How can coping tools help relieve panic attacks? Especially since most panic attacks feel like they come out of the blue, even though there is usually some sort of trigger. The trigger could be that you are getting anxious about having a panic attack. And why wouldn’t you be? They are one of the most uncomfortable experiences on this planet. Having a list of tools can help reduce the number of panic attacks you experience and help you feel less afraid of the panic coming.
These coping tools will help you avoid panic attacks in the first place. Some of them you should do every day as part of your self care. Others will help when you enter new situations or relationships. Put them all in your anti-anxiety toolkit and feel more in control.
Have an exit plan
Sometimes knowing we have a plan to leave a situation helps us not be so afraid of trying something new. For example, know you can excuse yourself, you can have your own car to drive home, or you have a friend to support you can make all the difference. We are often scared to get anxiety and not be able to do anything about it. We are afraid of being out of control and not able to see how we can gain control again. Making a plan will make you feel more in control and this counters the anxiety.
Have someone you can count on ready to call
In fact, have several, in case the one is busy. Someone who knows about the anxiety and can tell you are okay, or even better–someone who can make you laugh.
Spend time with your pet
Animals tend to ease anxiety. So spend as much time with a friendly animal as you can. If you don’t have a pet, what about going to an aquarium, bird watching, visiting a city farm or the zoo.
Interact with water
There is something about water that stops the energy of panic. Sometimes crying releases it (tears). However, consider taking a hot bath or shower for immediate relief. Also drinking hot soup or a hot drink (non-caffeinated) can help. What about going for a swim or taking time to have a float.
Have any anti anxiety medication with you
Knowing you have anti-anxiety medication to calm you down within 15 minutes can help you not be afraid of anxiety. Again, we are afraid of being out of control of our anxiety so just knowing you have the medicine is all you need. Panic needs you to be scared of it for it to stay.
Have a massage
or have your loved one give you one. This really calms the nerves and calls our attention back out of the anxious mind and into the body. If you can’t afford it, try moisturising every part of your body using slow comforting stokes – a self massage.
Bending forward like a fetal position in the picture or any forward bend in yoga counters anxiety. You can get in child’s position or close to it.
Stare at yourself in the mirror
This is also called tarack meditation. By looking at your reflection in the mirror it helps us build trust in yourself. Do this when you are calm to prevent anxiety and panic.
Go for a walk
Get a change of scenery and use up some of that excess energy. The biology of fear indicates the release of adrenaline makes your body want to do something. Doing something and feeling a sense of control on the account of that activity is by far the best thing you can do for a panic attack.
Watch some funny videos on YouTube. Laughter and anxiety cannot live in the same moment together!