Panic attacks are very real and can feel very scary, but remember, they cannot kill you.
When you feel a panic attack coming on STOP, SLOW and DISTRACT
STOP – if possible stop what you are doing – stop everything you are doing. If possible sit down on a chair with both feet flat on the floor, your back straight and your shoulders down (your shoulders often rise up right by your ears in a panic attack or when experiencing anxiety.). If you are in a situation where you cannot do this, just try to stop as may things as possible, do things slower and try and keep your shoulders relaxed and down
SLOW – slow your breathing right down. Nice, calm, deep breaths help your thoughts to slow down and help to disperse the adrenaline that is causing the ‘flight or fight’ response which is the physical cause of the panic attack symptoms.
DISTRACT – most importantly, distract your mind. Don’t think about the panic attack, and don’t think about NOT thinking about the panic attack, after all that is still you thinking about the panic attack!! Find something to busy your mind. Its good to have some ideas in advance that you can easily call on.
With practice you will find that as soon as your body starts reacting in a panicky way, your mind will jump automatically to your distraction technique. It doesn’t really matter what technique you use, as long as you can occupy your mind with other thoughts – the physiology of your body will naturally follow!
As my panic attacks would generally happen when I was walking somewhere, I would try to make the longest or most unusual work I could from a car number plate. A fun game to keep my mind busy til I got to wherever I was going!
Here are some ideas for different distractions – use or adapt them as you wish, or think of something of your own that suits you- Try to remember al of the lyrics to the rap at the start of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme- Try counting backwards in 3s from 100- Try to spell Rhododendron in your mind- Try to remember every phone number you have ever had- Try to name the Seven Deadly Sins …what it that seventh one!!!- Try to name all the managers of your football team in order.
Feel free to share your ideas here too!!
How can hypnotherapy help with panic attacks and anxiety?
If you have a particular phobia, e.g. birds or needles, we can treat that very quickly! If you suffer general anxiety, we can do anxiety ‘blow aways’ or offer anchors, both help you to feel less anxious. We can also do more analytical sessions to uncover the cause of the anxiety. Please message me on here, or phone 07758099705 for a free 15 minute consultation to see what I can do for you!