Sweating, increased heart beat, hyperventilating, light headedness, loss of reality, and a sense of impending doom. You are having a panic attack. Before you go reaching for the pill bottle, understand that your panic attack DOES NOT control you. You have the mind power to overcome them on your own.
4, 7, 8 Breathing Technique
As noted above, a common symptom of panic attacks is hyperventilation. This technique, pioneered by M.D. Andrew Weil, works to decrease physical symptoms, thus calming the nervous system. While the body survives on oxygen, it also needs a healthy level of carbon dioxide. Hyperventilation occurs when your body breathes out too much carbon dioxide, leaving not enough in your body. The 4, 7, 8 technique is simple. Breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. This will cause your “fight-or-flight” reaction to calm down, by naturally tranquilizing your nervous system.
Keep a Stress Reducing Oil Near By
Just as outside factors such as food and environment can cause a panic attack, there are also external things that create the opposite effect. Essential oils work because our sense of smell is connected to our emotional response in our brain via our limbic system, thus halting a panic attack in it’s tracks. The best method for applying these oils is by simply putting a few drops of oil in your hands, rubbing them together, and inhaling. Try one of the following the next time a panic attack sets in:
- Patchouli – uplifting, reduces anxiety
- Rosemary – relaxing and eases stress and anxiety
- Frankincense – calming and eases stress
- Sandalwood – grounding, calming, reduces anxiety
Have Someone You Can Count On Ready To Call
Having someone you can depend on to talk everything out can also be a huge factor in helping to calm yourself when a panic attack sets in. Whether it be a friend or family member, talking with someone else who is calm and grounded can work wonders for controlling your emotions and bringing you back to reality.
Go For A Walk
Changing what’s going on around you by going for a walk is a great way to get ride of some of the adrenaline you release when you are having a panic attack. What’s better, is that by walking, you are making a choice that gives you a sense of control, which automatically helps to bring you back to reality.
Interact With Water
There are various different ways water can be used to help you calm an attack. Crying is an excellent way to give yourself that feeling of letting go that comes along with the release of tears. Having a hot soup or beverage can also provide comfort when you are in the midst of panic. For immediate relief, taking a hot shower or bath can also be beneficial.
Dr. Kogan suggests you “try hypnosis for panic attacks with a certified doctor. Hypnotherapy teaches coping techniques which help to abort the attacks quickly and effortlessly. Hypnosis also incorporates meditative visualization, which teaches the patient to keep his or her physiologic reactions, like heart rate or breathing, in check.”