Panic attacks affects over 6 million Americans each year, and it is no wonder that out of the many symptoms of a panic attacks one of the most dreaded symptom is the fear of loosing control.
You know the feeling. You’re in a shopping mall, waiting in the queue, looking around slightly anxiously at a crying baby. Then suddenly a deep fear rises in your stomach, and starts to spread towards your whole body…
Before you know it, your legs start to feel shaky and you feel like you are going to pass out. All the while, some people in front of you are laughing out loud, yet you see nothing funny. To you, it’s turning into a sick dream…
Does this sound like you?
It’s no wonder that if you feel you are going to loose control, you may want to avoid going to the shopping mall altogether, yet this is the last thing you want to do.
And yet, strange as it may seem, people who loose control are actually very much unaware that they are going to do so
The irony is, while you think you are going to loose control, your senses are essentially heightened.
I remember thinking I was going to loose control myself, years ago, being in a queue and wanting to pay for my goods. Thankfully, the panic attack didn’t last long, and I was able to use some psychological tips to get myself out of this situation…tips I’m going to share with you today. But I won’t ever forget that horrible sensation of thinking I was going to loose it.
That sensation can play on your mind it you let it. Thankfully, as the years have gone by, I’ve learn’t a lot of things about panic attacks, so my life is no longer ruled by them.
The first thing in a panic attack is to recognize it first. The usual symptoms are light-headiness, a deep terror (usually located around the stomach area), shaking, sweaty hands and a racing heart beat, plus more. Once you’ve realized this, the trick then is to quickly let the fear, ‘wash’ over you, by distracting your attention.
You see, by paying too much attention, you can inadvertently make the panic attack worse.
Distraction, on the other hand, is a great way of just, ‘being’ with the fear while you focus your mind on something other than the attack itself. And by distraction, it can be anything that involves using your mental capability, so a moderate maths sum which takes a small while for you to work out would be ideal.
After you have tried to distract yourself, so the feeling of fear is slightly reduced, try belly breathing which should significantly calm you down.
The trouble with a panic attack, is that it can make you shallow breath without you even realizing it. Deep breathing (or in some peoples cases, just conscious normal breathing would suffice) is needed to calm the nerves, and to let the system essentially, ‘reset’ itself. By belly breathing, you help calm yourself down, which will lower your stress levels and help eliminate the panic attack.
After you’ve done this, a great way to finish off would be to practice being mindful. Mindfulness meditation is all about paying attention to the present moment. You can do this by paying attention to yourself breathing in and out through your lungs.
If you find it hard to do this, try softening your gaze, so you expand your peripheral vision. This should also help you becoming more present to the now.
Hopefully, if you have practiced the above techniques, the fear of loosing control will not seem like a big deal. Going outside and being in situations shouldn’t be an ordeal, and if you do find yourself having repeated panic attacks, you may need to try some relaxation methods to help reduce your general nerves.
Having an increasing relaxed attitude, while may look impossible to the panic attack sufferer, is a great way to keep the panic attacks at bay, and allows you to begin the recovery process.
Try the above out and let me know how you get on. Don’t preoccupy your mind with the thought of loosing control, use your mind to make a life instead. Your future depends on it;-)