I have some quick tips to share about halting a panic attack. These do not replace long-term care, but rather can help you while you seek the care you need to HOPEFULLY lessen these attacks. Make sure you read the tips and watch the video, I mention different points in the post and in the video.
Tip 1: Sweet Relief
I know, I know, another excuse to eat chocolate. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has been tested and seems to help reduce levels of anxiety. I have my own theory that might because everyone is happy when eating a piece of chocolate. 😉
What I recommend is taking a small piece of chocolate and placing it on your tongue. Let it melt in your mouth. ENJOY it. Savor it. Focus on the texture, on the taste, and notice every part of your mouth it’s starting to reach. This will help bring your mind to the present moment and reduce levels of panic.
Tip 2: The ABC’s
I personally love this one and use it probably the most often. What’s funny, is my family has tried it out for themselves (when they aren’t experiencing anxiety) and they claim it has the power to stress them out further than they already were. So if you have an especially competitive mindset, this may not be the one for you!
When you start to feel a bit of panic coming on, what I want you to do is pick a category and name something from that category starting with each letter of the alphabet. Here are some category ideas to choose from:
- Movies: “Addams Family, Before I go, Charlie and the chocolate factory….
- Names of celebrities: “Adam Lambert, Betty White, Camila Cabello…”
- Song titles: “A Team, Boondocks, Carry On…”
Really, it doesn’t matter at all what the category is. Ultimately what it does is it makes you THINK. If you find yourself stuck on a letter for a really long time I want you to do 2 things: 1, skip it and come back to it. 2, notice how you were thinking so hard about the “song title”, or whatever it may be, that you aren’t thinking the anxious thoughts anymore. Notice that your body may be calmer, that you are breathing evenly again.
Tip 3: Drop and give me 10!
This is one of the most annoyingly effective tips on my list. Time to exercise your body back to reality. When I had a therapist told me that this would work, I was honestly kind of annoyed and floored. I knew LONG-TERM exercise was helpful, but I had no idea that exercise in the moment of panic could do anything.
This doesn’t work for me every single time, just like all of these, but what you do when you start feeling a bit of panic is 10 burpees. This consists of jumping, dropping to a plank, doing a push up, and getting back up. It totally sucks as much as it sounds like it does. My dad claims not everyone knows how to do a burpee so if you are in that category go ahead and look up a video, or send me an email and I will send you a humiliating video of me or my husband doing one.
Tip 4: Baby it’s Cold Outside
The cold is one thing that can really shock you back to the present. I have always been a fan of winter because I love walking outside all bundled up, feeling warm everywhere except for a sharp cold on my face or my wrists. I know that this sensation isn’t something everyone enjoys, but I love that it shocks me back to the present moment.
When you start to panic you can grab some snow and rub it along the back of your neck, or you can drink a really cold glass of water. When you drink the water you’ll want to notice the cold water travelling down your throat and throughout the rest of your body.
One of the easiest is turning the faucet to cold and splashing some cold water in your face, this can jolt your body back to the present as well.
Tip 5: Colors
This is one I stumbled on on pinterest somewhere and it was very helpful for me for a while. Although it doesn’t seem quite as effective as it used to be, it definitely helped for sometime.
When you start to panic you’ll want to pick a color, my personal favorite is red, and find it everywhere in the room. This one is good when the panic has reached a point where you feel you can’t move or speak as this can be done with just your eyes. If you can name the things out loud, even better.
That’s all folks! Check out the video below for extra info.