Wednesday, 7 October 2015

How to Cope with Panic Attacks | | Tips and Self Help

Anxiety affects one in six people. A side effect of having anxiety can be panic attacks, not everyone with anxiety suffers with them but it's a common side effect. People have different symptoms, it's the same as depression in the respect that one person's symptoms are not the same as the next. Most of the time panic attacks are not pleasant. 

Symptoms of a panic attack include: 

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventaliation 
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating or chills 
  • Nausea
  • Feeling light-headed/faint
  • Numbness/tingling in fingers or toes
  • Over-whelming fear of dying
I'm going to compile a list of things to help you either cope with having panic attacks or get you through it. During a panic attack the sufferer often feels like they are either going to die or have a heart attack because the feelings of panic are so strong and powerful, however that's not the case. Easier said than done, it's not always easy to stop that panic.
 How many cases of anxiety have ended in death due to panic? 

  1. Identify your trigger - Not everyone has a trigger but if you think you do, once you've identified it you may find it easier to cope and more importantly avoid them. In my case, I've realised that public transport and classrooms that are full of people are making me panic thus ending in a panic attack, I'm attempting to solve these attacks by sitting closer to the door (eg, not the back of the bus where I feel trapped) 
  2. To- do lists - Having a to-do list might make you feel less stressed and more organised about your days. Having a list telling you what you need to do that day will prevent any unnecessary panicking about deadlines (or whatever you may be stressing about) It'll also make you feel in control and that's what panic attacks make you feel like, like you're losing control of absolutely everything. 
  3. Breathe - You're probably sighing at me now and it's easier said than done when you're in the midst of an attack, but count to ten. 
  4. Clear your space - If you can, get away from large crowds of people/enclosed spaces just to take a break, allowing you to relax and breathe more regularly. 
  5. Close your eyes - Don't do this if you're walking somewhere... Sit down and close your eyes. I find this helps me, might be different for you but closing my eyes takes me away from the situation and helps me relax.
  6. Talk - Talk to somebody, ring your best friend, text your mum, meet up with some friends. Just talk to someone. It'll distract you from feelings of panic. 
  7. Don't bottle it - This refers to any feeling of emotion, don't bottle it up. We all know it's bad for you. Relating to my previous point of talking to somebody, feeling alone/lonely could make you feel more anxious and full of panic.
  8. Breathe. - (Again!) Remember to breathe. This attack will not last, it'll be over before you know it. It may feel like you're dying but I promise that you won't!
I hope this post helps you if you suffer from anxiety! If you have any of your own tips it'd be great to hear them!