How to Stop an Anxiety Attack- A One Minute Technique

It was a regular evening.

I was sitting in a taxi on my way to an appointment. 

The phone in my hand lit up with a new message.

Everything slowed down as I read it.

My heart started pounding against my chest… as though trying to escape the car before the rest of my body. 

My throat went dry.

My chest tightened. 

The car suddenly felt too small. 

I had to get out. 

Struggling to keep my voice calm, I told the driver to let me out and I started walking. I didn’t know where I was going but I was in hurry to get there.

I stopped. Closed my eyes. And took a deep breath. 

I’d felt like this before. 

I was in the middle of an anxiety attack. 

And I knew the message caused it. The contents of the message wasn’t devastating. But it was triggering. And my brain and body didn’t seem to know how to handle it. 

I took another deep breath and reminded myself that I wasn’t in any immediate  danger. 

It didn’t help. 

I took yet another deep breath  and tried to remember what my therapist  told me to do in this situation. 

It was a 54321 technique, but I couldn’t recall exactly what the 54321 things were. 

They came back in fragments:

Five things you can see…

Some things you can hear…

One thing you can taste.

I knew I wasn’t  remembering everything perfectly  but it didn’t matter. 

By focusing on my breathing, the taste of gum in my mouth and the sights and sounds around me,  my errant heart starting slowing to it’s usual rhythm.

That technique didn’t actually save my life that day but it felt like it did. 

So I’d like to share it with you.

It’s actually a proven way of treating  anxiety attacks. And it only takes less than a minute. 

The version below is from the Calm meditation app. It’s something I’ve revisited a number of times whenever I felt stressed or overwhelmed . 

If you suffer from anxiety I sincerely think it’ll help.

If you don’t suffer from anxiety but know someone who does, please share this post and video with them. They’ll thank you for it.

From Pain to Beauty: Lessons from a Make-up Artist

Growing up I was often reminded that I wasn’t the idea of smart and/or beautiful. I was criticized and compared constantly about my appearance. I cried a lot and blamed God.

Still trying to see through the tears to have a good childhood. Playing dress-up with my cousins, styling our hairs, applying our mother’s makeup, just playing and having fun was my escape. I had no intention to make playing “dressing up” as a dream or career. 

I was raised in a way to know that there are special people in the world but you are NOT one of them! This is something I cried about all throughout my life. 

Self hate, criticism and negative thoughts were things I nourished. Reliving those bullying statements “you’re ugly and stupid” made it so difficult to trust and believe in others and myself, especially in good moments of genuine acceptance.

However, there came a breaking point.

I lived through my awkward teenage years, coming into a young adult I was on a mission to “look beautiful”. 

Even though I was full of internal pain and suffering, I was determined to “fix” this part of me and prove to my bullies I can be beautiful! 

I began my research on beauty, which led me to makeover shows, makeup and hairstyling. This encouraged me to pursue makeup artistry and cosmetology. 

A true passion emerged.

Still unsure if this could be a career, self doubt fluttering in an out, with a leap of faith I began posting my work on social media with no expectations, luckily business took off. 

Clients always use my business name as a fun and sweet conversation starter which I love very much, but not knowing it came from sad pray to god. “please god, can you make me beautiful”. Make Me Beautiful was born. 

After 13 years in this business I can say I’ve learnt a lot and still learning both personal and professional. But with my struggles, misfortunes, failure and success I am very grateful for all my experiences. I’m a strong believer in growth with whatever field or life choices. I want to help manifest more inner beauty and self love.

Society has made makeup artistry into a negative reflection of someone’s self-esteem.

But I chose not to listen to those voices anymore. Makeup is a form of art, I know I’m enhancing someone’s beautiful canvas, I’m not changing, covering up or fixing who they are. I chose to believe I’m bringing out their best selves within, outward. 

I now have a different perspective about my past.

Instead of enduring and reliving my pain, I see it as lessons that pushed me into the right direction. I’ve notice that when I stop playing a victim and  face the darkness, I can fully let go to live a mentally happier life and I’m proud of whom I’ve become. 

So instead on tossing around the negativity, bullying and pain like dirt, I collectively use them all to mould a beautiful life and career. 

I would encourage you all to embrace your talents, skills and dreams. Learn from negativity, face your fears head on. Keep moving forward.

You are worthy, beautiful and loved.

Written by: Vandana Ramnath 

Makeup Artist & Hairstylist 

Founder of Make Me Beautiful by Vandana Ramnath

Follow her on Instagram @makemebeautifulvr if you’d like to learn more about her work and her journey