Panic Attacks and How to Control Them

Panic

Panic Attacks are Scary, but….

Panic attacks are frightening, but they are not dangerous or harmful. You can sometimes feel like you’re having a heart attack or going to feint or even die! But you are not.

Understand that these are natural body sensations of our ‘fight or flight’ response, they are just exaggerated. Do not fight the feelings or try to wish them away. The more you are willing to soften to them, the less intense they will become.

Try doing one or all of the following to help stop the panic:

  1. Practice Ratio breathing. Slow deep breaths in and out. The out breath must be longer than the in breath. Count in your head, such as ‘in for 5 out for 7’ or ‘in for 7 out for 11’.
  2. Scale your fear level from 1-10 and watch it go up and down. Notice that it does not stay at a very high level for more than a few seconds.
  3. Distract yourself by using the Five Thinking Hats Technique:

In your mind or say out loud, find

  • 5 things you can SEE
  • 4 things you can FEEL
  • 3 things you can HEAR
  • 2 things you can SMELL
  • 1 good thing you can SAY ABOUT YOURSELF!

Really stop and focus on this. It immediately stops the over thinking and weakens the grip of the panic feelings, by focussing the mind away from the bodily sensations.

And know, really know, it will pass and all will be calm again.

(image courtesy © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

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