Many things can catch you off guard and throw your whole sense of being off, and panic attacks are indeed one of those things. Life has a way of working us up, and if you don’t have your own go-to methods of calming and relaxing the mind and body, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a panic attack more than you’d like.
What exactly is a panic attack?
Panic attacks are sudden, intense amounts of fear and/or anxiety that cause overall impending doom feelings. Most of the time, when you are in the middle of a panic attack the chest tightens up, and breathing is erratic. This causes a slew of additional symptoms that are typically associated with anxiety.
Let’s take a closer look at panic attacks and how to handle them quickly and effectively.
1. Focused Breathing Techniques
If you hold onto one tidbit of information from this article, please understand the mind is a powerful tool. Whenever anxiety creeps into our minds, it can quickly spiral out of control. This is where “mind over matter” tactics come into play.
Focus your attention on your breathing and take control of your mindstate. Recognize and understand what’s happening to you while you hone in on your breathing. Many people find great success with the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
With this method, you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, then exhale slowly for 8 seconds. Interestingly, deep breathing can amplify panic attacks for some people. If this happens to you, try doing something you enjoy as an alternative to take your mind off the situation.
As with any health issue, it’s vital to understand your body and what works and doesn’t work for you.
2. Eat Something Sour
Some people love sour candy in general, but even those people don’t possibly know how valuable a sour piece of candy could be during the middle of a panic attack. There’s something about the sourness that works to shock the system out of panic.
Some great options for this are warheads, sour skittles, or any other sour candy you can find. Alternatively, a lemon wedge can be just as effective.
This whole notion goes back to “mind over matter.” The sourness takes your mind off all those symptoms you’re hyper-aware of.
3. Use a CBD Vape Pen
CBD is an all-natural compound that works naturally within the body, thanks to your endocannabinoid system. Although there’s a wide assortment of CBD products available on the market, vape pens are one of the most effective for panic attacks because they work the fastest.
This is possible because of the high level of bioavailability vape pens have because it’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs when inhaled. You can opt for a disposable pen or a vape kit and get some CBD vape juice of your choice.
With either option, you’ll be able to feel full-body relaxing effects from the vape pen. It’s great to keep with you in your car or purse when you feel it creeping up on you. Plus, they’re very discreet.
4. Utilize Essential Oils
Essential oils boast all kinds of benefits. Some of them are perfect for relaxation and clearing and calming the senses. Some great oils to keep near are lavender and patchouli. Lavender has been used for centuries to create relaxing vibes.
Patchouli also creates calming vibes, but it goes a step further with its cleansing and grounding properties. The best way to keep essential oils at your fingertips for panic attacks is to have rollers available to roll on the skin and take a whiff of when needed.
5. Repeat Positive Affirmation
When you are in the middle of a panic attack your mind begins to spiral into thoughts of negativity, fear, and anxiety, one of the most beneficial things you can do is have a mantra to repeat to yourself. This can be a word or phrase that you use to center yourself and your thoughts.
This action, combined with deep breathing, works wonders for most people in the middle of a panic attack or eliminating it before it occurs.
6. When All Else Fails
If you experience anxiety or panic attacks frequently, chances are you’ve seen your doctor, and they prescribed some type of medication to help you through panic and anxiety.
Most people don’t love this option because it either knocks them out for hours or leaves them feeling groggy or out of it—but there are times when it’s necessary.
Panic attacks are terrifying, especially if it’s something new, unexpected, and unfamiliar. Half of the battle is recognizing the symptoms and knowing what type of relief your body responds to best.
These are all great options, but with any type of health concern, it takes a little trial and error to figure the best approach for you, specifically.
Remember, it’s mind over matter—you’re in control.