How to Deal With Panic Attacks
Anybody who has anxiety knows just how scary panic attacks can be. One minute you are going about your day and then the next minute you are convinced you are dying. Anything can cause panic attacks and most of the time we can't even think of what that could be. It's important to try and maintain a rational mind set as soon as we go into a state of panic so that we can handle it in the best way possible.
1. Recognise that you are having a panic attack!
This may seem really obvious but in the moment our brains convince us that we are dying. Tell yourself that it is just a panic attack and that IT WILL PASS! This way you won't get even more panicked thinking that your life is over.
2. Take slow, deep breaths.
Inhale slowly through your nose and slowly exhale out of your mouth. This is called controlled breathing! When we panic our bodies take quick, short breaths usually through the nose which can cause other symptoms such as pins and needles, shaking, palpiations etc... If we control our breathing, our bodies will start to relax and calm down.
3. 5,4,3,2,1 Method.
This is a really good method for grounding yourself. Focusing on the moment, right here and now, helps place us in the situation and stops our minds from running away from us. Sit down and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. You should now be focusing on your surroundings rather than worrying.
4. Ice, Ice Baby.
If you start to feel hot and sick the best way to manage this is to cool ourselves down. A bag of frozen peas or any other frozen object will help your body regulate it's temperature again. You can also use a cold, wet flannel and place this on your forehead.
5. Use your adrenaline.
Panicking gives us all this extra adrenaline which we don't know what to do with. We can help use some of it up by doing exercise. A jog on the spot is a great way to let all of that energy out!
6. Call 111.
If you find that everything is getting to much to handle and you are finding it difficult to calm yourself down the best thing to do is ring 111. This is for non-emergencies and somebody will assess your situation and put you on the phone to a nurse, doctor or ring an ambulance to assist you if they deem it necessary. Please do not feel stupid for seeking help. Panic attacks can be really scary so you are bound to need support, especially if you have never had one before!