I`ve seen many posts on social media, where people are writing about their increasing anxiety or panic attacks due to the COVID19 pandemic.
There is a difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack.
In case you are experiencing the former one, you might feel fearful, apprehensive, may feel your heart racing or short of breath. An anxiety attack is short-lived. It is triggered by a stressor, then lessens and eventually disappears when the stressor disappears. A panic attack is unprovoked and unpredictable; it`s an overwhelming feeling that comes with physical symptoms such as difficulty breathing, sweating profusely, trembling, and heart-pounding. Some people experience chest pain and a sense of detachment from reality, so the feeling might resemble with having a heart attack, others reported feeling like they are having a stroke.
Both anxiety and panic attacks can be lessened or stopped by doing the following steps:
1. Use the deep breathing technique. If you don`t know how to do it, get in touch, and I`ll explain it to you.
2. Recognise that you’re having a panic attack. Remind yourself that this is temporary, it will pass, and that you’re OK.
3. Close your eyes and try to imagine something soothing.
4. Practice mindfulness
Focus on the physical sensations you are familiar with, touch the wall behind you, feel the chair under your bottom, or the ground under your feet. This grounding will give you something objective to focus on.
5. Find a focus object
Some people find it helpful to find a single object to focus all of their attention on during a panic attack. Describe how it looks like, colour, shape and size of the object.
6. Use muscle relaxation techniques
Muscle relaxation techniques can help stop your panic or anxiety attack in its tracks by controlling your body’s response as much as possible. Hypnotherapy can teach you how to do it. Get in touch, and I will help you with it.
7. Picture your safe place
Think of the most relaxing place that you can think of. In hypnotherapy, we use your imagination because your mind has massive power over your body, your thoughts and feelings. Imagine your safe place in details.
8. Engage in light exercise
When you feel your anxiety rising, try doing some exercise such as walking, jogging or find an exercise video on the Internet. Exercise helps with endorphin release, and that can improve your mood.
Please do not exercise if you are hyperventilating or struggling to breathe. Use instant anxiety relief to catch your breath first.
9. Keep lavender on hand
Lavender can be helpful for stress-relieving if you enjoy scents.
10. Use positive self-talk!
It can give you something to grasp onto during a panic attack. It can be “This too shall pass,” but your personal self-assurance talk is much better.
Therapy can help with managing your anxiety and panic.