We know that a panic attack is very scary. It can feel like you’re losing control or something awful is going to happen. Shallow quick breathing, sweating, pounding heart, dizziness, feelings of unreality, nausea and chest pain are common symptoms. Something has triggered your fight/flight response releasing surges of adrenaline in your body. But in the modern world it’s unlikely that you’re in real danger.
Try these tips to help you tackle panic for the long term and in the moment:
In a panic attack quick, shallow breathing leads to chest tightness and light-headedness. This breathing technique counteracts the effects of taking in too much oxygen during shallow breathing and helps you regain control.
Relaxing your body can give calming feedback to the mind helping to turn off the fight/flight response which has been inappropriately triggered. Remember it's impossible to panic when you are relaxed!
Key tip: invest the time to practice the techniques so that they come easily to you when you need them e.g. for a few minutes 3 times a day.
If you find the panic attacks aren’t going away, it’s helpful to speak to a talking therapist either through your GP or privately. Panic attacks can be caused by
Working with a therapist who can use cognitive behavioural techniques (which focus on how your thoughts influence what you do and vice versa) may be a very positive step towards regaining control of your life.
Find out more: Tool Kit - Panic Attacks