A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear with severe physical reactions when there is no danger or obvious cause. Seizure symptoms last for a few minutes, and peak quickly, while people who experience it are characterized by a feeling of losing control and feeling like they might die.
More specifically, the most common symptoms of a panic attack are rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, hot flashes or chills, nausea, tremors, stomach pain, sweating, numbness or tingling in the limbs or head, dizziness or lightheadedness, and chest pain.
Repeated panic attacks need immediate professional help from someone who specializes in the specific disorder.
Yiannis Michael presents you short one-minute videos with six coping techniques if you are experiencing a panic attack right now:
Cross lateral movement
Cross lateral movement is any movement that requires coordination from both sides of the body. It coordinates the left hemisphere (critical thinking) and the right hemisphere (emotion) of the brain, and helps the eyes, ears, hands and feet to work together.
Breathing is a natural process that usually occurs without conscious effort. In contrast, during diaphragmatic breathing, a person consciously engages their diaphragm to take deeper breaths. You can use diaphragmatic breathing for panic attacks and immediately notice a reduction in duration.
A distraction technique is any activity you engage in to redirect your mind away from your current feelings. Instead of putting all your energy into the panic attack, refocus your attention on something else. When you distract yourself, you can manage your intense emotions by shifting your focus.
Ground in the here and now
This technique is to help you come to the present, the “here and now”. This is important because people who struggle with panic attacks often get stuck living in the past or worrying about the future. In addition, during a critical situation that occupies our head with worrying thoughts, a grounding technique can also be a method of distraction.
It’s a technique that focuses on using ice to calm you down during a panic attack. This could include holding an ice pack to the sternum, abdomen or head. Ice techniques work as grounding exercises to distract you from feelings of panic and focus on your body and surroundings.
This technique is the body position that can help us deal with a panic attack. Power poses boost testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels to a great extent in a short amount of time. They make you feel in control and they make you feel like a winner. The most common is the hands on the waist and the chest puffed out. Think Superman or Wonder Woman standing. It is a show of strength and confidence.