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These tips and ideas for relief from panic attack symptoms are simple, yet effective.
Guest Article by Mariah Harris
Do you suffer from panic attacks? The sudden onset causing shortness of breath, agony, feeling of doom, sweating, shaking, and other symptoms are debilitating. I’ve struggled with panic attacks off and on for the last six years.
When I first had one, I was working as a nurse in the intensive care unit. The world felt like it was closing in on me. My vision became spotty and my heart was racing. The supply room was close, so I walked in there not knowing what was going on. As my chest started feeling like an elephant was sitting on it, I thought I was having a heart attack. My friend came to check on me and had me sit down. She told me she thought I was having a panic attack. How could I stop this? I felt like I was dying… literally.
She told me to start counting back from 100 and focus on my breathing. So I did what I was told… and it worked. Slowly but surely the elephant feeling lifted off my chest, my body temperature regulated, and my vision came back to normal.
I KNEW I NEVER WANTED TO EXPERIENCE A PANIC ATTACK AGAIN.
So, I started researching. Blame the nurse in me… I had to. This is how over six years I have accumulated a wonderful list of tips and tricks to stop panic attacks and I hope these ideas help you to! Remember to consult your doctor before you try anything new for panic attack relief.
Ways to Stop a Panic Attack
Ways to Stop a Panic Attack
1. Visualize your safe space
My safe space is on the beach. I can feel the sun and wind on my skin. During a panic attack close your eyes and visualize yourself in your safe space. Make it as vivid as possible. For my safe space ways to make it more vivid could be the color of the water, what color sun, what color sky, how does the sand feel, am I laying on a towel or a hammock or what?
2. Grab some Play Doh
Focus on watching the Play Doh in your hands. This will help you ground and bring you back to reality. While doing this take some deep breaths.
3. Count back from 100
Use your brain and count back from 100. When I do this I say the numbers out loud.
4. Ground yourself
Find 3 things you can see, feel, hear, smell, and taste. This helps bring you back to reality and gives you a sense of control.
5. Listen to music
I recommend having a list already made for these times. Find songs that will help you control your breathing. Click this link to see some ideas on The Mighty.
6. Pet a furry friend
7. Find breathing techniques that work for you
I do a 3 count breath. What’s that? Breath in for three, hold for three, out for three, hold for three. I also know people try to push as much breath out as they can focusing on pushing the anxiety away. There are all sorts of techniques just find what works for ya. 😊
8. Get on your phone
Put some soothing music on your phone. Go look at online shops like Amazon. Play games that are repetitive on your phone. Most importantly get your mind off what’s going on.
These 8 tips are ideas that I’ve used first-hand during panic attacks and helped me. Everyone is different though and cope differently. I hope these ideas help you and ease the panic. Please send me more ideas of how you relieve your panic attacks. My email is on my website www.mariahharris.org.