Friday, October 17, 2008

Take a deep breath

About 12 years ago, I went through a period of time when I had panic attacks, or anxiety attacks, almost every day. I have mitral valve prolapse, and occasionally my heart stops beating, just for a second. But when it resumes, its like a big rush of blood tries to make up for the lost beat and I flush and feel light headed. That would trigger a pretty extreme sense of panic in me, and there were a few times I went to the emergency room thinking that I was dying. 

I'm being a bit cavalier about it now, but at the time, I didn't think my life would ever be normal. I couldn't really drive, because that was a trigger of the seemed that once I was panicking about one thing, other things set it off too. I remember a conversation with my mom, when I told her I didn't want to have to live the rest of my life like that, scared at any moment that panicky feeling would take over. I considered going on medication, but my body doesn't respond well to drugs and I was upset thinking that I might have to depend on something for the rest of my life to be normal (not to mention all the side effects). 

So, I just decided I was going to control it myself. I started practicing yoga and meditating. I developed strategies of what to do when I felt myself starting to tighten up with panic. And slowly, over a few months, I finally took control. Today, all I really need to to when I start to feel anxious is take a deep breath and things seems to resolve themselves. 

What does this have to do with Tandem Learning?

Well, I'm feeling anxious. We're about to do some crazy stuff. We're really throwing ourselves out there. It's exciting and frightening and yes, if there was any such appropriate time for me to panic, it might be now. 

So, I'm taking a deep breath. Doing some meditation, maybe a little yoga. Its important not to let the stress, the anxiety, the panic take over because it paralyzes you. 

It's important to remember to breathe. 

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