Even the tiniest baby steps can keep that dreaded circle of safety from closing in on you.
I present you with this clever little web app for breathing by Twitter user @oatsbarley. You can customize the app’s parameters to speed up or slow down the inhale/exhale indicator to your liking.
She asked us to breathe out when my body was craving a gulp of air. She asked us to inhale for the duration of a pose, which made me lightheaded. It just didn’t feel right. None of it felt good.
How might yoga, a physical practice associated with inner peace and relaxation, possibly cause stress? Let me count the ways.
Popular culture seems to suggest that panic is this super-detectable experience that causes sufferers to pull their hair, widen their eyes, and clutch their fists or faces. Not so.
If you snoop hard enough, you can likely determine all sorts of details about the person — and their culture — based upon what they toss in the trash.
The scene: a small road off of a two-lane state highway in the woods. The cell phone coverage: first none, then a single bar. My panic state: full blown.
I was laying down in my car, following the EMT-in-training’s instructions to avoid sitting up or moving around, and I was scared nearly to death. I shook, I gasped for air, and I palpitated.
I hated every single second that slowly and dreadfully crawled by. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t even conjure up the energy or the clarity of mind to reach for my Ten Rules for Coping With Panic worksheet that lives in my wallet. I was in the middle of nowhere, I was stuck, and I couldn’t escape without help. Not only was I about to receive medical help, but I’d had to call my husband and ask him to drive 40 miles to be with me.
The word kept repeating in my head: failure failure failure.
Maybe I am having a legitimate medical problem instead of a panic attack. Maybe there’s a problem with my heart or my blood pressure. Maybe there’s a problem with my brain. Did I have a stroke? Maybe I’m having a stroke RIGHT NOW OH GOD WHAT THE HELL.
When your limbs are shaking uncontrollably, the gas pedal is a nightmare to control. My car heaved in fits and starts, thanks to my spasmodic right foot, but I didn’t make it far before I started to feel very cold and prickly.
Twenty minutes in: rocking out to Modest Mouse and eating a peanut butter cup. Thirty minutes into the drive: nausea, a racing heart, and a vivid expectation of death.