Some people who experience panic attacks feel like they have no control and are lost as what to do next. Again, I repeat if you are having panic attacks and they are limiting your life I encourage you to seek professional support to help you through this.
When you have your head in a clear space, there are things you can do to help before you experience a panic attack. It is about preparing yourself mentally for what is about to happen to you.
This is about reacting differently for a perceived danger vs a real danger. The bonus to doing this is that this will also help you to handle stress, worry, anxiety and unexpected change with more thought and control.
Here are some suggestions to help you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the likelihood of a future panic attack
- Understand panic attacks are not dangerous
- This is a moment in time
- This is a perceived threat not a real threat
- The symptoms are a result of increased adrenaline released to protect you from a perceived threat
- Expose yourself to uncomfortable situations
- Firstly make sure you consult with a professional prior to taking this step, or at the minimum a support group
- Build a plan to put yourself in uncomfortable situations daily
- Start small and pull back when you need to
- Stop, breathe, reflect and learn from what you are experiencing, this is where a professional adds real value
- Build your support network
- Family, friends, colleagues and professional support are invaluable to working through this condition
- Build strong connections and support networks that support you, but also you can support in return
- Support networks can help you to work through the fear, understanding the why and providing a different perspective
- Find ways to keep calm
- Learn breathing control as one of the first things you may notice is a change in your breathing
- One of the next symptoms you may experience is muscle tension, by learning muscle relaxation techniques this can help to minimise the experience
- Meditation is something you can use to help with your overall well being, but also eventually what you learn here will spill into your daily life
- Develop your emotional coping skills
- Learn about stress, worry, anxiety and fear – by understanding it you are armed with the knowledge to start managing it
- Develop techniques to manage these emotions daily and practice, practice, practice
- Avoid addictions
- Typical addictions include alcohol, over-eating, caffeine, nicotine and recreational drugs
- These elements have the potential to increase your emotions and symptoms and are not conducive to giving you the best chance of success
- Seek out support groups vs addictions
Although I have never experienced panic attacks to a debilitating level, I do live with family members who do. I have learnt from them that all this sounds easy, but can feel like an incredible mountain impossible to climb if you experience this condition.
This is why I encourage and will keep encouraging the importance of seeking professional support through this journey.
Tomorrow we will talk about what to do when you are in a panic attack. In the meantime if you have any questions, please contact me at Startafreshlife.