Gobble, gobble, gobble
We’re told that Panic Attacks are one of the most common of human ailments, far outnumbering Migraines, yet often goes unrecognized. I’d never even heard of Panic Attacks, and yet a day came when I found that maybe they might be a problem for me.
Read on if you think you might be having them, try what I’ve found works for me, and if you aren’t having such attacks, these small, but oh so mighty ‘exercises’ will still be great. I’ve been there, done that, and I’m still here.
First, we’re told to be calm and deliberate in all we do, and described it as “Living in the Moment”. Sounds simple, but how do you do that? And anyway, it isn’t easy to convince yourself that YOU might be having Panic Attacks, YOU? And anyway what are they talking about?
Well, several years ago, I was scared one night, and drove myself to ER, thinking I was having a heart attack. They examined and ruled that out, but then put me in a ‘ chair’ of some sort where my vital signs were continually monitored and watched by nurses and medics who looked and made notes as they passed by, and after an hour or two I was ‘unhooked’ and told there was nothing wrong with my heart, and probably only had a Panic Attack.
As I recall, no one, doctor or nurse, told me what a Panic Attack was or what to do about them. But I read a lot and have found Google to be a treasure trove of info and so I tell my tale .
First, I’ve learned to ‘watch myself’ and when I feel life crowding and putting pressure on me. I stop for a moment and crazy as it sounds, check to see if my Jaw and Shoulder Muscles are tense. And. if so, I might be on the edge of a Panic Attack.
I understand that those muscles are two of the strongest in our entire body. and are tense 99% of rhe time. We are unaware of that constant ‘clutching’ within us, but it affects our entire mood, body, and day. Every Therapist is aware of this, and has different methods of relaxing them, and here are two oh so simple ones, and even if it’s not a Panic Attack, they relax me and will do the same for you.
And what’s great.is if I’m with other people, no one will know what I’m doing. So, sit down if possible and take SLOW, DEEP breaths. Watch your torso extend as you breath in through the nose and SLOWLY exhale through your mouth, gently blowing to let your cheeks move slightly as you blow out. Silently speak the words, “Inhale”, “Exhale” , as you breath, and be aware, and surprised, that, though you didn’t even know those muscles were tense, how good it feels w hen they relax. And as a side-benefit, your mind has become One Pointed. You’re watching yourself breath.
One Teacher called it ‘relaxing the Roof of your Mouth’, and I thought, how silly, there are no muscles there, but, just the same, that phrase works, and you’ll smile to ‘feel’ the entire area of the mouth relax. It’s said that because they, the Jaw and Shoulders, are two of the strongest in our body, it’s not good that most of us go through our entire day with them clenched. Ready for attack.
And then there’s the Walking method. As you take your steps, silently say, “Right foot”, “Left foot”, and so on, with your concentration on your words and feet. It’s a good method, but for myself, I do the two, Breathing and Walking, at the same time. You’ll make your own rhythm of combining the two, and what’s more, it takes your mind off whatever was making you tense. And, again, you are One Pointed..
Another Teacher told that many an actor, nervously standing in the wings, waiting for the cue to go onstage, will bend over, arms hanging loosely while saying . “Gobble, Gobble, Gobble”. and, automatically their Jaws and Shoulders relax. And whether you’re an actor waiting for your cue or not, it works. Yeah, Gobble, gobble, gobble.
With surprise, I found that when I’m at my computer, my jaw and shoulder muscles are always tense so if you use the computer, watch yourself and you might find it’s a good time to start Gobbling.
I suppose Panic Attacks are hard to diagnose, and so, unrecognized. people seek relief by drugs, alcohol, sex, smoking, hitting the bars etc., and in desperation, sometime think they’re dying, and rush to the nearest ER. And I feel sorry for those poor cusses, I mean the Medics in ER with so many patients coming in, that Panic is usually the last thing considered, if at all.
Your life is precious. Go back and read my two methods. Even without Panic Attacks, they’re worth using. All the time.