A panic attack is not an experience anyone should wish for their worst enemy. It is a terrifying moment where you experience fear and feel like everything is about to end. This situation is an exaggeration of your body’s normal response to danger, stress, or excitement.
Apart from the fact that panic attacks come with a feeling of doom, other physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, and chest pain can be very similar to symptoms of a panic attack.
Let’s dig deep to discover some useful self-help techniques that will help you know what to do during and after a panic attack:
Panic attacks can cause you to breathe rapidly, making your feelings of anxiety and tension worse. All you need to do is try to breathe slowly and deeply, concentrating on each breath. It would help if you tried to breathe intensely from the abdomen, filling the lungs gradually and count to 4 as you inhale and exhale.
Sitting in a quiet place will also create some mental space, making it easier to focus on breathing. Experts also recommend that you can take deep breaths as an effective panic attack self-help treatment.
Focus on your senses
Another important panic attack self-help treatment is to focus on your senses. Panic attacks can make you feel disconnected from reality. Due to this, the intensity of the anxiety can overtake other sense organs. So, ensure to use all the five senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste.
Using the 5-4-3-2-1 mindfulness technique will help direct your focus away from the panic attack. To perform this technique, you should complete every step diligently:
- Stare at 5 different items — Ponder about each one briefly.
- Be attentive to 4 various sounds — Think about the most likely place those sounds can come from and what distinguishes them.
- Touch 3 items — Consider what they feel like and their usefulness.
- Recognize 2 distinct smells — This may be the smell of your drink, laundry detergent, food, or your outfit.
- Mention 1 thing you can taste that’s available — Try to observe the taste in your mouth.
Observe your body
When you’ve just had a panic attack, you must take note of what your body needs. For instance, you might need to relax in someplace calmly, then get something to eat or drink afterwards.
Finding someone you trust and you can talk to, letting them know that you’ve just had a panic attack is also a great idea. It could be beneficial to let them know how they can notice if you have another one and how they can be of help.
Without a doubt, what you’ve learnt today will help you manage the next one because no one deserves to live in continuous fear of having another panic attack — including you.
However, if you are still finding it difficult to deal with panic attacks after trying these techniques, you can easily reach out to a doctor on CribMD to get professional help!