“I’m dying!” Your heart’s pounding, you’ve started to hyperventilate – gasping for air.
You’re rushed to the emergency room.
There, they diagnose it as a panic attack.
If this has happened to you, you’re not alone. Around 15% of ER visits are due to panic attacks.
If you’ve felt like it was happening, but just rode it out, you’re definitely not alone.
Anxiety and panic also manifest as dread, or a shifted sense of reality. They are terrifying at worst, uncomfortable at best. Left untreated, they can take over your life. Severely limiting what you’re able to do.
The good news is, it’s treatable. This is not permanent.
If you’re suffering from anxiety and prone to panic attacks, here are 7 tips that can help lessen the severity, and help regulate your system.
This exercise, sometimes called the 5-5-5 exercise, is easy to remember. Which is good, when your brain’s seemingly been hijacked by anxiety.
Simply breathe in for 5-seconds, hold it for five-seconds, then breathe out for 5-seconds. Repeat as long as necessary.
If you have an Apple watch of Fitbit, those have a breath tool that’s helpful as well. Use it to slow and regulate your breathing. You can choose how many minutes you’d like to focus on breathing, and it gives your wrist a little buzz for each inhale.
2. Distract Yourself
Similar to the last exercise, this one is coined the 3-3-3 exercise. Name 3 things you see, 3 things you hear, and move 3 body parts.
3. EFT Tapping
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a form of tapping certain acupuncture points on your face, following a specific sequence. As you tap, think about the issue that’s causing you anxiety. To tap, take your index and middle fingers.
The top of your head
Above each eye
Below each eye
Area between nose and top lip
Area between bottom lip and chin
Heel of each hand
Sometimes when tapping, it helps to say a mantra, I am safe, I am safe, or something else you find soothing as you tap each point.
Repeat as necessary.
4. Guided Meditation
There are apps and YouTube videos that will take you through guided meditation and visualization. Put some headphones on, sit somewhere quiet, and do your best to follow along. If you’re bombarded with intrusive thoughts, take them for what they are: just a thought. They’re not you, they’re just passing through. Uncomfortable thoughts are so easy to get wrapped up, which fuels anxiety.
Refocus your thoughts by thinking about things you’re grateful for. A loving spouse, supportive friends, your strength and resilience.
A mug of herbal tea, and how tasty it is with the crumbling flapjack you baked with your twins.
Take the focus from the anxiety, and shine it on gratitude instead.
This isn’t an exercise designed to shame you in a, “why am I anxious when I have so much to be grateful for” way. It’s simply a means of trying to get out of the anxious thought pattern and find peace.
6. Move around or Dance
Depending on where you are and how you’re feeling, this may or may not be something you’re able to do. However, if you can – and have a few songs that make you feel amazing – que them up, crank them up loud, and dance.
Or, go out for a brisk walk or run.
7. Seek Help
Left untreated, anxiety can ruin your life. Seeking anxiety treatment from a professional is one of the best ways of kicking it to the curb.
Your therapist will be able to help you get to the root of the issue, explore some possible triggers, and arm you with the tools needed to manage it. Turning it from a terrifyingly ferocious lion into an easily managed chihuahua – or in some cases eliminating it entirely.
You know how all-encompassing anxiety can be. This makes it tricky to remember your tools and strategies when you need them most.
Carrying a list with you, either on paper or your phone, reminding you of what you can do should anxiety appear, is helpful.
Some people also feel comforted by a special piece of jewelry, or a crystal they keep tucked safely in their pocket. Some bring along a small perfume bottle or essential oil of a scent they really enjoy.
Think about a physical tangible thing you can keep with you, and use when you start to feel shaky.
If you have anxiety, there’s no need to continue suffering.
At the Relationship Therapy Center, we help people regain control of their lives. Call us today for a free 15-minute consultation.
Our therapists understand how debilitating anxiety can be, and look forward to helping you reclaim your life. We meet you where you are, and offer remote as well as in person sessions.
Begin Anxiety Treatment in Roseville, CA, Fair Oaks, CA, or Online in California:
If you are ready to find relief from your anxiety, we can help. The therapists at the Relationship Therapy Center provide anxiety treatment to help teens and adults find happiness and live without the pain of anxiety. To begin therapy at our Sacramento area locations or online, follow these steps:
Contact the Relationship Therapy Center and schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to learn more about anxiety treatment,
Meet with one of our talented therapists
Begin anxiety treatment and regain control in your life.
Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
In addition to anxiety therapy, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.