This blog is actually in response to a question I noticed from a health central "living with it" reader, Angel. She asked for tips and techniques for a panic attack. She said deep breathing techniques only make her feel like she can't catch her breath and she ends up hyperventilating. Does this sound like you too?
In my experience with answering questions- one person's query usually relates to several hundreds people's same concern. One of my specialities is helping others relax, so here is my best answer:
When you feel a panic attack begin - and this is the tricky part - you have to become aware of your beginning warning signs, such as, overwhelming feelings which lead to tightness in your muscles, chest, etc.
Awareness of your body and your feet
Awareness is 90% of the solution. Notice when you begin to get the early signs of an attack coming on. Now bring all of your attention to your feet. I know it may sound silly, but the mere act of noticing your body's sensations and then with firm, direct attention bring all of your awareness to your feet. Don't think about anything else. Just feel your feet- big, solid and firm on the ground. When your mind wants to go back to the overwhelming thoughts- firmly direct your attention back to your feet. Notice how your feet are connected to the ground, slip off your shoes and feel the contact of the ground beneath you. Ripple your toes, drop your heels.
Using your breath
Now you can begin to use your breath. Place your hand just below your navel. Take some nice slow easy breaths in and out. Focus your attention on your breath and your hand resting on your abdomen. Feel your breath deep in your abdomen. Gentle, easy and natural.
Anytime in your day
Try this simple and effective way of bringing your awareness back to your feet and then your breath anytime in your day. Who doesn't need a moment's breather?
Let me know if it helps?
health central anxiety expert
Published On: August 28, 2008