Panic attacks are an awful thing to experience, and in the moment they often feel like the end of the world. They can be exhausting, and can leave you feeling afraid and frustrated. One of my biggest concerns having panic disorder is being able to stop a panic attack before it escalates. I went to my therapist for help, and these were some of the tips she gave me:
Box breathing is a concentration exercise that also calms your nervous system. During a panic attack, you might experience shortness of breath, which leads to dizziness that can actually freak you out more. Taking control of your breathing is a good way to slow your heart rate, and bring yourself down from a panic attack. All you have to do is breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and repeat.
Simulate your Mind:
Try to focus- I mean, really focus on what is around you. Not only will this distract you from your thoughts and panic, it will reassure you that you are not in danger. Whether it’s counting how many tiles are on the floor, or examining the way the clouds move in the sky; making your brain focus on something else can help you overcome your panic.
Keep a Panic Journal:
Having a notebook on hand to document your panic attacks is surprisingly helpful. When you feel panic coming on, write down where you are, what you’re doing, how you were feeling prior, and any other information you can think of. Doing so will help you compare each panic attack, and show you if they relate and how. This means knowing what to avoid, what to do differently, and what exactly triggers your panic.
While these tips might help you calm down, remember that there is usually an underlying issue that causes panic attacks. Therapy will not only help you cope with panic disorder, but help you find the root of the problem. Booking a session with TranQool is a great first step.