AKA HOW TO DEAL WITH PANIC ATTACKS
A deep breath in.
A deep breath out.
Surrounding myself in the room.
Panic attacks are often a struggle for people to deal with, with many of the techniques used to calm the body and mind failing after trial and error. The only way I knew that actually worked both in theory and during the real thing was to ground myself.
It’s all about keeping both your body and mind grounded, by ‘surrounding’ yourself in everything around you and making yourself a part of it. When having a panic attack, it can be easy to let your mind and imagination take you away, thus making the whole situation last longer whilst failing to resolve the issue in your mind. Instead, the first thing you do is look around you and take it in. Where are you? Look at the objects. Who are you with? This is where you are – whatever is worrying you is not present*. Take a moment to embrace where you are and that you are you.
This usually helps to relax my body along with slow, deep breathing, so taking a minute to yourself to just breathe and let yourself become grounded can help a lot. Once you are calm, then you can start to slowly take in whatever has set you off and help it to make sense in your mind. Talk to someone. Let your thoughts and feelings be heard by those close to you. Get an outsider’s opinion to see the angles you can’t see alone.
Once your body is relaxed, your mind can also relax, as the two are often connected during panics (as demonstrated by the physical symptoms of sweating, feeling sick, a fast heartbeat, etc.). By calming one, you can soothe the other, and soon the panic will be over and you can face the anxiety in a prepared state rather than a panicked one.
*it was usually things that weren’t present or physically with me (or even a physical thing – just an idea) that triggered off my panic attacks.