15 May 2017

How to avert a panic attack before it starts

Recovery is often a difficult time that can stress your mental and emotional state. Although this hard time is more than worth it in the end, people going through recovery can pay attention to a few simple tips to ease the process. When you start to feel a dreaded panic attack creeping up, or if it has already started in full force, follow these steps to avert it.

  • Listen to your body, understand the feelings of “Fight or Flight.”
  • Try to figure out what is causing the feeling of panic. Leave the situation if possible to allow your focus to be placed on something new.
  • Steady your breathing. Inhale through your mouth and out through your nose. Focus on the control.
  • If you cannot control your breathing, use a paper bag or have someone coach you through it.
  • Sitting down will help you focus on breathing if you tend to pace around.
How to calm down while having a panic attack:
  • Your mind will feel like it’s racing, but it is still focused on whatever is causing your panic. So speak to someone while you're panicking because they can provide a distraction.
  • Remind yourself that it is only a panic attack that is happening to you, nothing more serious or threat-ening.
  • To stop the release of adrenaline from your adrenal glands take slow, deep, controlled breaths.
  • Stop the negative thoughts that are repeating in your head by literally saying to yourself (in your head) “stop.” This way you can interrupt the thoughts that increase your worry and augment your panic.
  • Say statements in your head like, “This is just a panic attack. It will end in a few minutes,” or “I’m fine. Everything is alright.”

Do you have any tips for calming yourself during a panic attack? Please share on Twitter at @SoberChi!