If you have never experienced a panic attack, it is really difficult to describe exactly how it feels. Perhaps you have had that experience when you try to tell somebody else about the panic attacks that you have been experiencing. They may feel as if it is just a little bit of anxiety or perhaps something you can just “snap out of” but it goes much deeper. If you have ever wondered how to describe a panic attack to others, I think this does it perfectly.
When you experience a panic attack, you have a rush of overwhelming anxiety, fear and emotion. The level of worry that you are experiencing at that time is almost beyond words. At times, a panic attack may last for a few seconds but it is not out of the question for it to last for hours or perhaps even days. You may experience a wide variety of symptoms such as sweating, shaking, problems with breathing, pounding heartbeat and palpitations.
If you have all or at least most of those symptoms, it is likely that you are experiencing a panic attack. When a panic attack is on the horizon, you will likely have thoughts of everything that possibly went wrong in your life along with everything that could go wrong in your life. Some people experience discomfort, such as chest pains.
When this happens, stop and take a breath. Although panic attacks are highly uncomfortable, they are not typically a physical threat. They don’t harm your physical health long-term, provided you know how to handle the few rough moments you experience.
When panic attacks started to become a regular problem, I was in-between jobs and really stressed about how I was going to handle my family financially. These are a few things that were helpful when I was dealing with those panic attacks.
1. Countdown to 1: starting with 100, count backward until you get to one. It can really be a distraction and keep your mind off of your worries.
2. Deep breathing: when you practice deep breathing, it calms your mind and takes your thoughts off of your worries. Long and deep breaths are the best way to go. Try square breathing, where you breathe in through your nose, count to four and then release it and count to four.
3. Mindfulness: can you focus on your surroundings? Look at what is directly in front of you and describe it to yourself in detail. You can also try wiggling your toes or fingers and think about each movement.
4. Be positive: think of a comforting sentence and repeat it to yourself over and over again. It could be a scripture or a line from your favorite book.
5. New research: This might not help everyone but it did help me. When you have an overwhelming worry, try to research and get some fresh perspective on things.
6. Muscle relaxation: try to relax every muscle in the body one by one. It really helps to calm the mind and relieve anxiety. This takes practice but it works.
7. Walking: not only is walking a fantastic exercise, it can also be very relaxing. When you are on a walk, it may distract you from thinking negative things. Try to get out in nature and get some fresh air.
8. Pets: when you spend time and cuddle with your pet, it will help to calm your nerves. Studies have even shown that petting a dog can lower blood pressure.
9. Talk it out: sometimes we just need somebody to talk to when we are overly stressed. Choose someone you trust and can confide in freely without being judged.
10. Write it down: start writing anything that comes to your mind. It can be difficult when you first start out but eventually, it will work quite well.
These are 10 things that you can try when you have a panic attack. They can be frightening but they are possible to overcome when you learn to manage them.
Sometimes you may find that using multiple options works better. Perhaps you could take a walk and try counting backward from 100. You might also write something down while petting your dog. Whatever works for you.
The bottom line is, panic attacks can be difficult but they don’t need to be overwhelming. Just let yourself know that you can get through this and then work your way through it.