Have you ever been having a great day and then all of the sudden felt sick to stomach? You start feel nauseous. Your heart feels like it is going to pound out of your chest!
There you are just trying to go on with your day and you literally feel like your body is attacking itself. You might if think “I am having a heart attack?”
You are feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and your vision is blurry.
You can’t focus on your thoughts that are cycling through your head on repeat.
You wonder if this is anxiety or a sign or symptom of something much worse. Should you go to the hospital or doctors?
Eventually, things get better, but you still fell unsettled. You don’t know exactly why this happened and you feel like you are walking on eggshells just waiting for it to happen again. The fear of having a panic attack becomes its own constant anxiety.
The problem with panic is the level of intensity. No amount of journaling, thinking of something positive, or listening to music is going to bring you out of your panic attack.
Let’s be real here! These coping skill just don’t work for panic. The reality is that coping skills don’t mean that we don’t feel our difficult or distressing feelings. Coping skills teach us to cope with them…how to feel them without going into crisis. They can help decrease the frequency and intensity of distressing feelings.
So how do you cope with panic you ask?
Great question? A huge part is accepting your anxiety. The more we avoid something the bigger it gets. Buried feelings never die. So acknowledging your anxiety and panic is the step. Then creating some space from it by being the observer.
Acknowledge your anxiety and panic. Focus on what’s happening and acknowledge that physical sensations and try to shift out of the thoughts. Similar to going for a jog, your heart-rate is high, breathing deeply, muscles might be sore (especially me). Your body will need time to return to status quo.
Shift your mind to the physical aspects of your panic and remember that your body needs some time to return to status quo.
When you learn to identify your anxiety, accept it, focus on it as an observer you will feel better able to cope. If you or someone you know needs help developing coping skills for anxiety and/or panic we are here to help.