When Fear Tries to Choke the Life Out of You

My heart is racing and I can’t breathe. What is happening to me? Someone stop the car! I need to get out!  Hyperventilating, I clutch my chest and gasp for air.  Trying to focus and slow my breathing down. I need to sit. I feel faint and I’m extremely hot. I get a drink of water and then embarrassment sets in because I just scared everyone around me. I’m okay I say, but I can’t explain what happened. I had a panic attack, but why? Is this how it feels when fear turns into anxiety?

According to wedmd.com, “panic disorder is different from the normal fear and anxiety reactions to stressful events. Panic disorder is a serious condition that strikes without reason or warning. Symptoms of panic disorder include sudden attacks of fear and nervousness, as well as physical symptoms such as sweating and a racing heart.Although this subject seems to be taboo, it needs to be discussed more often as this can really affect your health. Don’t go along this downward spiral alone. 

Although everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, chronic anxiety can have a negative impact on your life. “It is a mental health disorder that can also have serious consequences for your physical health” according to healthline.com. Some people suffer from insomnia, upset stomach and headaches just to name a few and it’s all because of one thing, fear! So what exactly are we afraid of? What causes our fear and anxiety to choke us to the point that we panic and lose control?

 In my experience, triggers caused my panic attacks. You know memories of something bad happening or someone doing something that made me uncomfortable. For instance, some people who are claustrophobic panic because the room suddenly feels small. On the other hand, my panic attacks would come without anything happening and everyone would look at me like, what happened to you? Embarrassing I know, but one day I sought out counseling so that I could overcome the fears that clutch my throat when I’d have a trigger.

So let’s tackle this thing so that you can get on with your life too. Some things you can do to help you overcome your fears are, talk to God or a friend and if you find that hard to do then seek professional help. It is nothing wrong with going to talk to someone, plus it’s confidential so no one has to know.  Secondly, breathe, deeply. I have learned that slowing my breathing down has helped a lot and choosing to think positively. I’ve seen some people snap a rubber band on their wrist whenever they would have a negative thought. Hey, as long as it doesn’t harm you or someone else, I say do what works. A few more ideas to help you grow through this are exercise, eating a well balanced meal and limiting your alcohol and caffeine intake. These are just a few things to help you take your life back from fear, but everyone is different; what may work for you, may not work for someone else.

What got me through my panic attacks was 15 weeks of counseling, prayer and reading. I chose to only read and watch positive things and I told people I trusted about my triggers so they would know how to help me.  Counseling helped because it got me thinking about why I had panic attacks in the first place and that it where you should begin as well. I may not know you personally, but I believe in you and I believe that you can overcome whatever you set your mind too. God says that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us so just believe as I do. I want you to be able to have a quality of life that doesn’t involve fear, embarrassment and regrets. Instead I want you to take charge of your life today and make a decision that you are bigger than what you are afraid of.

I’d like to think that LeBron James stayed so calm for his teammates during Game 7 last night so that his team wouldn’t panic. Cleveland hasn’t seen a championship in 52 years so the Cavaliers had a lot on the line. With all of the hate LeBron has gotten and with the Warriors record of wins, they could have easily given in to fear. Everyone counted the Cavaliers out. Everyone wanted Stephen Curry to win. Can you imagine the anxiety and the amount of pressure the Cavaliers endured during Finals? Fear is crippling and can keep you from your purpose, keep you from fulfilling your true potential. I am honestly starting to believe that some things that we are afraid of may never happen and the things that we are afraid to do, are what we should do and could ultimately lead us to our purpose in life. So live while you have breath in your body and erase fear from your life because all fear is, is False Expectations Appearing Real!