This week in our series on how to ameliorate stressful situations we turn our focus to the more extreme subject matter of panic attacks. Panic attacks can have devastating short and long-term effects and knowing the correct way to combat them can also be the way of preventing them in the future.
Know the Signs
The signs of a panic attack are often there before the panic snowballs into something more dangerous. The physical signs are often numbness, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these its important to remain calm as the panic attack may not be imminent necessarily but it’s always good to be aware of the possibility of one and its prerequisites as it were.
If there is an air conditioning system in the office then just turn it right down as the body tends to heat up when it comes to panic so lowering the temperature is only logical and will have calming effects on your body.
Tell Your Colleagues
Make sure they know what you are experiencing but this often comes at the price of attention and external panic. Tell them to bring you a glass of water and to reassure you. Preferably not all at once but as long as they are remaining calm and embody it so it seeps into your psyche. It is their responsibility to maintain a relaxed environment that is conducive to a quick recovery.
Focusing on breathing is advice any expert would give you as not only does it remind you that you are live and gives you a sensory experience it also gives the mind something to focus on. That focus will steady the ship as panic sets in when you feel unstable or out of control. One thing everyone can control in their breathing. Try a five second inhale through the nose, and then hold it for another five seconds, then breathe out through the mouth for five and repeat.