Panic attacks are no fun, and if you've been through them, you know the toll it can take on your body and the people around you.
There are a couple of meditations you can do daily that can help you keep control when you start to feel a panic attack coming on and just may help you get out of it faster.
The big key is practicing the medication daily. Once you find something (or a couple of somethings) that work for you, keeping up with the practice will make sure it's ready and available for you when a panic attack does set in.
Let's take a look at three different meditations that help prevent a panic attack and give you more control if one happens. We're going to look at why these meditations work.
Square Breathing to Teach Yourself How To Breathe
Square breathing is the process of even, measured breaths in, a hold, breaths out, and a final hold. It really forces you to focus on how you breathe and the action of taking a breath.
This can really be one of the most important meditations that you do.
The act of focusing on your breath takes an involuntary reaction and makes it voluntary. It gives you a great sense of control and action, two things that you can feel are missing when you have a panic attack.
But, it can do a little bit more than just make you feel like you're in control. Your breath is a catalyst for many different actions. Breathing short and fast stimulates the production of adrenalin and cortisol in your body, both of which increase our stress. Breathing slow and deeply helps produce serotonin and dopamine, which help you feel calm.
On a deep, unconscious level, breathing slowly and deeply mimics sleep, which many people find makes them feel safe.
Using box breathing helps reduce your stress levels, stress hormones, and increases the neurotransmitters that make you feel good. It gives you a sense of safety and control.
By practicing this on a regular basis, you can train your body to be calmer and retain that level of calmness even in a stressful situation.
Sensory Connections to Learn Where Your Body Is & How It Works
A common way to get someone panicking to reconnect to reality is to feel through the senses. They can identify things they see, smell, taste, touch, and hear.
If you practice this daily, you'll start to get a sense of where your body is and what you can accomplish. This kind of sensory understanding helps give you a good connection to your body. It will help give you an early warning sign when you begin to feel like you're going out of control.
For people who have more health-related concerns, such as an illness triggering a panic attack, sensory meditations let you start feeling your body and understanding what is normal and not.
By checking in with yourself every day, you start to feel the rise and fall of different hormones, feelings, energy levels, and how your body responds. Now, you're not guessing when things go wrong, you can really feel it.
Visualization of Past Panic Attacks
Visualizing is an amazing technique that gives you a chance to go back and figure out what was happening in your body that let a panic attack happen.
Psychology and coaching have been using this technique for a long time to help review what happens and create new scripts for the future.
It's creating these scripts that allow us to learn and grow. Like a child practicing their times-tables or spelling, going back and reviewing what you did and creating a more acceptable outcome helps give you the confidence in the future to do better.
So, for example, if you start having a panic attack at work, you can review what triggered it. Was it your boss, the workload, or an uncooperative customer? You can look at how you responded to the situation with a disconnection that gives you control. Then comes the visualization part - how should you have responded to avoid the panic attack?
Imagine yourself responding with more confidence and calmness. Use this visualization and give yourself more options to respond differently in the future.
Having panic attacks isn't fun, but it's not a reason to keep yourself locked away. If you take some time to prepare yourself and give yourself the tools necessary to keep the panic under control, you can live your life to be happier.