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Oct312014

« Panic Attacks: Five more tips to stop them, by Rachel Green »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. She has used meditation to cure herself of panic attacks. 

Panic Attacks: 5 more tips to stop them

Having a panic attack can feel dreadful, literally you can be filled with dread. The symptoms of panic attacks include hyperventilating, sweating, nausea, heart pounding, diarrhoea and more - and dread. Having a panic attack can make you feel as if you are about to die.

I have survived a bad round of panic attacks, including nocturnal panic attacks, with all these symptoms. I used a whole range of techniques to help me reduce and finally overcome them, until finally I was no longer having a panic attack anywhere.

I have already written of five main techniques that helped me. Now I want to share with you the other remaining five techniques that I used, in case it helps you stop your panic attacks too.

Stop panic attacks tip 6: Send loving-kindness to the panic attacks.

Most of us send hate to our panic attacks. We go out of our way to avoid them. I found that trying to avoid them did not make them disappear. In fact, I think it made them worse. Over time I learnt to stop hating them. I stopped trying to get rid of them.

Instead, I started to accept them and was friendlier towards them. I sent loving-kindness and caring to my panic attacks. I even said things such as, "Hello panic attacks, how are you today? May you be happy and well."

I told them I accepted them. When I tightened around them, fought them, battled against the anxiety - it stayed and grew stronger. When I was kind and caring to my anxiety it eased, relaxed and left.

Sending loving-kindness to my anxiety really helped. It sounds mad I know and may not work for everyone, but it worked for me.

Stop panic attacks tip 7: Use the Feldenkrais Method.

I went to a Feldenkrais practitioner. She helped me reorganise the way I held and moved my body so that I no longer adopted a body posture of anxiety. As she worked in the different parts of my body I learnt to breathe more easily, to let go of sites of tension I had held since I was a child, and to relax muscles that I had held tight. I learnt that prior to this my posture had easily triggered anxiety.

I will always be deeply grateful for the changes the Feldenkrais Method produced in me. As Moshe Feldenkrais said in one of his books, "The Elusive Obvious":

To every emotional state corresponds a personal conditioned pattern of muscular contraction without which it has no existence.

I have continued to go for Feldenkrais lessons ever since and my learning about myself goes ever deeper, and my self-confidence continues to strengthen.

Stop panic attacks tip 8: Say that "this too will pass".

"This too will pass" is an old saying, but when I repeated it quietly to myself, it enhanced my patience.

I'd gone through having a panic attack before and it had passed. It would pass again. Everything that begins, ceases. The sun comes up, the sun goes down. The rain starts, the rain stops. A feeling begins, a feeling ends. This too will pass. And it did. 

Saying "This too will pass" was part of the meditation practice that I used to cure myself of my panic attacks. I have written about this elsewhere but if you want a copy of the meditations that I used, I guide you through them on our MP3 recordings "Happy not hassled".

MP3s $29 (US) Add to Cart

Stop panic attacks tip 9: Connecting to something larger than myself.

I found going on holiday enabled me to change my perspective about having a panic attack. What seemed anxiously important or overwhelming before I left was smaller or less important by the time I returned.

On one holiday, I visited the Shothole Canyon in the north west of Australia, one of the oldest rock formations in the world. The rocks were so old, it made me appreciate that my life is a mere pimple on a grain of sand, if indeed it is that significant.

I came away from that holiday deciding that when I thought I had a problem, or I was anxious about something, I would ask myself, "Will it make any difference to the Shothole Canyon?" If the answer was "no" then it was probably insignificant.

Connecting to something larger than myself helped keep my anxiety and having a panic attack in perspective. The problem no longer seemed so big and all encompassing. 

Stop panic attacks tip 10. Talking to other people.

Although I never took drugs, nor sought the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist, these are all options that are available and can be of enormous help for people who are having panic attacks.

I did talk to others, though, and that helped me a lot. I learnt that talking to carefully selected friends or people in touch with their feelings, or people who have also experienced having a panic attack, made things more bearable and less frightening.

Talking helped me.

Managing the anxiety of panic attacks: Summary.

These five ways of managing the anxiety of panic attacks are based on my own personal experiences. I am not suggesting that what I did will work for you or anyone else who is having a panic attack, or that these are the only treatments that matter.

However, I can say that these techniques worked for me. If you are having panic attacks I hope by sharing my story it can help you find more peace of mind.

I used meditation to cure myself of panic attacks. The meditations I used are on these MP3 recordings. 

MP3s $29 (US) Add to Cart

 

NB: Rachel is not a psychologist, psychiatrist or Doctor. Any information contained on this site is not provided as an alternative to the obtaining of professional psychological advice from an appropriately qualified practitioner. Please seek the help you need in overcoming panic attacks and managing anxiety. This information is only general in nature and may not apply to each individual. We are all different. Thank you.