Sunday, 23 July 2017

5 Ways to Curb a Panic Attack

A lot of us have been there. You're not quite panicking yet, but you can feel your airways narrow, tears gather in your eyes and your eyes widen with fear. You might break out in a sweat, your mind begin to race, and your whole body shudder with the feeling of impending doom. So, when you're aware that you're about to descend into panic, why let it continue? A lot of blog posts I've seen tell you how to deal with a panic attack, how to recover. Today, I'm going to impart wisdom on how to stop it escalating before it has kicked off properly.

1. cold drink


A little story; I had a not so nice experience with a member of the public a few weeks ago. I felt so distressed that I was worried that I might have a panic attack. I felt my heartbeat quicken, and my throat tighten. I wanted to cry. I decided to treat myself with a drink and get home ASAP. I selected a thick coconut milk smoothie by Innocent, and weirdly, drinking it helped me a lot. The coolness of the drink helped me de-tense, and the overall taste experience was really good, and gave me a small thing to be happy about. It felt comforting somehow. Water will do, anything really. But I did like the fact that the smoothie was so thick!

2. focus on something 


So there has been a craze lately, which I'm sure you've all heard of; fidget spinners. I personally have never used one, and I believe they can be quite distracting. Usually, I'd consider this to be a bad thing, but when your breathing is all over the place and your mind is racing, distraction is key. Focusing on a fidget spinner, optical illusion (like one of those pictures that isn't moving but looks like it is) or this gif will most likely be very helpful to you in having something to occupy your mind, and help you get a sense of calm back.

3. air. air. air.


The obvious thing to do when you're about to panic is to slow down, breathe into a paper bag, and pretend there's nothing wrong. That isn't always so easy because of how dramatic it seems and how you probably don't have a brown paper bag handy. The easiest thing of all to do is go outside. The fresh air always feels better than staying inside. It can also feel kind of symbolic - like you're going outdoors, getting away from whatever made you stress.

4. sing something, or try to recite a poem


I'm aware that this may sound completely bizarre. However, if you're one who tends to get stuck in a loop in a panic attack, repeating "I'm sorryI'm sorryI'm sorryI'm sorry" over and over, this might help you. Naturally, repetition is something we all enjoy to some extent, so instead of allowing it to escalate into unknown territory, try to focus on something you like instead. Recite the poem you learned in secondary school, or lyrics to your favourite song to change the course of the inevitable loop.

5. get somewhere comfy


provided you're not feeling too warm or uncomfortable, or even once you've completed the 'air' step, get comfy. Your mind is either going through a lot, will go through a lot, or has gone through a lot. Either way, know that you deserve a break. Get out of your work clothes and put on some sweats, snuggle up with netflix in bed, wear fluffy socks in school, draw a bath- the options are endless. YOU deserve to be comfortable and happy. Treating yourself in any way- big or small should help you to feel more at ease.

Let's help each other out! Please share your advice in the comments below.

disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional. These methods have worked for me, or have occurred to me as things which would help with anxiety and anxiety attacks.

Rabbit photos taken with Nikon Coolpix L110, gif from here, other photos taken with Nikon D3200 as usual

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