Panic attacks happen to different people and at different times, it can feel like a heart attack. Symptoms include physical symptoms, including shaking, feeling disorientated, nausea, rapid and irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, breathlessness, sweating, and dizziness. If you are around someone that has a panic attack or you have it yourself, below are some proven ways to handle it.
Practice Breathing Exercise: If you’re breathing quickly during a panic attack, doing a breathing exercise can ease your other symptoms. Try the following:
- Breathe in as slowly, deeply and gently as you can, through your nose.
- Breathe out slowly, deeply and gently through your mouth.
- Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5 on each in-breath and each out-breath.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
You should start to feel better in a few minutes. You may feel tired afterward.
Close your eyes: Some panic attacks come from triggers that overwhelm you. If you’re in a fast-paced environment with a lot of stimuli, this can feed your panic attack. To reduce the stimuli, close your eyes during your panic attack. This can block out any extra stimuli and make it easier to focus on your breathing.
Practice muscle relaxation technique: Much like deep breathing, muscle relaxation techniques can help stop your panic attack in its tracks by controlling your body’s response as much as possible. Consciously relax one muscle at a time, starting with something simple like the fingers in your hand, and move your way up through your body. Muscle relaxation techniques will be most effective when you’ve practiced them beforehand (at the initial period).