Panic attacks are awful. Most of us have experienced one at some point in our lives for one reason or another. Here’s my mini guide of some small things you can do to beat them.
So what actually is a panic attack? Imagien you were in the Stone Age walking along, when you’re confronted by a sabre-tooth tiger. Your body would ready you to deal with this threat stimulus by pumping adrenaline round your body.
You would then have two options: fight or flight. The former would involve you remaining in the situation, while the latter would involve you runnign awy (obviously).
This instinct is still in us after all this time, to help us deal with threats. It’s why people scared of spiders will panic when meeting the stimulus of a spider crawling on their hand, for example.
Panic attacks area version of this response. they feel awful, but they can be dealt with. When the adrenaline begins to pump through your veins, you can tackle it so that you can get on with your day once more.
First comes breathing. Don’t underestimate how important this is. Put your hand on your belly and feel each breath in for 3 and out for 7. Most of the physical symptoms of a panic come from overbreathing. Feeling faint, for example, comes from your brain having too much oxygen, which is why you feel weak. With this in mind, it makes sense to try to control your breathing.
Sit down if you’re standing and vice versa. Changing your position can help some of the physical symptoms and help you change your perspective.
Talk to someone and explain how you’re feeling. Besides helping it get off your chest, it will help regulate your breathing.
For the rest of the day, try to rest and make sure you’re looking after yourself enough. Self care is easy to forget about if you’re having a hard time.
Cut down on caffeine/ alcohol or drugs (if applicable obviously) to make sure your body is calm and in good physical shape.
There’s all sorts of tips you might read elsewhere. My advice is to see what works for you. Try to see what the trigger has been for the panic and you should find your anxiety levels will steadily drop.
Anxiety is normal, and it affects many people. If it continues, consider seeking professional help.