A common question I get asked .
“How do you cope with your panic attacks ?”
Honestly, it is hard .
As we suffers know , a panic attack doesn’t come on slowly so you can prepare . It just hits you in the face super hard and says “I’m here!!”.
I do have little coping measures that can help . They don’t help 100% of the time but I’d say at least 75% of the time they work.
So I’d just like to take this time to tell you how I cope most days . In hope that these techniques can work for you too 🙂
Breathing is a massive part for me . Not normal breathing though .
I will stare off at an object to shift my focus . Sitting down I will lean forward so my elbows are on my knees and my hands are cupping my face . Still focusing on a point I will then breathe in for 3 seconds slowly and out for 3 seconds slowly .
After doing this 8 times I will then talk to myself , out loud .
I tell myself;
“I am fine . I can breathe . I am not suffocating . I am here . I am breathing ” .
To some, that can sound stupid .
Like I’m stating the obvious…. Which I am . For a reason .
My mind is in overdrive , I’m imagining the worst . Including death !!
To me all the thoughts in my head seem real .
The pressure in my chest is insane . To the point I feel like my body isn’t breathing any more .
This is why I need to focus and breathe .
After about 15 minutes I do tend to come around and I’m back to my “normal” self again .
Focussing in objects really helps .
Because my mind is in overdrive I need to calm it down .
Showing myself objects shows me that I’m in the here and now . Which is very important .
Our minds wonder “what if” a lot .
We shouldn’t be focusing on the future or the past . It’s today , the now , that matters .
So if I’m panicking, I will grab an object . I will feel it . Look for textures . Feel how cool / warm it is . Run my fingers over all the details . Telling myself the whole time “this is real” . To shift the focus in my mind to the here and the now.
This can take a while but I find it does relax me more afterwards .
Not just normal counting from 1 to 10 . But counting and finding objects .
Eg . In the room with me now is :
1 – TV
2 – Pairs of curtains
3 – Teddies
4 – Tops
5 – Vinyl Pops
6 – Pairs of shoes
7 – Ds Games
8 – PC Games
9- Xbox Games
10 – Book
Again , doing this shifts your focus .
I have been known to find marks on a wall or on the floor too .
Just so I’m shifting that focus to the here and now 🙂
The best part of this one is that you can do it anywhere and you don’t have to speak out loud either .
I do it whilst out shopping or walking the dogs .
I do it every night when I wake in panic. (Every single night) .
Once I reach 10 I’m usually ok , but you can go up as high as you like . Give yourself a challenge . Just remember to focus and breathe as slowly as possible .
Which technically is combining all of my techniques, but focussing on one 🙂