Panic attacks are intense and sudden surges of anxiety, fear, and panic. Many people who experience these episodes may also notice profuse sweating, difficulty breathing, trembling, and faster heart rates.
Panic attacks are overwhelming and usually come unannounced, stirring feelings of fear and impending doom.
Here are 5 steps to try to survive a panic attack:
1. Deep breathe
Hyperventilating is one of the telltale symptoms of a panic attack and the best way to counter this is to practice deep breathing.
Controlling your breathing will help quell the hyperventilation and prevent the panic attack itself from getting worse.
To practice deep breathing, simply focus on taking deep breaths through your nose, feeling the air fill your chest and belly, hold for four seconds, and then slowly exhaling with a pursed lip.
2. Recognize that you’re having a panic attack
Doing this reminds yourself that your current feelings of impending doom are temporary, and that you’re going to be okay. Your fear and panic will slowly ebb away as you focus your attention instead on techniques to reduce these symptoms.
3. Close your eyes
Some panic attacks may stem from certain triggers that overwhelm you. Closing your eyes during the panic attack will reduce the external stimuli that might have aroused your anxious emotions, and instead focus on your breathing.
4. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness grounds you to the here and now, as panic attacks may cause you to feel detached or separated from reality. Focus on the physical sensations you are already familiar with, such as feeling the texture of your inside pockets on your hands or digging your feet into the ground. These specific sensations bring you to the present reality and give you something objective to focus on.
5. Select a focus object
Find one object in clear sight from where you are and consciously make mental notes on everything about it. For example, you may notice how the chair nearest to you has a small yellow stain on its seat. Describe patterns, textures, shapes, and sizes of objects to yourself. Focus your full attention on this object until your symptoms subside.
Read the full article by Healthline here to learn more techniques on how to manage a panic attack.