Panic Attacks

How to manage a panic attack. 

1st) They happen to a lot of people, you are not alone.

2nd) They can happen randomly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because a panic attack happened while you were at a specific place or thinking of a specific thing, the “specific thing” is the cause of the panic attack.  It might not be the cause and becoming frightened that the “specific thing” may induce a panic attack again will likely induce a panic attack again simply because you are now frightened of it. 

3rd) Take the panic out of panic attack. As long as you are scared of it, the panic attack will increase in duration and severity. Once you remove the fear, the power that is feeding the panic attack will subside and the panic attack will go away very quickly. 

4th) To take the fear out of the panic attack, stop trying to frantically find a cause and a solution while the attack is occurring. There will be time think about it later. While it is occurring watch it happen, experience it, embrace it, don’t run from it. Simply watch your body and experience the horrible feeling of your heart racing, your lungs bursting, your muscles pulsating, and your emotions enflaming. Watch it….feel it….don’t be scared of it. It’s just a chemical reaction in your body. As your mind passively watches and feels your body become inflamed, allow your mind to be as calm and detached as possible. 

5th) Slowly decrease your breathing and bring your breathing down to a calm and normal level. 

6th) As your mind detaches to a calm state (regardless of how your body is reacting) and your breathing normalizes, the panic attack will very very quickly subside. It will subside because you are not feeding the panic by inducing fear with panicked thoughts about the attack. 

7th) After the panic attack is over, do not be afraid of the context or the topic that was occurring at the time of the attack.  Try and return to the place that the attack occurred while teaching your body to be calm in the place. Try and have the conversation or the thoughts again, while teaching your body to be calm with those thoughts. Embracing, as opposed to running often decreases anxiety provoking situations. UNLESS, it is an actually abusive or harmful situation, in which case avoiding it is a very good idea. 

That’s one way to reduce panic attacks!