Not much is known about panic attacks and many people aren’t convinced they exist until they have one. It can be difficult to know what you can do about them, but here are some solid steps you can take to make sure you can handle these attacks when they occur.
One way to decrease the symptoms of a panic attack is by correcting your posture. During a panic attack, people tend to cross their arms and draw their legs up tightly against their body. It is a naturally protective position, but it tends to restrict breathing, which can increase the severity of your symptoms. Try to be aware of your posture during a panic attack. Stand or kneel, if possible. This allows you to breathe more evenly and calm down more quickly.
Find something you really love to do and then, engage in it when you’re having a panic attack. Choose something that is meditative, like gentle yoga or knitting, so that you’ll get lost in it and forget what is happening to your body. Make sure you’re able to do this whenever an attack hits.
Some people experience panic attacks while driving or riding in a car. Should this happen to you, opening the car windows a bit for some fresh air on your face should help. If it’s summertime, crank the air conditioning for a bit which should cool your head and calm your nerves. If you are flying, open the overhead fan all the way to cool yourself and calm down.
If you experience panic attacks, you may find it useful to carry “insurance” in the form of some type of anti-anxiety medication. Medicines such as clonazepam in very small, occasional doses can be extremely effective in quickly calming a panic attack. They are not meant to be taken daily and should, of course, be taken under a doctor’s instructions.
If you feel scared during an attack, you need to ask yourself what there is to be afraid of around your environment. Is anyone actually trying to hurt you? More often than not, the actual threat is non-existent. Remember this, and focus on relaxing your mind and body.
Realize that feelings are just feelings and that they can’t harm you while you’re having a panic attack. Stand still for just one minute and let the feelings drain out of your body. Try to blank your mind out and then replace those bad thoughts with positive ones about the people you love.
Visualize yourself lying in a field of bubbles when you have your next panic attack. As they begin to burst you are able to move lower and lower into the pile of bubbles. The pile is never-ending so you know you are fully supported, relaxed, and surrounded by joy and love.
Having a panic attack can be a bit scary, but when you have the tips above, it can be a little easier. Make sure to try each step when you have an attack to see which method works best for you. Find one that helps and finally feel a little better.