I had my first panic attack at age 20. It was a sunny day, and I was sitting in New York City's Union Square Park. Nothing was wrong. I wasn’t under any particular stress. I was panicking for absolutely no reason. Pretty soon the attacks — and the varied symptoms, which included labored breathing, heart palpitations, dizziness, sweating, crying, coughing, and vomiting — were happening on a regular basis. Sure, some coincided with classic anxiety situations (public speaking, deadlines, a new job). But, the most frightening ones were those that occurred at the grocery store, in the shower, or while eating lunch. These were quiet moments where my lack of brain business paved the way for a zero-to-60 anxiety explosion, all for no apparent reason.
Ahead, I explore the rising prevalence of anxiety in our culture and how, with seven mindful and meditation tips I've incorporated into my life, I've learned to reclaim my life from stress and anxiety.