Ok, so this week’s blogs are about panic attacks and some of the steps you can take to help yourself if panic sets in.
Coping with panic attacks Panic attacks are terrifying and disabling.
So I am going to give you the lowdown about what they are and what you can do about them.
Understand what is happening If you can get an idea that there is a physical reaction going on which is unpleasant but not dangerous then that can make a real difference.
If you are anxious it is very common to breathe very quickly and this can make you feel breathless, almost as if you are gulping for air.
Then you may experience some or all of the following unpleasant symptoms:
• Racing heart
• Muscle spasms
• Feeling sweaty
• Feeling faint
You may begin to worry about what is causing these and that will make you feel even worse. You will become more anxious and the symptoms will get worse.
So you can see how this is going. You are anxious and that gives you some horrible physical sensations, that makes you worry about what is causing the physical sensations and that makes you more anxious and the physical symptoms get worse. And you get even more worried . . .
The good news is that you can short circuit this process just by breathing in a different way. You can do this anywhere and at any time you feel yourself slipping into panic mode.
So here we go with the Let’s Break the Anxiety Cycle.
Let’s break the anxiety cycle Breathe Step One
Breathe in and then out – empty your lungs
Let’s break the anxiety cycle Breathe Step Two
Shut your mouth. Breathe through your nose. This automatically slows down your breathing.
Let’s break the anxiety cycle Breathe Step Three
Involve your tummy. The deeper you breathe the better you will feel. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose, filling your tummy, the hand on your tummy should rise gently, the hand on your chest should keep still.
Let’s break the anxiety cycle Breathe Step Four Use the word relax. Say “re” as you breathe in and “lax” as you breathe out, the air moving down from your chest, through your ribs and down through your tummy as you breathe out.
Keep breathing slowly and deeply in this way under you feel comfortable, it may only take a few minutes before your body is calmed by the soothing breaths.
This might take a bit of practice, so try it when you are not feeling anxious so you get used to it for when you need it.
I hope you find this helpful. Next time I’m going to be talking about using your thoughts to calm panic.