The next instalment in our blog series of Quick Tips from Mind, the Mental Health Charity, this post covers panic attacks with eight simple things you can try to bring you back to calm.
Try a breathing exercise
Breathe deeply into your stomach, then breathe out slowly – make your out-breath longer than your in-breath. Repeat until you feel calm.
Tell yourself that all the symptoms you experience are caused by anxiety – it is not dangerous and it will pass. This can help you feel calmer and less fearful of future attacks.
Confide in someone
Try talking to someone you trust about how you feel.
Join a support group
This can be a useful way of meeting people who understand what you are experiencing. You can share feelings and discuss coping strategies together.
Shift your focus
Look at a flower, a picture or something that you find interesting or comforting. Really notice the details, the colours and any smells or sounds.
Listen to music
Listening to relaxing music can help you feel calmer.
Keep a diary
Note what happens each time you get anxious. This can help you spot patterns and see what triggers your panic attacks.
Create you own coping card
When you feel anxious, it can be hard to remember coping strategies that you have learned. It can be useful to write them down on a small card (eg. phone mum, do my breathing exercise) and keep this in your bag or wallet.
For more information visit mind.org.uk/panic
Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393 or text: 86463