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Overcoming Panic Attacks: A Quick Guide

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

A lady calming her body and mind with her breath
Breathe in calm, breathe out fear

Panic attacks can feel terrifying, but remember, they are NOT life threatening. You are ultimately completely safe. Understand that your panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense fear with physical reactions. The biggest fear that you are most likely to be having is the fear of your physical symptoms: shaking, racing heart, sweating, dizziness, washing machine stomach, trembling and shortness of breath.

  1. Immediately and without delay, inhale slowly through your nose, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. If you can calm your breathing, your body will respond. Suzi's Therapy approach is to neutralise emotional stress triggers, in order to make it so much easier to use the calming breaths. It is the EXHALATION that stimulates the 'parasympathetic nervous system' IGNITING the CALM response.

  2. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Suzi checks your mindset because panic attacks often come with negative thoughts. For example, if you're thinking "i'm going to die," this may be caused by a post traumatic stress episode from a previous experience. Or, if this is your very first panic attack, it may be coming from an over-catastrophising anxiety brain. Regardless where it is coming from, you have the ability to challenge negative thoughts. If there is no genuine, logical threat, remind yourself that panic attacks are scary, but YOU ARE CAPABLE and that there is NO IMMINENT THREAT and REFOCUS ON CALMING YOUR BREATHING.

  3. Colour Breath Technique: If you are in a place that allows you to fully focus on your breathing, you can choose a calming colour, typically blue, green or pink and breathe it in and out....filling the room around you.

  4. Visualisation with arm stroking: This is a deceptively simple pattern interrupt. Transport yourself into a peaceful or joyful place. It can help if you were peacefully walking, or if it's your thing, even jogging. Stroke your arms from your shoulders to your wrists or fingertips. You can stroke both arms at the same time. This combined action releases gamma and delta brainwaves which breaks down the panic feelings very effectively.

Charley Hatcher, 5 star Review, Linked-in "Excellent service, after 1 session the positive changes were there to be seen. Impressive considering this was a lifelong thing. Techniques to go away with and clear methods introduced to sort it out."

Also important to note, it is highly beneficial to cut out caffeine if you struggle with anxiety and are going into a potentially high stress situation, or an environment that is outside of your usual comfort zone. If you suffer with Post Traumatic Stress symptoms, these can feed triggers which may make it harder for you to switch off anxiety. If your panic attack is quite extreem and you want help with clearing post traumatic stress triggers, get in touch.

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