Panic attacks are very common, and 1 in 10 people experience them at least once in their life, but they can be quite scary if you haven’t had one before. Despite this, you should be aware that it is just a feeling and a mental state, and it can’t harm you physically. Everyone is unique and so panic attacks can differ significantly depending on the person, meaning that everyone will respond to them differently. However, there are some general coping techniques that should be able to help.
It’s important to find a calming technique that works for you. Controlling your breathing should be able to help you a lot – if you’re able to breathe slowly then you will feel calmer. Focus on each breath and the pace at which you’re breathing, taking it as slow as possible until you get back to your normal breathing pace.
While you’re having a panic attack, it doesn’t help to keep thinking about it or worrying that it won’t go away because it will be over quickly if you can just deal with it effectively. Instead, think of ways to distract yourself. Try to have positive thoughts – are you doing anything fun later on in the day, or visiting a friend? Think about that. Look around the room and focus on objects, possibly even counting something simple, such as the amount of chairs or tables in the room – it will help to take your mind off it. Remember that this is only a panic attack and it will be over in a short space of time. It’s your body so you are in control and can make the feelings of panic go away.
It may also help to show some of your friends this article or give them some information on panic attacks if you suffer from them frequently. It should help them to understand what you’re experiencing and know how to help if you ever need someone there with you to calm you down.
Remember that they are completely normal, and can’t cause any physical harm so try not to worry too much about them once you know how to deal with them. If you do feel as though they are happening very often then you might want to visit a doctor and see if they can do anything more for you.
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