Larysa NARIZHNA, psychologist.
HOW TO OVERCOME A PANIC ATTACK
The current situation is a serious test for the human nervous system. Anxiety provokes panic attacks, which are sometimes confused with a heart attack. A panic attack is an unexplained fear attack. It occurs suddenly and has the following symptoms:
– feeling short of breath, “tangle” in the throat;
– palpitations, tachycardia, pulsation, heart failure;
– chest pain;
– hyperhidrosis (increased sweating).
When You feel a panic attack, or when You see a person “covering up”, we need to know certain RULES OF CONDUCT . First and foremost, remember that panic is safe for life.
1. During a panic attack, You unconsciously breathe shallowly and quickly. Accelerated breathing changes the gas balance in the blood and causes even more discomfort. Therefore, the first thing to do is to increase the carbon dioxide in the blood and reduce the level of adrenaline. This effect can be prevented by slowing down breathing.
One option is a sedative self-help breathing technique during a panic attack.
To begin with, equalize your breathing as much as possible, lengthening your exhalations. Then get started. Inhale for 3 seconds, then hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. Try to breathe not only the chest but also the abdomen. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This technique always works, if You set yourself up to perform it, You will quickly feel the result. But it is important to remember that this exercise causes drowsiness.
2. If a panic attack occurs at home, You should approach the wall and touch it with three points: shoulders, buttocks and heels. You need to feel these areas. In this way You control your emotions, return the mind to your body.
3. If You are in a crowd, count, for example, how many people in green jackets You see. Or you set yourself up to find the eyes of 10 people in red clothes. You begin to search with your eyes, your focus shifts and You calm down.
“Here and Now” Technique
If you have a panic attack, look carefully around and find in your environment:
5 things You can SEE;
4 things You CAN TOUCH;
3 things You can HEAR;
2 things You can SMELL;
1 thing You CAN TASTE.
4. Focus on relaxing your muscles. If You ask a person who is suffering from panic attacks to relax, she may say that she needs a week on the beach. It would be great, but when this is not possible, try to relax the muscles in turn. Focus on them, on your feelings. This will give You strength and help You master yourself.
5. If possible, consult a psychologist who will offer You some fighting techniques. After a while, You decide together which techniques are suitable and which are not. The psychologist has an arsenal of such techniques, and therefore will always help You choose what will work in your particular case.
6. Refuse or limit the amount of coffee. Researchers say caffeine can trigger a panic attack, especially if You’re intimidated by crowds or confined spaces. Drink water instead – it prevents dehydration.
7. Use audio applications. Download music, audiobook, sounds of nature – something that will help You concentrate and take matters into your own hands.
Helping others. If you are not sure if this is a panic attack – call an ambulance. If you know that this is exactly the attack, then:
– Do not leave a person alone;
– Speak simple, short sentences;
– Do not make assumptions about human needs, better ask;
– Breathe with the person
– Take the patient’s hand. Try to divert his attention to something else: offer to breathe measuredly, slowly and
deeply, count the number of inhales and exhales, mentally solve simple examples, and so on.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL STATE AND BE HEALTHY!