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The Somewhat ‘Strange’ Tool That Helps Me Through Anxiety Attacks

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A glass, a cup, a shower, a tub full of it, or even an ocean. It doesn’t matter what it is in (or not in) but it is my first tool in getting through a panic attack.

I believe I have always had anxiety but it played out in different ways throughout my childhood and into my adult years. I have been in therapy for the majority of my life; I was diagnosed with depression in my junior year of high school and panic disorder in my freshmen year of college. Throughout this time, I have seen a variety of therapists, doctors, tried various medications and more.

I have learned strategies to work through panic attacks, medications that work for me and the potential reasons behind these dreaded moments. These have been extremely helpful tools in my mental health journey, but one thing I have noticed recently is that in those times, even using other strategies, I drift to water.

It may sound strange because water is something every human needs to survive, so of course we all “drift” to water. Our bodies need it for survival. Any doctor will tell you the benefits of staying hydrated, and if a doctor can’t tell you, Google can. One important detail of staying hydrated for people with anxiety is it can help lessen the intensity of a panic or anxiety attack. Another great reason to drink water.

My anxiety relief doesn’t always come from a small sip of cold water. I have found it by running my hands under water in the sink, sitting in a bath, taking a shower, sitting on the bathroom floor as water runs from the sink, jumping into a pool or even running toward crisp ocean waves when I have the chance.

Water by no means has cured my anxiety, but it has been an extremely useful and somewhat strange tool to incorporate into my panic attack tool kit. The quiet and soothing properties of H2O have helped me find clarity in the most chaotic moments.

I support all those who struggle with mental illness to continue their own journeys and I hope we all can find tools to help us in our daily battles.

I have found one tool that helps, and maybe it can help you too.

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it”. -Lao Tzu

Photo by Vinicius Amano on Unsplash

Originally published: August 7, 2019
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