Your heart races, you face flushes, and you are starting to have problems breathing. You are suffering from a panic attack. Dizziness, nausea, and losing control are some of the other symptoms of panic attacks and they can cause you to feel like you are losing your mind – literally. It’s scary.
They are literally mental episodes of intense fear that bring physical reactions from your body. And what’s worse is that the episode does not die out within a minute but instead lasts for at least 10-30 minutes. Some people fear they are having a heart attack during these episodes and will literally rush themselves to the hospital.
There are many different treatment options including relaxation techniques that you may find helpful. Following are some relaxation techniques to put to use when you feel a panic attack coming on.
Breathing is so important to our body and controlled breathing can help us come down from an anxious state to a calmer state. You see the breathing technique on the movies when someone gets a panic attack and that’s because it works!
Start by inhaling your breath to a count of 4 deeply and slowly through your nose and exhaling to a count of 4 through your mouth. Make sure to pay attention and focus on your breathing by putting your hand on your stomach and feeling the breath come in and out.
This works great for focusing your attention on your body and away from your scattered thoughts AND allows your body to relax with your mind.
Lay down if you can and focus your attention on your toes. Relax your toes completely. Then move on to your foot and relax your foot. Then move to your ankle and relax that as well. Keep progressing through every part of your body until you reach the tip of your head. Do not forget your back, hands, chest, neck, and even face. Once you reach your head you should be relaxed and focused, If not start over.
Stop Doing Strenuous Activity and Go to Your Happy Place
If you are driving then pull over. If you are working then take a break. Get away from activities that you have to concentrate at and allow yourself to relax.
Once you are in a place that you can let go imagine your happy place and really try to visualize it. Visualization allows you to take your mind away from you panic and move it towards a concrete place of attention. If you love the mountains then picture those. If you love your dog then picture him or her. Visualize an image that makes you happy and relaxed and allow your brain to release random thoughts and focus on that image. Soon you will find your thoughts will turn to that image and reduce your anxiety.