Remembering to Breathe

When I was in the 9th grade I had a panic attack. It was a small one. We had to read a paper we wrote in front of the class. I remember sitting in the third row and feeling chills even though the windows were closed and the air conditioning was off. My mind raced. My heart was pounding. When it was my turn to read, I think I got about 2 sentences in before I couldn’t hold back the tears, gave up, and sat back down—retreating to the safe space of my desk.

Since then, I’ve learned how to breathe. I’ve learned how to calm my mind by focusing on something else or telling myself the opposite of what my default thoughts want to say.

Sometimes the anxiety comes from nowhere. Sometimes I can be talking to co-workers at work and it hits. Sometimes I’m mindlessly surfing the internet.

Luckily I notice when it gets triggered. The most important thing I can do in that moment is to remember to breathe and stay focused on the breath.

If you’re feeling a bit anxious these days, remember to breathe.

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