“Your heart is pumping so loudly you can hear it vibrate in your ears. Sheer terror kicks in as the world feels likes its closing in around you. You gasp as you cling onto every breath, hoping it will not be your last.”
You’d be forgiven if you had mistaken these words for those on a press release for an upcoming horror film but unfortunately, they describe the intensity of a real life panic attack. When the panic sets in, it can feel impossible to calm down, besides where would you even begin?
If this sounds like you or someone you know please click on the video or keep reading for three panic attack hacks aimed at pressing the pause button on the horror film and restoring calm.
1. Sit Down
Sit down on the floor with your back against the wall. A panic attack can leave you feeling really dizzy so sitting on the floor and leaning against something solid will give you a sense of security as you cannot fall over.
2. Slow Down Your Breathing
Breathe in for 3 seconds and out for 3 seconds. Count the seconds on your fingers to prevent you from breathing too fast. Breathing deeply is near impossible during a panic attack so keep it simple and focus on just slowing down your breathing. Try this for a few minutes for best results.
3. Say 5 Things
Name 5 things you can see in the room around you. If you’re in the living room you might say ‘couch,’ ‘cushion,’ ‘T.V.’ etc. This helps your mind re-focus on something other than those terrifying thoughts about your panic attack. Once you’ve named 5 things try and describe more about them e.g. ‘The couch is black and sits three people.’
Please keep in mind that it can take up to an hour to calm down completely after a panic attack so be patient with yourself and/or others.