Imagine, suddenly you feel your heart pounding, your palms are sweaty and your chest hurts. You think you are having a heart attack, but in reality, you are experiencing a panic attack. According to Psychology Today, “a panic attack is a sudden rush of fear and anxiety that causes both physical and psychological symptoms.” Panic attacks can happen to anyone and are surprisingly common. They can be scary, but there are things you can to when you are having one or you feel one coming are things you can to when you are having one or you feel one coming on.
When you are having a panic attack your breathing can become rapid and make physical and mental symptoms much worse. Taking slow, deep breaths when you start to feel symptoms coming on, can help regulate your emotions and calm you down.
Close Your Eyes
Often, thoughts are racing through your head and stimulations around you can keep them spiraling. Closing your eyes can prevent sensory overload and help you focus on using other techniques.
Remove Yourself from the Situation
Overwhelming feelings of being out of control or feelings of being trapped are common during an attack. If possible, remove yourself from the triggering situation. Space can help you collect your thoughts, so you de-escalate.
Panic attacks can make fears disproportionate from reality. Mindfulness can help you reconnect to the present and your surroundings putting things back in perspective.
Much like breathing, relaxing muscles can help stop an attack. Regain control of tense muscles using progressive muscles relaxation. Feel the tension flow from your body as you release each muscle intentionally and start to re-centre yourself.
Due to its light sensitivity, tryptophan produces a calming effect as it triggers your body’s own serotonin production. Sit down and enjoy relaxing cup of Zenbev without drowsiness. Feelings of panic will gradually fade naturally.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, feelings of anxiety are normal and panic attacks can happen to anyone. The first one is always worst, but if it happens again remind yourself that you got through it before and you will again. Experiencing a panic attack does not mean there is anything wrong with you, but frequent panic attacks could indicate that you have an anxiety disorder. We recommend that you speak to your healthcare provider if you are concerned. Remember, this too shall pass.