Panic attacks are often mistaken for dying because they feel that severe. Being able to manage your emotions and thoughts during an episode like a panic attack can feel downright impossible.
For some people, panic attacks are brought on by stressful circumstances like getting into a car accident, or experiencing the loss of a family member. However, for other people, panic attacks can come out of the blue for seemingly no reason at all. Not only are they uncomfortable, but they’re frightening!
When you’re having a panic attack, try to put these tips to use to manage your emotions and take control of your body again.
Recognize Your Triggers
It helps to know what sets off your panic attacks. By recognizing what sort of situations will send you into a full-blown panic attack, you can avoid exposing yourself.
The more that you know your triggers, the sooner you can remove yourself from a situation that is starting to set you off. By knowing the causes, the easier it is to try to talk your way out of a panic attack once one begins.
Close Your Eyes
Some panic attacks are a result of too much stimulation. IF you’re in the middle of a chaotic environment like a crowd, then it helps to focus your thoughts elsewhere.
Close your eyes and transport yourself I wards. Reduce your stimulation and focus on the darkness of the backs of your eyelids. If possible, put on headphones or walk away to a quiet area.
In many cases, panic attacks result in hyperventilation. Hyperventilating can lead to a panic attack getting even worse and potentially even losing consciousness.
The best way to control your breathing is to take deep breaths. Focus on your breath going in and out, sending as much air as possible to your stomach on the inhale. Breathe in until you reach the count of 3 and exhale slowly counting to the same number. After several deep breaths like this, you should eventually start to feel calmer.
Find Something To Focus On
Whenever you’re going through a traumatic experience, it helps to find an object to focus on. Pick something in the room to look at and focus all of your energy on it.
Whether it’s a tree blowing in the wind, or a light fixture on the ceiling, give it your full and undivided attention. Take note of what kind of shape it is, and what color. The more information that you can take in about it, the more that you’ll distract your mind.
Giving your mind something to focus on usually ends up calming you down slowly and taking the focus off of the panic attack.