.
If the tool you choose doesn’t hold your interest, you will easily wander back to your trigger. Then you get frustrated and have to start all over. This is when my mind tends to wander and spin and spiral to all sorts of things that have nothing to do with anything happening at the moment. A phenomenon I refer to as my mental blender. This is a bad place to let your brain go… get your toolbox in front of it. Find some peace. Achieve some calm. Don’t let your anxiety attacks control your life!