Tips For Dealing With A Panic Attack
- Grounding Technique
Also known as the 5-4-3-2-1 method. It's important to understand that a panic attack can come on suddenly and leave a person feeling completely detached from reality. This is due to the intensity of the attack and how a panic disorder can quickly overtake all of the other senses in the body.
Using this grounding technique is a way to use mindfulness. It can redirect the focus away from the source of stress.
Here's how it works:
Spot 5 different objects. Contemplate each of the 5 objects for a moment.
Listen to hear 4 different sounds. Consider where each of the 4 different sounds originated from. What sets them apart from other sounds?
Touch 3 different objects. Consider their texture, is it rough or smooth? What is their temperature? How are they used?
Identify 2 different scents. It could be coffee, cocoa, soap, fabric softener, flowers, anything at all that you can smell.
Now, name 1 thing that you can taste. If you haven't eaten or drank anything recently open a piece of candy and taste that.
Find a key mantra to repeat to help improve your focus. It can be a word, phrase, diddy, anything at all that is easy to remember. It should offer you strength and focus. Repeat this word or phrase to yourself silently. It could even be something as simple as "This too shall pass". If you're a spiritual person you may wish to repeat a scripture verse or hymn.
By focussing on the mantra you'll slow your breathing and redirect your thoughts. This will help you to relax and refocus.
- Seek Some Exercise
Walking is an ideal way to get some exercise. The rhythm of the walk may also help to improve breathing regulation.
The act of moving around will release endorphins and the body will relax and the mood will also improve. A regular exercise routine will help to lower anxiety over time and this may help to reduce the severity of the anxiety attacks as well as reduce them.
More benefits of exercise can be found here.
- Muscle Relaxation
Anxiety attacks can cause muscles to tighten up with tension. Learning to use muscle relaxation will go far in helping to reduce anxiety attacks. As the mind recognizes that the body is relaxing, the breathing will slow down and the mind will follow.
Progressive muscle relaxation works as a great way to cope with anxiety and panic attacks.
To progressively relax use this method:
Hold the tension for about 5 seconds.
Concentrate on relaxing each muscle as the tension is released.
Allow each muscle to relax for 10 seconds before going on to the next mucle.
- Go To A Happy Place
A happy place should allow a person to visualize a safe place where they are happy. Visualization works well to redirect the mind and help the body to relax. The person will feel calm and safe in a happy place.
When a panic attack happens quickly close the eyes and begin to go to a happy place. Consider a scene where everything is serene and calm. Soft and soothing, and relaxing.