When teaching how to deal with anixety I always split it into two different sections, things you can do in the moment to stop the panic attack and things to do each day to help prevent them. Today I’ll be speaking about what to do in the moment.
Short term healing
Your heart begins to race, your breathing becomes quickier, you start to sweat and it feels like it wont end. But it can. Using simple methods that are easy to remember you can stop a panic attack in the first few seconds, without feeling like you’re drawing any attention to you.
THE 478 BREATHING TRICK
During a panic attack your breathing becomes irregular, causing the spiral effects of increased heart rate and sweating. In order to stop the anixety attack it is so important to bring your breathing back and remember you are in control of it. The 478 breathing trick helps you gain control of your breathing allowing your body to come out of the fight or flight mode and change back to the parasympathetic nervous system, making you feel calm.
To do this trick all you need to do. is:
- Breathe in for the count of 4
- Hold your breath for the count of 7
- Breathe out for the count of 8
By doing this it will help you gain control of the attack and bring your breathing back. You can repeat this as many times as it feels it takes for you to feel calm again. I tend to close my eyes while doing this. What I love so much about this one is that nobody could even tell you were doing it in public.
A mantra is a form of words you repeat over and over again to yourself to help you remeber something or feel something. I love using these to help ground myself when I begin to feel panicked. When dealing with anixety it is so important to remeber you are in control of how you feel the entire time. If you can learn to remind yourself this you’ll find your panic attacks move before you say boo. These are some examples of mantras I repeat to myself over and over again in my head or out loud.
- “I am safe”
- “I am calm”
- “ it may feel bad but anxiety is not dangerous. I am going to be okay”
- “This is only temporary, feelings change”
- “im in control of how I feel”
When panicking or feeling anxious the most important thing to do is distract yourself. This helps your mind change topics and prevents it from thinking about the situation making you feel this way. One amazing method is to describe everything around you. Literally say what you can see, the room is white, there is a brown door, the sky is blue, I can taste my coffee its warm etc. Do anything to distract yourself.
In a recent post I spoke about how beneficial exercise is for dealing with anxiety and I’ll leave a link HERE to that post.
If you can when feeling anxious, get outside. This can help you feel like you can breathe again and cool you down massively. This helps you collect your thoughts and feelings together. If you’re not in public or at home go for a run or even do yoga, these are both amazing ways of clearing your mind, turn your phone, laptop and TV off and focus on yourself. This will help you reconnect your body to your mind. Not only this but exercise of any kind helps to release endorphins into your body, which will fight against the cortisol stress hormones and adrenaline that are taking over your body making you feel anxious.
I am a massive fan of Tangle Toys, for me when I feel anxious I can scratch and pull at my skin and hair causing myself damage without even knowing. In order to distract myself I use a Tangle Toy, these are a little pocket sized toys you can fiddle with and pull apart all inside your pocket without anyone knowing. For me this has been amazing, I distract my thoughts by using actions and dont feel like anyone even notices, it calms me massively. You can buy these on amazon and I promise its so worth the buy.
SPEAK TO SOMEONE
The world is an incredible place and I can promise you are never alone. Somebody around you will have felt the same as you at some point. Reach out and speak about how you feel dont be afraid of your feelings. Dont ever bottle up how you feel, it will only make you feel a lot more anxious, talk I promise it will make you feel a million times better.
I hope these will help some of you who may have only just discovered these anxious feelings, use these and I promise it’ll help you feel better. None of you are alone, no matter how you feel. You are all loved and amazing please do remember that.
If you ever need someone, you know where I am.
much love x