AF Association

How to cope with anxiety

Any tips would be gratefully received. I have looked at the Mindfulness meditation website and attempting to do some of their breathing exercises; I had some CBT two years ago which sort of helped and I find it hard to put what I learnt into practice (forgotten most of it!). I get really panicked when my heart rate goes up and so far as I know I haven't got AF (yet) so any tips would be appreciated..



8 Replies

Hi Stephanie, Meditation is rather like going to the gym,the brain is a muscle and takes time to response it takes patience but so worth the effort . Many Buddhist centre have drop in beginners sessions ( all faiths are welcome) you would be with kind gently people.

The internet is excellent but beginners group meditation is a brilliant way to start you can have a coffee after the session and talk and laugh how hard you find it.

If you are meditating at home 10mins twice a day is a good starting point. If you would like to

Message me I will give you a list to try

Good luck Jenny

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Learning to meditate and be mindful is a learned behavior. It takes practice. The thing about mindfulness is that you can do it wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Right now you can just be present in what you are feeling, the feel of your feet on the floor, the wind on your face, your breath as you inhale and exhale, the feeling of your fingertips on the keyboard. Being totally present in the moment keeps your thoughts from running away, and from engaging in all sorts of disastrous thinking and imaginings that cause anxiety. There are many opportunities to practice all day...any time, anywhere, no equipment needed! Just the simple act of breathing deeply and slowly changes the physiology of your body to decrease the effects of the 'fight or flight' that you engage with anxiety. Look on for some lovely guided meditations and realize that relearning a way to be calm takes time and practice. You can do this!


Lots of CBT review materials online. You can specify anxiety re: chronic illness ideas.


I too practice mindfulness and I agree it takes practice but I also go to a Pilates class once a week and then exercise daily too. This has not only helped me keep fit it helps me sleep too. Take care


Agree with all the replies re being persistent with your actions. Also go for what is good for my case that's not classes and a particular Nature walk, no doubt you will have a different approach.

Remember it took a while to get you into AF and it will take you a while to get you out of it whatever the medics promise; also the early days are the most anxious and it gets slowly better, so you are passed the peak.

Good luck!

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Good advice above and I would suggest the following to use immediately you start to feel anxious:- (you need to practice this carefully before you use it when anxious as in panick cognitive functioning tends to diminish)

1). Learn 7/11 breathing - breath in for a count of 7, hold your breath for 1, breath out very slowly for count 11. If you cannot manage 7/11 - reduce to 5/7 or even 3/5 - the important thing is that your breath out for longer than you breath out.

2). Once you have mastered the breathing - try this exercise:- holding your arms out in front of you cross so that 1 wrist rests on the other, turn hands so that they face each other and link, now bring your hands up through until they rest on your chest (sounds much more complicated than is. This is called the 'Hook Up'.

3). Close your eyes, hook up your hands, start your 7/11 breathing. Whilst doing this just think the word 'balance'.

if your panic is so intense you couldn't do this then remember to focus on your breathing, just your breathing and to slow it down until you can do 7/11, closing eyes helps focus inwardly - think balance or calm - just think the word.

You could also use a Tapping Technique - just tap lightly with 3 fingers on the 'karate' side of your other hand whilst breathing.

If you use any of the above, please let me know how you got on.

Mastering the anxiety is the toughest part of dealing with AF.

Keep posting, you are not alone.

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Those of us who live a life on this planet will experience from time to time stress and anxiety, what one person defines as a stressful or anxiety provoking situation many others will not

I’ve done yoga reguarly for 8+ years some meditating and breathing exercises along the way, I wouldn’t say it’s made any difference to my stress or anxiety levels, what works for me is to understand that it’s me who causes it in the first place and not the world in general,

that’s not to say I’m Mr wonderful and live a stress free life because I don’t, it’s a constant ongoing battle!

look around you and ask why is it you who gets stressed or feels anxious about a situation when others do not, often the issue isn’t out there, it’s in here (i.e. your head)

That’s my personal view, yours and others may be different...good luck


I hesitate to offer yet more suggestions because the foregoing are all excellent. But I do have a thing or two to add, so I will.

There are a lot of Internet resources on this subject. If you're looking for specific guided meditations you might have a look at my website. I've selected the ones that appeal the most to me.

There's stuff about Buddhism but don't let it put you off. For starters, I would direct you to Kristin Neff's work, which is referenced toward the bottom of the page. Then I strongly suggest Tara Brach's talk on Radical Acceptance. That one has helped me on several occasions. After that, the titles should enable you to choose.

If you're looking primarily for support on breathing, check out Gil Fronsdal's "Meditation on the Breath" and "Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation". The last two, by Pennyavaro, are very good for basics. (These are all on the above-mentioned web page.)


Koda ska


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