When I was first learning to deal with my panic attacks I hated it that during an attack I would convince myself that I was going insane. That the feeling of terror was never going to go away and I was going to feel that way forever. I did that to myself every.single.time. and every.single.time I came out of it and felt fine a few hours later. I knew that I was going to be okay and that the feeling wasn’t going to last, but during an attack I just couldn’t help it. So I wrote myself a reminder in my “notes” on my iPhone so I could read it whenever I started to feel an attack coming on. I found that it actually did help. So that brings me to my first tip.
1. Write yourself a note when you are feeling good to remind yourself that the way you are feeling is only temporary. It WILL go away. Here is what I wrote to myself:
“You are going to be just fine. Everything is going to go right back to the way it was and you are going to forget all about this. Stay strong, you can do it. Take a deep breath. It’s almost over. There are so many people that love you and would be here right away if you needed them. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but you are going to be okay.”
2. I always have a bottle of water handy. For some reason taking a drink of cold water calms me down.
3. Go for a walk.
3. Sort your laundry. I know this sounds silly, but it really helps me. Some people recommend watching videos but I can’t seem to keep my focus on that. Sorting laundry isn’t something that takes very long, and doesn’t take much concentration, but it will take your mind off of how you are feeling. Once you have it sorted, throw it in the washer and start it.
4. Call a friend. Sometimes when I am having an attack I manage to convince myself that I might pass out or something, which makes me panic even more. Calling a friend and just telling them that you are having a panic attack can help. I always call my Mom. She knows that when I am having an attack I don’t want her to do anything. I just want her to know that I am having one. Sometimes she talks about what she is doing or what is new with my family and it takes my mind off of me.
5. Read articles about anxiety. I don’t do this much anymore but it used to help a lot. Just get online and read whatever you can find on the topic. There is so much useful information out there.
6. Take a shower. I have a friend who also has really bad panic attacks. The only thing that helps him is to sit in the shower. I haven’t tried this. Like I said, sometimes I convince myself that I might pass out, and naked in the shower is the last place I want to do that.
7. Take a deep breath, go in to an empty room, and take a moment to yourself. I had a pretty bad attack at work once. I am a hairstylist at really busy salon so I’m sure you can see how that made for a really bad environment to have a panic attack. Blow dryers going, women talking and laughing, people walking around everywhere, a fully booked schedule. BAD. I stopped what I was doing, excused myself, and went into one of our massage rooms. I sat down and told myself that everything was alright. Sometimes during an attack I get frantic. I rush around and try to leave wherever I am (if I’m not at home). Don’t leave. Just calm down.
8. Relax. Lay on the floor on your back and relax all the muscles in your body. I think we all tense up during an attack. Focus on keeping your whole body relaxed. Take deep breaths. Close your eyes.
I hope these help. Please comment below if I missed anything!