What happens when you don't have a "safe space"?

Whenever I feel anxious or on the verge of a panic attack I tend to go for my "safe space", usually in my room, or if not just somewhere I can lie down, rest, listen to my 'no stress' music, convince myself I'm ok. Lately, the fear has been that I'll be struck down with anxiety in a public place or somewhere like an airplane or bus where I won't be able to calm myself down and the thought terrifies me. Just the other day I went to a restaurant with a friend and started internally panicking, because I was sitting outside a while away from where I was staying for the day and I couldn't shake the feeling that I would not be ok - but I couldn't escape to my bed or anything to calm myself down. I feel that this 'safe space' mentality is dangerous but I don't know how to get rid of it. Long story short, anyone have any tips for calming anxiety when you're out in public or in a confined area? (particularly health anxiety, my heart will start to beat fast as I get nervous and I can't seem to breathe/focusing on my breath scares me)

1 Reply

  • Anxious2445, I do have a tip that I use that has lessened my fears of being agoraphobic. The answer is "deep breathing". For years my therapist told me over and over again how deep breathing calms both the mind and the body. It wasn't until more recently that I started daily deep breathing as well as meditating. Not just once in a while but daily, especially first thing in the morning as well as going to bed at night. I realized that I was training my mind and body to automatically deep breathe where ever I was, where ever I went. It's wonderful in that nobody knows you are doing it and it works. I am so well trained that just the slight feel of apprehension automatically puts my body into auto pilot and I start deep breathing. The longer the exhale, the better. So taking a deep belly breathe for the count of 4, hold it and let it out for the count of 8. In order to make sure you get the full benefit of the count, you can use the triangle way of breathing. Picture a triangle in your mind. When with others, focus on the left side of the triangle as you are taking in a breathe to the count of 4. When releasing the breathe, picture the top of the triangle going down the right side and then across the bottom. That allows you to breathe out perfectly to the count of 8. I hope this little tip works for you, just remember, it must be practiced daily to be perfect. I hope this will allow you to go out and enjoy life. x

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