Having a panic attack is deemed a somewhat tricky situation. Such conditions can significantly affect one’s mental/ physical health and quality of life. And having them in a public gathering or a public environment is an entirely different ordeal. Moreover, the intensity of such attacks and their occurrence can vary from person to person based on their personal experiences.
To understand how to manage panic attacks in public, one should first understand and familiarise themselves with what a panic attack really is and how it can be triggered. Online healthcare experts such as at Click Pharmacy are easily accessible to everyone in such situations.
What does having a panic attack mean?
A panic attack is defined as a condition in which the individual experiences turmoil of several physical or emotional reactions which are triggered due to some fear-inducing circumstance. When there is no real threat or apparent reason, a panic attack is a rapid bout of acute terror that generates significant bodily reactions.
In a panic attack, a person must be going through a few, if not all, of the symptoms discussed below
The individual can feel:
- Profuse sweating
- Continuous shaking/ Trembling
- Difficulty in breathing properly/ shortness of breath
- Sharp pains in the chest area
- Fear of loss of control
- Feeling somewhat paralysed
1. Diverting your attention
Help them understand the current situation:
When dealing with panic attacks, the person who’s experiencing the condition in question more often than not mistakes it for a heart attack. This is because it can be that serious. So the first logical step would be to basically help them stabilise their emotions and successfully convince them that what they are going through right now is not a heart attack.
This can be done by multiple existing techniques for diverting one’s attention from the current stressful situation. You can divert your attention away from your ongoing stream of feelings by engaging in such techniques. By distracting yourself, you can regulate your powerful emotions instead of focusing and spending all your energy and resources on negative, distressing ones. One of the techniques is discussed below:
Five, four, three, two, one method:
To employ this technique, all you need to do is look around and name;
- Five things you can see.
- Four things you can feel.
- Three things you can hear.
- Two things you can smell.
- One thing you can taste.
2. Calm your breathing
A racing heart :
During a panic attack, the individual’s heart starts to race, and they usually find it difficult to normalise the rhythm of their breathing patterns. A feeling of breathlessness or hyperventilation engulfs the person, consequently resulting in them gasping for air which only worsens the situation from here on. This increased breathing convinces the brain that something bad is about to happen. Whereas a slow and steady breathing pattern sends a calm and clear message to the brain.
So, from these observations, we understand that if one controls the breathing pattern and stabilises it, one can manage their panic attack with ease.
Commonly used breathing exercises:
If you are experiencing a panic attack, you should try the following breathing pattern
- Breathe in through your nose gently and calmly.
- Next, hold your breath for a short interval of time.
- And finally, breathe out through your mouth in a slow and composed pattern.
The time interval can be inhaling the breath for 4 seconds, holding it for 7 seconds and then releasing the air through the mouth for 8 seconds. (or it can be substituted with a time interval at which you feel most comfortable)
3. Go to a comparatively safer environment
Being overwhelmed :
Such attacks in public are often triggered when an individual is either fearful of the current situation or gets overwhelmed by the number of people surrounding him/her.
An effective way of managing such episodes is by first going to a safer and quieter place.
A quiet place with a comparatively fewer number of people around will help in providing a better environment for individuals to calm their thoughts and collect their emotions.
4. Keep familiar and calming objects close
When at home or in a safe and comfortable place, managing a panic attack becomes easier because certain objects, aromas, etc., are readily available to you when needed. A panic attack’s occurrence can not be predicted beforehand, but If you sense or are used to frequently experiencing one in public, you should plan ahead and keep such things close to you.
- Essential oils: Lavender is a well-known traditional medicine for inducing feelings of peace and relaxation. The fragrance can be substituted by other essential oils, known for inducing calming energy, as well.
- Specifically shaped stones or marbles
- Magazines or other sources of entertainment that can divert your attention and calm your nerves
You can also call a friend or any specific individual you know can make you feel better.
5. Repetition of calming phrases
Sometimes all we need is a little push. And oftentimes, this little push is required to be given by none other than ourselves. Telling yourself things like
“It’s going to be okay.”
“This too shall pass.”
“I can do this.”
Can already do wonders in daily life, but these phrases and affirmations can distract you from negative thoughts while suffering from such episodes.
Panic attacks can hit on the spur of the moment and unexpectedly. However, certain triggers are frequently the cause of an attack. If you can identify the trigger, you may be able to prevent having a panic attack the following time. When having a panic attack in public, try to relax just as you would at home. Find another object to focus on, and you will eventually overcome the attack as if it were not even there to begin with.