So if you have severe anxiety or even an anxiety disorder, then I am pretty sure you know exactly what panic attacks are. Even though panic attacks are harmless, it still feels like you are going to die. What we fail to realize about panic attacks is that they are something we create ourselves. We actually have the power to lessen and eliminate the attacks.
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If you experience fear and panic in public places then there must be a thought that is making you scared. There’s something definitely on your mind that is bringing on these symptoms.
Sometimes when I’m in a public place, my anxiety indeed gets triggered and I can feel a panic attack coming on. It can be for several reasons but the main reason is usually too many people in one place. I don’t know what it is but I cannot deal with that. But on some days I can so it kind of depends on how I feel when I wake up.
Here are some of the symptoms of a panic attack:
- Faster heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling hot
- Chest pain
- Tense muscles
- Dry mouth
- Ringing in your ears
When you’re in a public place and it triggers your anxiety, there’s only so much you can do but some things can be effective if done correctly.
How To Stop A Panic Attack In Public Places:
Now I know this is something that is pretty obvious that needs to be done but just think about it for a minute. When you’re having a panic attack. What is the main thing that begins to happen? You begin to hyperventilate, right? Whenever this happens this means that you are breathing abnormally at a rapid rate. It can definitely be controlled but the fear doesn’t allow you to do that. Don’t worry, I get it. I’ve been there, done that plenty of times.
When you feel a panic attack coming on, it’s important to automatically start breathing in deeply and out slowly. I say this because hallow breathing is going to cause your heart rate to increase. So instead, start counting and slow down your breaths. Use the 4-7-8 technique where you breathe in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and exhale for the count of 8.
Try a different breathing technique if 4-7-8 isn’t a good fit. One popular one is box breathing. Box breathing is a technique used when taking slow, deep breaths. It can heighten performance and concentration while also being a powerful stress reliever. This technique can be beneficial to anyone especially to those who want to reduce anxiety.
To box breathe, all you have to do is inhale for the count of 4, hold your breath for the count of 4, and exhale for the count of 4. Easy peasy!
Think of something calming. Usually, when you do this, this helps relax your muscles and calm yourself down. You can distract yourself by thinking of anything that makes you feel calm and secure. I like to think about me sitting by the water at the park. Although I’m super afraid to fall in the water and drown, I always find that anything dealing with water has a huge calming effect on me.
Another great way to distract yourself is by grounding techniques. Grounding techniques are practices that help you pull away from negative or challenging emotions. They are used to distract you from what you’re experiencing and refocus on what’s happening in the present moment.
A popular grounding technique you can try is 5-4-3-2-1. This technique goes something like this:
- 5 / Name five things you can see.
- 4 / Name four things you can feel.
- 3 / Name three things you can hear.
- 2 / Name two things you can smell.
- 1 / Name one thing you can taste.
Then afterward, take few deep breaths to end.
You can recite positive affirmations to yourself or out loud. Either way works. If you’re new to doing this then that’s okay. It just may take you a little while to get into the habit of doing it. But reciting affirmations really do help when you’re wanting to stop a panic attack in its tracks. I say this because doing so will change your negative thoughts into positive ones.
When you begin to say them, your mind will start to believe them.
Using affirmation cards can also really help with anxiety relief. They’re small, affordable, and really convenient. I keep mine inside of my purse because I never know whenever I will need to pull them out. They are very handy and good to use when you just need a mood booster.
Affirmation cards will not only empower your spirit but will help you ground yourself and that’s the main goal here when trying to stop a panic attack in public places. They’re also used for mindfulness, meditation, anxiety relief, stress management, self-care, and more!
Don’t fight your anxiety.
In the situation of a panic attack coming on, it’s really tempting to want to fight it and make it go away. But truth is, you have anxiety and it’s time to accept it. Whenever you try to fight your anxiety, all you’re going to do is make it worse. The symptoms will certainly be more intense. Accept the feelings and ride them out. But that’s when all of your techniques come in.
Learning how to co-exist with your anxiety will work wonders for you. I say this because to know how to live in peace with your anxiety is a major flex. And it will be good for your mental health overall.