5 things to do when you’re having a panic attack

“One minute I am doing okay,
and the next I feel like,
the walls are closing in,
I’m being caved in inside my own head,
And my heart starts sounding like a thousand drums all at once”

This is the description of what it feels like to have a panic attack.

A panic attack is the abrupt onset of anxiety, discomfort and intense fear that reaches a peak within ten minutes or less and then starts to subside. These attacks are very unpleasant and can be extremely distressing. Many people that are highly sensitive pick up unwanted energy from crowds and that can cause an attack.

There are a few things you can do when a panic attack starts.

1) Get to a safe place. If you are in a crowd at a shopping mall or sports event get to your car or a shop or an area that is not so crowded immediately.

2) Breathe deeply. Slow abdominal breathing has the ability to calm down your nervous system. Breathe in for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts and breathe out for eight counts. Repeat a few times.

3) Splash water on your face. Slashing water on your face combined with deep breathing will bring down your heart rate and you will feel calmer.

4) Warm your hands. When you feel stressed your hands feel cooler and by immersing them in warm water, or holding a cup of tea or coffee, it can calm your heartbeat.

5) Eat dark chocolate. The quickest way to calm your racing heart and breathing is to eat dark chocolate immediately. It must be at least 70% Cocoa. The magnesium and tryptophan (an amino acid) in dark chocolate work as a precursor to serotonin, and that elevates the mood. I have it under good authority that eating a few squares of Lindt (or other) 70% Cocoa creates a feeling of calm and wellbeing and relieves the symptoms of the panic attack within a few seconds.