I had this bizarre experience the other morning. The night before I had eaten some really salty pork, and went to sleep at my normal time. Too much salt in your diet and raise your blood pressure and naturally increase anxiety. I knew I was in for a rough day as I had a stressful exam that I had to take, so eating something salty was fuel to the fire . At 3am, I awoke and my heart felt like a drum circle. I felt like I was waking up to a panic attack. Naturally, I was confused as I wasn’t dreaming and at that particular time wasn’t doing anything stressful. I remembered talking to a therapist year ago who warned me that panic attacks don’t work on schedules, they can happen at any time.
So I went right to my routine, meditation and yoga. After about 20 minutes or so, my heart and slowed down and I was feeling less panicked, I crawled back into bed and went to sleep. I awoke hours later, still had a bit of stress, but overcame it all with deep breathing exercises. There is nothing more to this story, and what you should probably take away from it is that having a practice that you can use for quick anxiety relief is a boring story but a great real-life tool. I’ve told countless people about this, hoping that my experience will motivate them to have their own contingency plan in place. My life before having these tools was a constant state of anxiety. I spent decades quietly suffering until panic overtook my ability to control. I have since taken control over the steering wheel.