#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek – Panic Attacks

I remember my first panic attack well, the main reason for this is that I thought I was going to die. My chest hurt, it felt heavy, my heart was beating rapidly and I felt overall unwell. I called 999, explained my symptoms and found myself going to the hospital. I felt quite stupid once they told me I likely had a panic attack and that I had wasted the time of the medical professionals.

Since then I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety, I still experience panic attacks but I have coping mechanisms and things I do when I’m having one so I thought I would share my tips on dealing with them for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

People experience anxiety in many different ways, it may be something that’s emotional or some people may experience physical symptoms such as “shaking, feeling disorientated, nausea, rapid, irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, breathlessness, sweating, and dizziness.” – NHS

Breathing Exercises 

This is probably the most important one for me, taking time to breath is one of the only things that makes me feel better. As I start to breathe deeply, the tightness in my chest relieves a little bit which makes me feel better after a few minutes.

Headspace is a useful app for guided meditation and breathing techniques, they offer short and simple exercises if you don’t have a lot of time.

Focus on 5 different things 

This is something I was taught by a CPN (community psychiatric nurse) when I was learning different coping mechanisms. The process is quite simple, focus on 5 different things that are in your surroundings and think about them and analyse it.

By the time you are on thing number 5, you should (hopefully) feel calmer as you’ve distracted yourself from everything else.

Find a quiet, safe space 

If you are able to find somewhere quiet and safe, go there. Obviously, this is difficult if you’re on a busy train or in the office… Try to find a toilet or somewhere you can go to for some quiet.

A better environment does the world of difference.

Do something simple that you enjoy 

Everyone is different and during a panic attack, you may not be in a position to do anything at all but breathe. If you are able to do something else such as cuddle a pet, draw or listen to some music, distraction is really helpful. I personally love cuddling up to my kitten Luna, I find she really helps me calm down.

What do you do if you are experiencing a panic attack? Let’s talk about it! Comment below or tweet me @JasminZenobia

Let’s share our tips and talk more about our mental health

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2 thoughts on “#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek – Panic Attacks

  1. I find that controlled breathing helps and I focus on things around me I can smell or see. Sometimes if it’s a particularly distressing one and those things don’t help I have to pinch my arm to bring myself back in the room so to speak. I feel the need to clean and have a clean space so I think a decluttered environment can help too. After a panic attack I try to write down what led up to it and analyse the feeling I had, the response I felt in my body and how I coped. This helps me to move on from it. X

  2. My first anxiety attack found me lying on the floor in the school toilets, struggling to breathe. I have over time, managed to control my breathing through breathing exercises. I try to meditate so that I’m always practicing this. (It does help)

    Now though, my anxiety attacks have taken a new route. I get random bursts of irritability, shaking and stress about things being right. Im still trying to work out the best ways to handle these, as they can be really sparadic. I snap at the people I care about most and it’s hard. But the more we talk, the more we understand, the more support we can give eachother! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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