The other day I had a mild (?) panic attack.
It was quite fascinating!
Because I spent the greater part of my early life in a sort of anxious haze, I had never really thought about whether I had panic attacks.
It’s quite possible I haven’t had one before, at least not one so clearly delineated. There was a series of circumstances that caught me by surprise, I was nervous about something else, and I found myself getting trapped in an emotional whirl.
Because I’ve been doing some investigation of my emotional triggers, I recognized it as a phenomenon of brain chemistry that was actually quite distinct from what I felt I should be processing intellectually.
“So this is a thing that’s happening,” I marvelled.
Now that makes it sound rather surgical. Of course what really happened is that I was walking out the door, asked for keys, was on a bit of timeline–and found out I had to drive a new car I’d never driven before.
And it made me scared and angry, and for a few minutes I wasn’t sure why, but things were NOT GOOD.
I decided, once I realized this was a state not entirely rational, that I would give myself some extra time. Went out to the car, came back in to get more ready. My mom, picking up on my not-so-subtle mood, asked if I was alright.
It felt like a relief to tell her–it just had triggered anxiety.
For one thing, it was great to feel how much of an outlier that experience was to me, now. To have vocabulary that allowed me to step back from it.
To be able to take charge, even though my emotions had been going haywire.
Of course, I put a gob of EOs on, too. And later in the evening, when I couldn’t figure out how to turn on my headlights and was on the highway with someone helpfully flashing their lights in my rearview window, I did not panic.
I mean, I freaked out, but only the rational amount.
Small steps like this are sometimes are huge shifts for our thinking!
If you’re thinking about how to transform your life, including work on how you interact with your emotions, my coaching program is designed around enabling that.
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