Let’s just agree that panic attacks are not freakin fun.
Alright, now that we got that out of the way, let’s share some ideas for when the pressure in your chest is starting. These are some things that I try when a panic attack is starting. It seems that, depending on how early I am able to catch it, some of these things work better. Sometimes–rarely– nothing will help, and I will have to sit through the full blown episode.
For this post, these are things you can do whether you have called a family member/friend or not, but I would definitely suggest reaching out to someone if you feel comfortable to do so.
I am not a doctor, and this is based on my own experience, not empirical research, but if it helps, good. I think things that aren’t drugs are usually worth a try, when possible. I am always open to new ideas, so if you have things to share, I’d be happy to add them to My Ultimate Survival Guide for a Panic Attack, if they work for me!
- Take a long shower, and don’t worry about the water waste.
- Personally, I am someone who usually likes quick showers to try and save water. But at these times, feeling the hot or the cold can help to bring you to the moment. Stay in as long as you need. Another thing I like to do is use a strong smelling scrub. This gives me an action to do and also helps to ground me, being surrounded by the scent.
- Work in a garden.
- Working with plants is such a hopeful thing. It is literally demonstrating your hope in the future, by helping plants to grow. Center your thoughts around plants if you are having a very difficult few moments (/hours/day).
- In fact, spend any time outside, doing whatever you can, just breathe deeply. I find that breathing outside air helps me so much!
- Drink herbal tea, or some warm drink with a low caffeine content.
- Read quotes that make you feel happy, comfortable, and loved. For me, that’s often Rumi or Jane Austen. Find a set of quotes that you can come back to whenever you need.
I hope that if you try out some of these ideas from My Ultimate Survival Guide to a Panic Attack, that they work for you and lessen the symptoms. Let’s all remember that this passes, and we are super strong.