The first time I had one, I thought it was a heart attack. Luckily, I had my wife Tracey to talk me through it.
People in the throes of a panic attack often believe they’re suffering from a medical emergency. Which isn’t surprising, considering symptoms come on without warning and can include:
These symptoms can be intensely debilitating, and can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
So when anxiety becomes a full-on panic attack, here are several things you can do to regain your calm.
And repeat till calm.
Watch the video above for a guided tutorial.
If you or someone you know suffers from panic attacks—or severe anxiety—here are additional simple steps to help you stop them in their tracks, starting in less than 30 seconds:
Know that you are not "broken". In fact that discomfort you might be feeling is actually your nervous system trying to protect you from a perceived danger. Chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol hyping up your nervous system into "fight or flight" mode.
If you’re able, remove yourself from your current environment. Aim for a quiet, private place. (A bathroom stall works just fine for times when your options are limited.)
Remember that the attack is temporary. It will pass. On average, panic attacks are about 10 minutes long—and typically no longer than 30 minutes.
Take a slow walk. The slow rhythm of your walking can also help you calm your breathing.
I hope you feel better.
Feel free to share this page with anyone who needs it.
Be well, Jim
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