A panic attacks is an intense and frightening experience, and something that really shows us the power of the nervous system.
There are things you can do on your own to support yourself when it happens.
Here is a great resource from the Scottish NHS: https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing/anxiety-and-panic/how-to-deal-with-panic-attacks
In essence, the advice is to:
- try to not be afraid of the panic attack itself. It is not a sign that something dangerous is happening in your body. (A tip i heard on a podcast was to try telling or repeating to yourself 'my brain is sending signals, nothing else is wrong') 🧠
- ride it out, try to stay in the situation until the anxiety and panic have gone down. Don't look for distraction, try to keep doing things. 💪
- Confront your fear. If you don't run away from it, you're giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing's going to happen 👍
As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and continue to do what you were doing before. 💜
It might also be helpful to try a breathing exercise, get some fresh oxygen into your bloodstream:
- breathe in as slowly, deeply and gently as you can, through your nose 👃
- breathe out slowly, deeply and gently through your mouth 👄
- some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five on each in-breath and each out-breath 5️⃣
- close your eyes and focus on your breathing 🫁🌬️
Overall, remember that the anxiety and the panic will pass, and the physical symptoms, although they can feel scary, are nothing to worry about.🌻