What to Do if You Think You’re Having a Panic Attack
Panic attacks can be really scary. People who have experienced them can have different symptoms, but some common experiences are tight muscles, racing heart, difficulty breathing, and shakiness. Some people describe a panic attack as feeling like they’re drowning or suffocating. Others mistake panic attacks as a heart attack. While panic attacks aren’t usually life-threatening, they can definitely be overwhelming and debilitating. If you think you’re having a panic attack, there are some things you can try to calm yourself down and bring your mind and body back into a relatively calm state.
If you think you’re having a panic attack, then take some deep breaths. Try breathing in for four counts, holding for four counts, and then exhaling for four counts. Take slow counts and repeat this process. Closing your eyes during the breathing process and finding a quiet place can help too.
Find a Safe Space
If you’re having a panic attack, it’s best to find somewhere you feel safe and comfortable if possible. Many people find it best to have somewhere quiet without a lot of other people. If you’re having a panic attack in a public space, try to find a quiet corner or space away from heavy sensory stimulation.
If you’re able to, shaking your body or taking a walk can really help. When animals in the wild get stressed out or scared, they shake their bodies after the incident has passed to release the stress hormones. Get moving and allow your body to move in any way that feels good.
Many people find aromatherapy to be helpful when they’re experiencing a panic attack. Some helpful essential oils to keep on hand are lavender, vetiver, chamomile, and valerian. You can rub the essential oil together in your hands and then inhale the scent by bringing your hands up to your face.
Get Professional Help
If you experience panic attacks on a regular basis or you’re experiencing a panic attack and you’re unsure why, it’s best to get professional help from your doctor. You can ask your doctor if medication would be right for you.