So you have been working on how to gain control in uncomfortable situations; you have found ways to keep yourself calm, centred and relaxed; you have learned more about how to manage difficult emotions; you have built your support network; and you have steered away from addictions, but unfortunately you are not quite there yet, and the moment an uncomfortable and unexpected situation arises you fall into “panic mode”.
Once you are having a panic attack, it is difficult to think straight and you most likely will feel out of control. However, you actually may have more control than you think. Here are several suggestions to help you try to take back control:
- Offer no resistance – don’t fight it, use mindfulness to detach yourself and accept this is what is happening now and observe what is happening. This is about removing yourself mentally from the situation
- Remove yourself physically from the situation – move into another room, area or situation and use a mantra to help you return to calm, if you have the ability to do so
- Ground yourself and become mindful – people use techniques like bands and tapping to help them return to a more mindful state and be in the present
- Focus on something you can control – it could be you talk about something randomly or start focussing on what is happening in another room or on the television, remove your focus from the situation or event
- Stay calm and centred – this could be adopt a yoga pose, run on the spot, jump up and down, refocus your energy into burning the feeling up
- Become engaged in activity – this could be read a book, listen to music, cook a meal, anything to refocus your thoughts
What ever you do, do not beat yourself up if you find these techniques don’t work. Minimising the impact of panic attacks on your life may take awhile and the secret is to find what works for you and don’t give up. Rely on professional help and your support network to help you stay motivated to get through this.
Tomorrow we will talk about what to do after you have had a panic attack, remember never to give up and keep learning so you can discover what works for you.
If you have any questions, please contact me at Startafreshlife.