Went to the dentist for my regular cleaning and to have my night-guard adjusted today. I was halfway through the procedure when I realized I had zero anxiety. It’s a giant milestone for me!! I’m so happy.
Since finishing cancer treatment I have had a lot of issues with scheduled appointments. Going to see the doctor (even for something minor) puts me into a tizzy. Even something as simple as a hair appointment would leave me restless, stressed out and sometimes cause me to have a panic attack.
Every once in a blue moon I will have to take an Ativan before the night of my appointment but for the most part – since I figured out this trigger – I have been able to deal with my Appointment Anxiety much better.
I realized it was residual anxiety from hundreds of stressful and sometimes painful appointments I did during cancer treatment. So now before I have any appointment I make sure to acknowledge my anxiety and then I work extra hard at being kind to myself.
I’ve been working on recognizing the symptoms of a panic attack – and I have various tools in my tool kit that I pull out and use to calm myself before it turns into a full-blown attack.
One of the big things I noticed about myself before a panic attack hits is that I am really down on myself. I’ll start saying really terrible things about myself like “I’m fat” or “I’m ugly”. I do NOT think any of those things about myself and I have come to realize that it’s a warning sign of panic starting to swirl up inside my head.
There’s a few things I can do to stop my panic before it starts. Most important for me is to say out loud to someone “I think I am having a panic attack.” For whatever reason it calms me to verbally acknowledge what’s happening.
I do the same when I’m having a hot-flash. Saying it out-loud to someone makes the hot-flash less intense. 🙂
If that doesn’t work – I stop what I’m doing and do jumping jacks. I learned this trick from an episode of Orange is The New Black!!
#1. It makes me laugh (always good)
#2. It makes me breath in good healthy oxygen
Anyway … I teared up a little today in the dentists chair. Isn’t it awesome to notice and acknowledge cosmic shifts like this in ourselves. 🙂
What are your tricks for dealing with anxiety/panic attacks?