So, you’re having a panic attack. We’ve all been there, but right now that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you feel like crap and that’s no good. So here are my steps to get back to normal:
1. Remember to breath
You may feel that you can’t breathe, but trust me you can. You’re probably breathing too much (hyperventilating) so slow your breathing and count to 20. This will give your brain something to focus on rather than the panic.
When you hyperventilate you shallow breathe and therefore don’t get enough oxygen to your brain, that can cause you to feel dizzy and lightheaded.
2. Take in your surroundings
You may feel that the world is crowding you. I shouted at my partner during my last panic attach when he touched my arm. Awkward. Looking at what’s around you is a great distraction technique and can make you realise that the world is not as scary as it seems.
3. Drink water
It may seem like an obvious one but when you are panicking you can easily forget to drink. Your body has gone into shock and you need to treat it as such, so sip at water to bring your body’s function back to normal. You may also find you get over-heated, so water will help you cool down.
4. Take a seat
The number of times I’ve fainted after a panic attack are too many to count, so take a seat. There’s nothing worse for a panic attack than waking up on the floor of the Central Line with a load of concerned facing staring down at you. Now, I’m not saying that you will faint, that’s just how my body deals with it, but trust me, sitting down is brilliant.
I know you don’t want to hear it, but it’s all about waiting. All panic attacks disappear with time. So be patient and know that this too shall pass. It may feel like hours, but it’s been proven that panic attacks tend to last mere minutes, and it’s how we react either side of those minutes that make or break us. So take it slow and allow your body to regain its normality.
These are tips that work for me. I’m not saying they will work for all, but they’re a good a place to start as any.