Tag Archives: anxiety and panic attacks

The Healing Power of the Present Moment

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During these trying times of social isolation and fear of the unknown, many people are experiencing anxiety due to this unexpected cultural trauma of the COVID-19.

Undoubtedly, if you are feeling high levels or chronic levels of anxiety, it can mean that most of your energy is focused externally and not in the present moment. In these times, it can be helpful to take a pause and ask yourself, “Have I been letting my fears take over? Am I overwhelmed?”

Without Judgment

A great technique to alleviate your anxiety is to turn your energy and attention inward and enter the present moment. As you focus on your inner world, without judgment, and with compassion, it is a place of the present moment, a deep inner peace. The very act of pausing and inner energy focus can calm the mind that is anxious about the future and the unknown. Ask yourself these questions. How am I right now in this present moment? Am I safe? Am I okay in this present moment?

Try building these small moments of self-connection and inner energy into your everyday life. The more you do this, the more you will be able to find your inner peace and self-compassion. When you can find satisfaction from being in the present moment you won’t feel so disconnected and anxious.

Also, In the present moment, you can release yourself from concerns of the past and the future and simply be with yourself, right where you are, right now.

Please watch this video…

If you are feeling overwhelmed, please contact me for an appointment (585) 432-0313. You can also register as a patient online Click Here. Please subscribe to and share this blog to continue to learn about better mental health!

Check out my online Alleviate Anxiety Course.

Minding Anxiety in the Moment

One of the most common things we do when feeling anxious is to avoid our anxiety.

When you are feeling anxious, what do you that you do to avoid it? Some people may use substances (e.g. alcohol, nicotine, THC), engage in impulsive behaviors (e.g. judging others, temper, binge eating, hoarding, OCD) or shut down (e.g. ruminating, low motivation, physical aches and pains, headaches/migraines).

If you are in the process of learning how to face your emotions to alleviate your anxiety, this can be a very difficult undertaking. So, I want to share some mindful practices that I use to “keep it together and carry on” in the face of deeply disturbing anxiety.

Box Breathing & Mantra

The first one is breathing deeply or box breathing (breath out for 4-hold for 4-breath in for 4-hold for 4-repeat; see video). I practice this breathing technique daily and often.

The second is having a mantra that I use for calming my mind. For example, I went for a jog this morning, and when my body and mind wanted to quit, I kept repeating feeling good-looking good, feeling good-looking good, and this kept me going without slowing down my pace. Mantras also work well with breathing meditations.

Mental Toughness

Another way to reduce and tolerate anxiety is mental toughness. Mental toughness is a philosophy of learning and growth. Mental toughness is facing difficulties and suffering from a positive and open mindset. Watch the video below on mental toughness.

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about adaptive and mentally healthy ways to work through your distress, Below is a book I recommend reading (at least twice) to better understand the phenomenon of mental toughness philosophy.

For more information on your anxiety, please contact me clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com and Cleveland Emotional Health Courses

Until next time ~ Catherine

Am I Having a Panic Attack?

My heart is racing. It is pounding in my chest. I feel completely out of control. Maybe I am going crazy? Maybe I am having a heart attack? I feel like I am dying! I can’t breathe! Have you ever experienced any of these symptoms?

A panic attack is an intense wave of anxiety. It can come on unexpectedly and become immediately debilitating. Attacks often strike out of the blue, without any warning, and sometimes with no apparent trigger. They occur at any time, for instance, when driving, relaxing, in public, and at night when you are trying to sleep.

Furthermore, you may have encountered panic-inducing situations that trigger your body’s sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system or you parasympathetic dorsivagal system (freeze) response. For example, your triggers could be situations such as public speaking, being around strangers, keeping up with school work, or excessive worry about the future. Or, you may have no idea what is bring on your panic attacks. They may just come out of the blue. 

For some individuals, your panic attack(s) may be related to other mental health symptoms, especially anxiety, depression, trauma, and low self-worth. Regardless of the cause, be assured that panic attacks are a treatable condition.

Panic Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or racing heart
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Choking feeling
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
  • Feeling like you are having a heart attack

What to Do

If you are not sure that you are having a panic attack, seek medical attention. Physical health can also contribute to the severity and frequency of panic attacks. If you are having a panic attack, splashing cold water on your face will quickly reduce your symptoms. Cold water helps you become present and begins to decrease your physiological sensations that make you feel like your body is out of control.

Become the observer. Pay attention to your symptoms. Try to step out of yourself as if you are looking at what is going on within you. Take a compassionate approach and investigate what is going on. You may not have the answers. However, what you are doing is separating yourself from the event which will begin to eliminate the attack.

Remember the more you try to avoid or suppress your anxiety (not addressing it), the more likely you are to have a panic attack (even if they seem to come out of nowhere).

For more information on how to eliminate your panic attacks, better understand your anxiety and other distressing symptoms, please make an appointment today!