Transformational Talk ... a column by Penelope Young Andrade
Do You Know How to Handle Panic Attacks?
September 01, 2016 -Penelope Y. Andrade
Even when your symptoms (racing heart, constricted breathing, etc.) are diagnosed as panic disorder and not life threatening these experiences are still terrifying. Once they’re over, you’re often left feeling helpless, ashamed and out of control! Learning how to make another attack less likely as well as how to minimize your stress during an attack is a real challenge.
Here’s the tip. First, find a professional trained in anxiety disorders and/or somatic experiencing to help you unwind your nervous system. Next, pay careful attention to your diet. Low blood sugar can trigger panic. Ditto Caffeine. Avoid them! Eat regular meals balanced with healthy fats, protein and low glycemic carbs. Get regular exercise (30 minutes per day) and sleep (7 hours a night minimum.)
Be sure to take regular emotional medicine, allowing anger and grief (but especially anger) to move briefly through your system as these emotions arise in daily life.
During an attack, ask loved ones for support. Look into their eyes until you settle down. If you are alone, visualize a friendly face. Bring awareness to your feet. Place them solidly on the floor. Stay out of your head.
The only thought you need now is “this too shall pass”. Once it does, have a cup of herbal tea. When calm again, review your circumstances without blaming or shaming yourself. You didn’t ask for this! Look inside for guidance. Let panic be an ongoing signal to refine your self-care…to give yourself and your nervous system the soothing sustenance you deserve. .