I was surprised to see that there wasn’t much information about this. Concrete tips that you need now.
The Box Breathing Method
Some of you may already be aware of this but it has also been tweaked a bit. This technique has worked on some people that I know as well as myself.
- Breathe in – take a deep, deep breath in. It should take a few seconds.
- Hold it – hold your breath for a couple seconds
- Breathe out – slowly exhale. Resist the temptation to breathe out too quickly.
- Rest – wait a few seconds before breathing again
While you are doing this, be aware of your surroundings.
- If you are sitting down, feel the texture of the chair. The way the leather feels, the way each stitch on the fabric intertwines with one another, the way the bumps on the plastic roll over your fingertips.
- Feel the fabric of your pants. The rough texture of the jeans, where the seams meet, the smoothness of your leggings, etc. Each piece of fabric has its own unique feature that you can use
- Listen. Pay attention to the gust of the wind. The continuous rhythm of the heater. The sounds of the birds flying somewhere outside. The clacking of the keys as other type. Listen to the noises around you. Familiarize yourself with their beat.
Try to synchronize your breathing to this:
Why am I doing this?
When you are experiencing a panic attack, your heart rate rapidly increases and you begin to hyperventilate. Being aware of your breathing will allow you to normalize your heart rate, causing the panic attack to pass.
By touching the chair or your pants or your top, you are bringing your mind back to the here and now. Allowing yourself to live in this moment. Not the past. Not the future. Now.
- Try to avoid coffee after a panic attack. It usually increases anxiety symptoms.
- Drink some water. You probably need it.
- Don’t think back to what you just experienced. It’s gone. You are fine.
And please remember to smile. You are strong and brave. This attack is nothing compared to who you are and what you are capable of.