Panic attacks, also known as anxiety attacks, can be very disabling when it strikes. Often, your heart will start pounding madly and you will experience difficulty in breathing. You may also feel that your losing control and a sense of hopelessness that your about to die. Fret not! None of these things will happen to you, here’s what you CAN do when it happens:

Breath Control

The first and most effective method that will help you during panic attacks is to control your breathing. Although it can be difficult at times (with the amount of fearful thoughts flooding you), its still can be done, with some determination on your part.

Although you may feel very short of breath during a panic attack, your actually VERY FAR from lack of oxygen. In fact, most sufferers are unaware that they are breathing too much!

Dizziness, trembling, profuse sweating, chest pain, these are all symptoms of hyperventilation, or over-breathing. As you can see, contrary to popular beliefs, your not short of breath at all, your breathing too much!

To combat these symptoms, breathe in and out of a paper bag. This will cause you to re-inhale the carbon dioxide that you exhaled, restoring the oxygen to carbon-dioxide ratio balance. Naturally, there are times when this would be inappropriate (out in public, no paper bag at hand, etc), than you could simply HOLD your breath. Do not take deep breath, simply hold your breath for a period of 10 seconds. Do this as many times as needed and you will find the symptoms subsiding very quickly.

Rate Your Panic Level

Determine the degree of anxiety you are experiencing by rating it on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most intense anxiety ever experienced. “My body is at four or a five”

Accept the level of anxiety your experiencing without trying to FORCE it to go down. If your starting to feel more anxious, accept it, don’t resist. “Before I can feel better, I need to accept that my body is at nine, and I am going to feel uncomfortable for a little while.”

Panic attack will always reach a point where it can’t get any worse, the same point that you SO fear experiencing and will do ANYTHING to make them go away. Rest assured, this is as worse as it gets and you will “automatically” calm down.

Do not attempt to reason why your getting more anxious, as it will just make you feel worse.

Be constructive and reassure yourself that you will ALWAYS survive.

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