When I am in the middle of an anxiety attack from the result of sudden changes, I strive for inner truth because I know my PTSS distorts my perception of current events based on past events.
How to Cope with Sudden Changes
It Takes Time
I simply can’t handle sudden changes or events. It takes time for me to become accustomed to them. Also, the time I take to heal depends on the level of pain or trauma the sudden changes brought to me.
When an event occurs and people get angry with me, it makes things much worse because then I get to be misunderstood and disparaged by someone who then becomes another one of my perpetrators. No thank you. I’d rather walk away.
Retreat from the Crowd
That’s why I retreat to spend time alone after a stressful day or event. Because very few people I know get that. I certainly don’t blame them. I simply have to take care of myself so I do. If that involves separating myself from others – then so be it. I’ve learned this lesson many times over. I think I’ve got it now.
Pause and Reflect
At the same time, I have to pause and be clear about the situation. Is this feeling from the past or from now? What would this situation look like without my particular emotional response of this moment? That’s where healing and growth happens. When that happens, the fear surrounding the situation dissipates, hopefully, forever…
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
How to “Come Down” after a Sudden Change
Those who have experienced post-traumatic stress syndrome know exactly what I mean when I say “come down”. When sudden changes occur, sometimes it brings about anxiety due to past fears. It feels very real at the time, so in our minds, it is real. But, there are other techniques to turn to for relief from the stress of sudden change.
The Surprise Attack
Sometimes these sudden changes take us by such surprise that we can actually feel our blood pressure rising, our mouths going instantly dry, and by then we are also feeling aggressive. I call this “instant high alert”.
For some of us, this initial feeling of shock never goes away completely, however, I strongly believe in the power of the mind and I believe that with time and diligence, we can absolutely change the way we respond to the feelings of shock. I believe that is where the long-term work resides.
The Techniques that Work
There are many instant techniques I employ for myself and I’ve posted about it throughout this blog. However, for your convenience, I offer you this practical list to include ways to relax as quickly as possible.
- Practice deep breathing regularly so that when you need to rescue yourself from an anxiety attack, you are able to start your deep breathing effortlessly because your body and mind are already familiar with it. Even if you don’t practice, use this technique when anxiety attacks.
- Talk to someone supportive. This is not someone who is going to further victim-blame you. This is an empathetic, kind, patient person. So be careful but find someone to talk to, if you can. The sooner you have emotional support from another human being, the sooner you will be able to “come down”. If you can’t find someone, do not despair. This is only one technique of many that will help you.
- Go for a walk, swim, bike ride, or run. Your choice but do something aerobic. It will work miracles – especially in a pinch when you just can’t figure out what to do next. Excuse yourself and go for a walk. It will help you put everything back into perspective.
- Make your own personal RELAX kit. Keep a relaxation kit near you at all times in your car or shoulder bag. This could be something as simple as a piece of peppermint chewing gum. The essence of peppermint calms and soothes our minds so yes, a simple piece of chewing gum might make all the difference in times of stress. Another item to include is a lavender essential oil to dab on your wrists, upper lip, or other pulse points to help you relax in a matter of minutes instead of hours. Essential sage oil is another good one to try for relaxation.
- Listen to Your Favorite Music. Everyone has their favorite genre of music that relaxes and takes them away into their own safe world. My favorite relaxation style of music is the binaural beats and solfeggios videos – many of which are posted on this site. So put the headphones on and fly away in your mind to a better place of inner healing!
- Take a shower. The positive ions that are emitted when we shower are almost as beneficial as those you receive when you visit the coast and stand in its breeze. So, no cold showers, just nice comfortable, relaxing showers to calm us down and put us in a better state of mind.
“When we strive to live in own truth, our spirits are rarely disappointed.”