Old dog, new tricks

While I don't feel especially old, getting this business going and learning all there is to know is certainly a daily challenge. Add to that regular life, and things can get a little stressful. In the past, I've handled incredibly stressful situations fairly well. I get a little hyper. I lose weight and I carry on. However, starting in my early 30's, I began having panic/anxiety attacks for no reason I could figure. Delayed reaction? That's my theory. 

It's been years since I have had a full blown attack. Imagine my delight and surprise this weekend as 30+ of our friends and family started arriving to welcome Danny home. We were hosting a Thanksgiving dinner in July since Dan has missed the past two Thanksgivings at home. If you've had one of these attacks, you know how awful the feeling is. Fortunately, this wasn't my first and it wasn't one of my worst. I think I've just been stretching myself a bit thin the past couple of years and my body is protesting. 

The point? I thought I'd share a trick that works for me sometimes in case you ever find yourself in the same situation (or with someone having an attack): 

  1. Look around. Find five things you can see. Name them in your head.
  2. Find four things you can touch. Touching gives you a sense of reality. 
  3. Listen for three separate sounds. Again, you're bringing yourself back to your true, safe setting.
  4. Find two things to smell. Use care with this one if your attack is accompanied by nausea. Trust me.
  5. Finally, one thing you can taste. Just a taste. Again, use caution.

I hope you never need these but it never hurts to file things away. If you try these with no success, something else that works for me (although I don't know the science behind it) is to hold my breath for 15-30 seconds. I think of it as resetting myself in the same way you refresh your computer.

Good news? I got through the attack without creating a scene. The party was great fun as you can see in the above picture! It's the first time I've had all four of my boys together in over a year. As you can also see, it's impossible to get a picture of all six of us behaving. 

Tomorrow, I'll get back to business. After all, I started painting furniture because it's relaxing. ;)   Hope your week is off to a great start.