3 Lessons I Learned From Having Panic Attacks


One of the scariest things happened to me—I had a panic attack for the first time and it happened at work. As in a heart wrenching, breath losing, and eye twitching…in front of everyone!!!! Sigh.

Here is how it happened…

On my 29th birthday, I was on a bus headed to LaGuardia Airport when I received an email from Tanesha Awasthi, the blogger behind Girl With Curves because she chose to accept my offer to be interviewed for the Wonder Woman series. This was a BIG moment for me because I’ve been following her blog and business ventures for years. The next day I started typing away preparing to publish the piece when my chest started to beat abruptly and I felt short of breath for a few brief seconds. I paused for a moment and continued on. The next day, I met with a brand rep to plan for an upcoming collaboration. We swapped ideas, sipped coffee, then said our goodbyes. As soon as I stepped outside my head started throbbing. The more I walked, the more it hurt. This went on for the next 12 hours so my Saturday was a bust. I woke up headache-free and super thankful because I had several industry events to make it to throughout the day. Several boutiques, two meet-and-greets, and a fashion show later I met up with my wife to run errands. When we finally made it to our last stop, I decided to wait in the car—that’s when it happened again, but this time my heart was beating so fast, I could see my chest move, and for quite a while I couldn’t move at all. When she returned to the car several minutes later, I could speak but the rest of my body felt too heavy to move. So she took my purse and phone, that were still in my hands, and then hugged me until it passed. It was my wife who recognized the signs and told me I was having a panic attack. Until then, I felt like I was just losing my mind.

 What did I learn?
plus size yoga pants
  1. A balanced body is a happy body. (easy part) As things got busier and busier I stopped taking care of my body so no wonder it stopped taking care of my brain. For this I added back daily multivitamins, protein shakes, yoga, and I’m sticking to a sleep schedule. Multivitamins aren’t created equally so I recommend doing your homework before adding them to your daily routine. With all the tasty, sugary and carb-filled temptations surrounding us it can be a challenge to eat enough meat so I supplement with whey protein. My favorite right now is Designer Whey Natural 100% Whey Protein in vanilla. Yoga for beginners can be intense and intimidating but, Adriene of Yoga With Adriene breaks each movement down so well that any novice can get started with ease. I stopped watching TV in the bedroom and put on a sleep mask before getting in bed. This change has made me sleep deeper at night and my mornings are less rushed.
  2. Self-inventory is ALWAYS necessary. (hard part) My character traits are very much in line with my Leo sign and I reside in the pleasure house. Because I despise doing anything I can’t find pleasure in, procrastination and I have a LONG and unhealthy relationship. I first noticed this when I had a English paper due and I waited until the night before to do the reading, writing, and typing. Then it happened—my computer crashed, I lost the work, and had to stay up all night redoing it. I found myself nursing a sinus infection for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, this same sort of procrastination spilled over into my 9 to 5. As I reflected, it became obvious I was sabotaging myself at work. Now I’m committed to doing the daunting tasks first because avoidance causes me intense stress, panic attacks, and frequent urination.
  3. De-clutter Your Mind(even harder, yet very doable) Taking time to unwind and unplug is hard for everyone, but it is ESPECIALLY HARD for bloggers, but it can be done. If you pre-plan content and shoot in advance you can automate some tasks and get away from it all without anyone noticing. During my time off I enjoy listening to Bossa Nova, Native American flute music, laying around at the local beaches, reflexology massage, binge streaming, and mani-pedis with friends. No matter what you enjoy be sure to protect your down time and give yourself a chance to re-charge by signing out of apps, email, and putting away everything work related.

    Anytime you’re feeling overworked and overwhelmed remember…You’ve survived 100% of your worst days so far!

    yoga for anxiety

    I want to cry, laugh and celebrate with you! So tell me, what got you through the worst days in your life? 


    Hey Girl, Hey! I’m Dāsha Guyton, an award winning Lifestyle Blogger and Wardrobe Stylist based in Hyde Park, Chicago. More importantly, I’m a body positive warrior and self-love advocate on a mission to  help you curate experiences and a wardrobe you love. To get to know me and this blog better start here. You can also find my styling advice here on the blog and featured in every issue of Modest Truth Mag. Enough about me, let’s connect on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

31 Comments Add yours

  1. probableman says:

    I have had a few panic attacks in my life….I think I am getting better….lol….maybe the people around me are noticing….I use sense of humor sometimes to help me….

    Mr. Q

    1. Dāsha says:

      So happy to hear you found relief through humor! A good sense of humor goes a long way. 😉

  2. kitstanwood says:

    I’m so sorry you had a panic attack!!! I’ve had 4 in my life. One was a tiny luckily! These are GREAT tips to advoid having them. Stay healthy and mentally healthy

  3. mashupmom says:

    From one Chicago blogger to another, I get the challenge of decluttering your mind! Thanks for sharing so honestly.

  4. Michael says:

    Awesome post. I have SEVERE Anxiety and have panic attacks often. Having them at work is the worst :/

  5. Great post. I’ve also suffered panic attacks in the past and am always interested to know how other people deal with them.

  6. Taylor says:

    I’ve never experienced a panic attach before but I have friends who have and they say it’s so scary! I’m so glad you’re ok and that you feel comfortable sharing with everyone! I love this tips especially remembering to take care of your body and to declutter the mind.
    Taylor | http://www.styleiseverythingblog.com

    1. Dāsha says:

      I figured my blog would be the best place to be open and honest about panic attacks. Plus every one can use these tips, glad toy found them useful.

  7. Great article! I once lost my hearing completely while giving a presentation because of a panic attack. They come in all sorts of ways! Thanks for sharing!
    Barefoot in LA | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Pintrest

    1. Dāsha says:

      Oh wow😯 that had to so scary. I hope you’ve found a way to manage them.

  8. Amanda Kruse says:

    Thanks for sharing such a personal manner with us. I have only had a couple panic attacks and that was almost 10 years ago,

    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  9. Amanda Kruse says:

    Thanks for sharing such a personal manner with us. I have only had a couple panic attacks but that was almost 10 years ago.

    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  10. stephienese says:

    These are great tips – definitely needed the reminder. Thank you for sharing such a personal lesson!

  11. Steph says:

    I have never experienced these, but I honestly cannot even imagine. Thank you for being so honest and sharing.

    trendyinindy.com || @trendyinindy

  12. Thank you for sharing such an honest post. Having a panic attack must have been really scary!! I found that mindfulness has helped me with my anxiety. I’m glad to hear that you have things that help you
    Charlene The Frugal Fashionista

  13. Thank you for being so open and honest. As a girl who has experienced anxiety attacks as well, it’s nice to know I’m not alone! Xx

  14. elle spann says:

    ugh I hate that for you! I have friends who have suffered from them and they are no fun. Taking time to spend on myself is imperative. If that means going to bed before the laundry is put up, then so be it!
    Southern Elle Style

  15. Stress is so not good for us! Love this post and your dedication.

    xx, Bri || http://www.Neutral2Neon.com

  16. Great tips!! I get panic attacks in some stressful situations!

  17. Emmi Scott says:

    Thank you for your honesty and advice! I love the vulnerability of this post and will definitely follow your suggestions.

    1. Dāsha says:

      Thanks Emmi😉 It took me a year of feeling better to be able to write this so I’m glad it’s well received. I couldn’t bare wiring about it until I had tried and true suggestions to help people and I sincerely hope it helps you.

  18. Kristina C. says:

    This past year, I started suffering from panic attacks. They are no joke! I would go into hiding and my fiancee would come find me laying on the floor in a ball. I was put on medication and I realized my job was causing it. I was blessed enough to be able to quit my job and take some time to myself. I currently have two dogs that keep me happy and relaxed. I also started going to yoga with my mother in law. I tend to meditate and focus on my breath when I feel one coming. I’ve tried to keep them at bay throughout my whole pregnancy! They are scary!

    1. Dāsha says:

      So glad to hear you’ve been able to keep them at bay lately, especially during your pregnancy. Congratulations,and have a Happy New Year! 🎉

  19. mkhuber says:

    Panic attacks are so terrifying and it’s worse that you don’t know what’s happening to you the first time. When it happened to me the first time, I had no idea what was going on and thought I was legitimately dying. I jumped in a cab and went to the ER. It wasn’t until the next day I realized what happened. That was about 2 years ago. Now after taking better care of myself, moving home, yoga, and therapy, I am doing so much better!

    1. Dāsha says:

      Oh no😮 I’m sure that what confusing going through all that at the hospital thinking you were dying. But I’m happy to hear you’re doing much better.

  20. Neti* says:

    Thanks for this post. I suffered a similar panic attack two weeks ago on a Tuesday and ran to the Doctor for a check up. After the initial EKG was fairly normal and the BP was reduced, I started feeling better. I am going to save this post for future reference. Happy 2017 to You & Yours!

    1. Dāsha says:

      I’m sorry to hear that Neti. I am hopeful this was just a holiday hangover of sorts and you never need these tips again. POP! FIZZ! CLINK! HAPPY NEW YEAR🎉 May your year end well and the new year begin even better😉

  21. dannie54 says:

    Panic attacks and anxiety are insanely difficult to deal with. I’ve been having them with some unfortunate regularity for years now and, even with therapy, medication, life balance, and everything, it’s still so scary when one comes up out of nowhere and you’re like “what did I do to deserve this?!”

    It sounds like you’re taking this bump with stride and grace, as you do everything. These tips are truly amazing to help and I’m so happy you’re sharing them!


    1. Dāsha says:

      I feel like panic attacks remind us no matter how much we try to manage and control life a lot of it is out of it is out of our hands. So all we can do is take it with stride and grace. I’m sorry to hear despite your dedication you’re still experience panic attacks. Hang in there my friend; I’m here when you need me.

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