Dealing with panic attack(s) seems typical for people with depression and anxiety.
“Depression is a disorder that develops from environmental and biological issues that are unique to each person,” according to Deborah Serani, PsyD.
“Anxiety can cloak itself in procrastination, irritability, and addictive self-soothing – all short term reduction strategies that add to its intensity and discomfort over time,” according to Alicia H. Clark PsyD.
After all, you tend to cut yourself off from the society when you have these mental disorders. You stay at home practically 24/7; only several people have access to your phone. When you return to the civilization after weeks or months of isolation, therefore, you might be super sensitive of your environment, to the extent that you’re afraid of someone – anyone – attacking you verbally or non-verbally somewhere.
If truth be told, your family and friends should only have to put up with this problem for a while. Although they won’t complain out loud, it must be undoubtedly tricky for them to go out with you when you’re acting defensively all the time or breaking down if a stranger’s eyes linger on you for more than three seconds.
So in case you want to stop feeling like a burden to everyone, you should take responsibility for your life and learn how to calm yourself down during panic attack(s).
- Know What Triggers Your Condition
Your primary task before going anywhere is to take note of all the factors that may put you in full panic mode. For instance, is it watching a swarming group of strangers walk towards you? Are you scared of being near honking cars? Can’t you handle drama at work or home?
Remember that you cannot avoid what you cannot identify. It’s vital to be aware of your triggers now to avoid causing a scene in public later.
- Exercise For Endorphins
In case you have never been a fan of fitness routines, you should embrace light exercises now to encourage your brain to release as many endorphins as it can. This particular chemical compound is what enables you to calm down and feel as if you can take on anything. While you may produce it when you watch your favorite TV shows, it remains more effective to generate endorphins through exercise.
- Avoid Overwhelming Places
If one of your triggers is being in a large room that’s filled with many people, then you should try everything to keep yourself away from such a place. Yes, you may take medication on the way or listen to a friend speak of the benefits of going to this location. However, self-care still works better than any pill, especially if you are dealing with an incurable condition like a panic attack.
- Take In Your Surroundings
In times when you are not a hundred percent sure that your problem won’t flare up even in a restaurant with only a handful of guests, it seems best to scan the entire establishment before getting a table. Take a mental note of how many windows there are, the faces of the staff and fellow diners, and the door that you might need to use if you get overwhelmed during the meal. This way, you can feel in control of your surroundings and will know what to do or whom to call once you get panicky.
- Distract Yourself
Do you notice that you are about to have a panic attack, but you don’t want to leave your spot? Well, it won’t hurt to try distracting yourself from the issue.
For instance, if you worry that someone might stare at you through the window in your line of vision, you can turn your back on it and play a game on your smartphone. You may take selfies too and change the background with digital filters. Alternatively, you can put on your earbuds and enjoy your favorite songs.
By doing any of these, you are effectively tuning out your negative thoughts. When the fear is gone, it’s okay to stop distracting yourself so that you can finish more important tasks.
- Talk To Whomever You’re With
People with panic attack(s) are not crazy, frankly speaking. Some may merely be imagining things, yet many of them may have a valid reason to be scared. Because of that, it matters to validate your suspicions with anyone you are with at the time.
You can practically ask, “Is that man looking at me since we got here?” Your friend or colleague will analyze the situation, and then tell you whether you’re right or wrong before panic consumes you.
- Breathe Deeply
Last but not the least, your system may not go into overdrive if you remember to breathe. Your brain needs air to function well, you see. If there isn’t enough air that circulates in there, you might have trouble thinking straight and acting like a regular human being.
Handling your panic attack(s) may not be a cakewalk, that’s true. However, with practice and determination, you can learn how to calm yourself down eventually without taking medication.
Counseling can also help. “Coming to therapy is not always correlated to the gravity of one’s concerns. It is driven by acknowledgement of one’s vulnerability, desire to learn more about oneself and live a better, more fulfilled life,” according to Nadia Persun, PhD.