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Hi there. This is Abs, and I am going to sit with you for a bit while we get this anxiety under control. If it helps, you can close your eyes and hear my voice, or, if you’d prefer, you can read along on your screen.
Before we begin, let me just say that I know how uncomfortable you are right now. It’s really awful to be taken over by anxiety but, I promise you, I have been there many times, and I am 100% confident that you will get through this episode. I am going to help you. You are not alone.
First, take a breath in through your nose as deeply as you can; then release it through your mouth with a whooshing sound. This is a calming breath—the intake of oxygen signals your brain that it needs to send out some “feel good” chemicals. Let’s see if we can get those to kick in.
Now, this is going to sound weird, but try not to resist the panic—don’t try to cut it off or stop it in any way. Panic operates in a cycle: the more time you spend trying to stop it, the more intense it gets. You know how they say you have to ride the wave instead of fight it? Well here is your wave…just go with it. You will not drown.
Next, start talking to yourself—out loud works best. Tell yourself, “this too shall pass” or “I am okay.” Keep saying the words over and over again.
Are you still talking? Good. Now try to make yourself more comfortable. Loosen anything constraining you, like a bra or tight jeans or even a hair scrunchie. Naked, if possible, is good.
Okay, last step: cool down. Panic tends to produce heat so grab a cold washcloth or icepack. Splash cold water on your face and neck. Blast the a/c. If it is cool out, you may want to take a walk.
Keep repeating your mantra and stay cool (literally) until your body starts to regulate.