They come out of nowhere. One minute you are typing, and the next minute you can hardly breathe. Or, maybe you feel as if to the world has grown and you’ve stayed the same.
I was just sitting at my computer typing and a sudden wave of panic washed over me. My hands became sweaty, my body started shaking, my breathing became shallow, and my chest started to feel constricted. I was having a panic attack. I have been through hundreds of these so luckily I knew what I needed to do. I started to take deep breaths with five counts in hold for two counts and five counts let the breath out. Next, I found a meditation that was about 5 minutes in length. I turned it on, and I closed my eyes. I followed the instructions of the voice and slowly regulated my breathing.
Within 10 minutes, I managed to control a panic attack with a few tricks I learned over the years. If you were to go back a few years ago, I would be in a panic attack for at least an hour, and I would require medication to settle myself down.
I can’t tell you for sure what caused the panic attack, however, I can guess it had to do with a lack of sleep and perhaps not taking care of myself as well I should. I made sure that night I went to bed early and slept in the next morning.
I am telling you this because I want to share strategies to help you, so when you have a panic attack you can try them. However, these are tips only, please consult with your therapist and/or treating physician for medical advice.
- Breath slowly
- Use guided visualization or meditation
- Do mindfulness exercises
- Repeat positive affirmations
- Take a walk
- Take a bath or hot shower
- Journal about it
- Talk to someone you love
- Distract your mind
- Listen to a podcast or soothing music
I hope these strategies can help you you.