We're here to help you, you're not alone.
Panic attacks happen when we have a sudden burst of fear and anxiety. This is caused by the body's natural response to prepare for a ''fight or flight'' situation and this subconsciously triggers a set of physiological reactions.
We've put together this invaluable information especially for you if you are struggling with a panic attack right now.
Please do not listen to this while driving or operating heavy machinery
BREATHE AND RELAX
The most important thing to understand about hyperventilation is that although it can feel as if you don’t have enough oxygen, the opposite is true. It is a symptom of too much oxygen.
If you feel an attack coming on, simple breathing and relaxation techniques can help you feel more in control. Practicing these techniques twice a day for just 10 minutes at a time may make your panic attacks less frequent and easier to conquer.
Relax your breathing. Put one hand on your chest, and the other just above your navel (belly button).
Take in a slow, deep breath through your nose while counting to five.The hand placed on your chest should remain still, while the one just above your navel should raise with your breath.
When you reach the count of five, let the breath out slowly (through your nose) at the same rate. Concentrating on your hands and the counting with the breath will help you focus and calm down. Continue these breaths until you feel relaxed.
Relax your muscles. Find a comfortable position to either sit or lie down.
Close your eyes and begin to focus on the feelings in your toes. Curl them under, tightly for a count of five, squeezing the muscles together as hard as you can without causing pain, and then relax your toes.
Next, concentrate on your feet. Contract all of the muscles in your feet tightly for a count of five, then relax.
Continue up your body, isolating each muscle group (calves, thighs, buttocks, stomach, chest, shoulders, neck, fingers, hands, and arms) all the way up to your face.
By the time you begin to tense the muscles in your face and head, you should start to feel much calmer.
Be Aware is a five step process you can use to guide your responses during a panic attack. The regular use of this approach will go a long way towards your goal of overcoming panic attacks.
The ‘A’ in aware stands for ‘Acceptance''. Make the decision to simply go with the experience, wherever it may take you. Fighting against the anxiety, getting angry, frustrated or scared simply fuels the fire. A panic attack is a perfectly natural and normal bodily response, there is nothing to be afraid of.
The ‘W’ in aware is for ‘Watch’. Observe your panic attack, the feelings it is creating and the bodily sensations. Without judging your panic to be good or bad. Remember - you are more than just this panic attack.
The 2nd ‘A’ in ‘aware'' is for ‘Act’. Behave normally and continue doing what you intended to do. Don''t change or try to adapt your surroundings or actions to accommodate the panic attack. Breathe normally focusing on extending your exhalation. If you try to run from the situation your immediate anxiety may possibly decrease but this will only lead to an increase in anxiety for any future panic attacks. Staying in the situation helps recondition your thinking towards the panic attack. And your response will eventually lead to your mind accepting that it is not a threatening experience.
The ‘R’ in ‘aware’ is for ‘Repeat’. Continue accepting these feelings, watching your panic and acting normal until it subsides and lowers down to a comfortable level.
And the ‘E’ in ‘aware’ is for ‘End’. This is here to remind you that your panic attack will end. All panic attacks must come to an end eventually. It''s not your job to make the attack end, your only job is to make yourself as comfortable as possible while waiting for the panic attack to end.