You’re in the middle of a panic attack! Quick, what do you do?
You need to breathe. Oh, I know it is easier said than done. Half the reason you are in a panic attack is because of your breathing. Your breaths had become quicker, shallower and you did not even know it. Regardless of what brought on the panic attack, you want it to stop. Stop NOW, right. Whether you are in traffic, at a social function, your family’s backyard or your own tub at home.
Ok Step 1. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Blow it out of your mouth loudly if you want. As you continue to do this, your breathing will automatically slow down. I know you feel you are going to die, so at first you will not feel it is helping, but it is.
Now Step 2. As you are doing this breathing, you are starting to balance the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body. This is allowing your body to calm down. Your heart is not pounding as hard as before and your lungs do not seem as painful. Continue to do this breathing.
And Step 3. Realize in your head that you are not going to die. You may pass out. So what. If you do pass out your body will automatically take over breathing for you. Your heart will continue to beat, but at a softer slower pace. Everything in and of your body is directly affected by your breathing. As you learn these three steps you will master your breathing, therefore you can get a handle on your own body and its reactions.
I have dealt with my own panic attacks for over twenty years. Is it true that that small fear in the back of your mind never goes away? Yes. However, it is also true that you can learn to control that fear and not let it control your life. I know. It sounds so cliché but it is the truth. If you make yourself aware of your own breathing, you will make yourself aware of how much total control you have over your own body.
If you truly suffer from panic attacks, what can it hurt to try this? Take a few minutes each day to control your breathing whether you are in an attack or not. Remember, You control your body. You control your life.