Attack Coping Tips
Having an anxiety disorder
can often lead us to feel as though we have very little power over panic
attacks and our anxiety. Finding ways to help yourself can be one
way of bringing back a little more control and minimizing the affect
panic has on us. Not all of the techniques below will be personally
suited to everyone. The key is to find the techniques that work
for you, and that help you cope with your anxiety disorder.
to do if you are having a panic attack.
There are a number of things you can do to help ease a panic
attack and to stop some of the symptoms. Try some of the following -
your hands over your mouth and nose and breathe slowly. This works in the same way as breathing
into a paper bag but its a lot more discreet.
* Take a long slow breath in, hold to the
count of 7, slowly let it out. Follow with a few normal breaths. Then repeat as
necessary. This also helps with hyperventilation. It also feels some what
comforting if your breath feels short and high in the chest.
* Re-assure yourself. Try not to add fearful thoughts on top of the anxiety such as
'I'm going crazy', 'what if I cant leave here' or 'what if someone
sees me like this'. Instead try and think about the reality of the
situation. For example, try telling your self 'I have been through this
many times and nothing bad has happened' or 'it's o.k. this is just my
bodies normal reaction to anxiety, nothing more.
* Lower your gaze. Often when we are panicking the stimulus from all around
us seems overwhelming. Light seems brighter, noise louder etc. One
good techniques is to lower your gaze towards the floor or ground until
your panic has passed sufficiently.
Talk to someone. Often being reassured by someone or just making a little
contact can not only distract us from the panic but also can make us feel
safer and less alone. Hugging someone is even better. Touch is very comforting
*Listen to music. If you are at home or have headphones
or a car stereo. Put on some relaxing ,or other,
music that makes you feel good.
Lie down and do some breathing exercises. Let yourself relax.
* Move your focus but in a positive way. try and read,
watch something on t.v or perhaps write in a journal.
stay still and focus on the symptoms.
* Realize that you have probably
gone through this many times, even hundreds of times. It has never
hurt you, nor have the horrible things that come to your mind while you
are panicking ever happened. Trust that the symptoms caused by panic attacks
are just your fight or flight response. It wont harm you.
It is just your bodies way of reacting to anxiety.
nothing wrong with you physically, or mentally. It will pass.
* Don't add more
stress, or feelings similar to panic, by having caffeine, nicotine,
or other recreational drugs. While these things are definitely not recommended to anyone
who has a anxiety disorder (nor to most other people) Especially
don't use them while you are having a panic attack you will only
make yourself feel more anxious.
* If you feel while you are having a panic attack that
you have shortness of breath or heart palpitations.
Try sitting in front of a fan or an open window
for a while. The breeze will ease this and ease your worries about