It’s been nearly 12 years since my first panic attack, and I have suffered on and off with them in the proceeding years—but not without learning a thing or two from them. I have found that the best way to defeat stress is to face what triggers it. It’s been a long road for me to be able to manage my stress, but today I’m going to share what has helped me in hopes that it may help you as well.
Being able to manage my stress has meant freedom for me. Freedom to feel confident leaving the house. Freedom to not panic about doing fun things with my family. Freedom to feel in control of my life.
1. Pinpoint Your Stress Triggers
I had no idea what was causing my first-ever panic attack. When you don’t know what you are stressed about, you can’t find a way to face it. Thanks to technology, there’s a great way to find your triggers that requires little effort on your part. I’m speaking of the Spire Fitness Tracker. It’s a small stone-like monitor that detects your breathing patterns. You can wear it on your bra or waistband and it simply slides on using the attached clip. It connects to your phone through an application that makes everything easy to track.
When you are tense, you start to breath more rapidly, and the Spire Fitness Tracker not only detects this, it gently vibrates to alert you and send you a notification on your phone. It can also detect the location of where you were when you were tense so you can identify what was going on at the time when you review your history later. After using the Spire Fitness Tracker with it’s accompanying app for several weeks I have been able to identify numerous triggers I didn’t even realize were causing me to be stressed. Some of them include: looking at social media, walking my 4-year-old church class around the building, and driving when I’m late to get somewhere. Once you know what causes you stress, you can then begin to find ways to manage them.
Below is a screenshot of my actual summary after wearing the Spire Fitness Tracker for a week.
2. Develop a Game Plan
Now that you know what is causing your stress, you can know find strategies to eliminate or alleviate the stressors. Obviously some things are just a part of life. For example, running late is going to happen from time to time due to circumstances that are sometimes out of our hands. Using the Spire Fitness Tracker, when this does cause you to start to tense up, it’ll alert you so you can begin taking deeper breaths, and thus, prevent the stress from growing into something more. Other triggers, like worrying about a test, can be faced by preparation and practice.
3. Institute Calming Practices
Simply addressing our triggers is not enough to help us life a more peaceful life. Instead of only focusing on eliminating stress, we should also focus on adding more peace and calm into our routines. This has helped me to be more prepared for stressful situations that arise, as well as find balance and perspective in life. Calming practices vary based on the individual. I find that working out helps me release stress and return home in a much better mood. Deep breathing has also done wonders for me. It’s been the only thing that’s allowed me to put a stop to a panic attack right in the middle of one. Discover what helps you find calmness and peace by trying different options like guided meditations from the Spire Fitness Tracker (yes, it does that too!), exercising, hiking with your family, reading and so forth.
When I first began having panic attacks, I didn’t think I would ever be the same. It’s taken some practice, and a lot of time, but I now know how to master my stress instead of letting it master me. You can do it too!
Learn more about the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.