12 hours ago
Your body goes into fight or flight mode during a panic attack, so it’s important to recognize it for what it is. Tell yourself: this is a panic attack. My body’s response isn’t appropriate for this situation because I’m not in physical danger. This is going to pass.
When you feel that surge go through your body as the fear sets in, it’s vital to identify the trigger (if there is one) and quickly interrupt the thoughts that are causing the attack.
Try not to remove yourself from the situation. This only conditions your mind to think that the danger and fear are real.
Grounding is also a super effective way to bring that surge of panic back down and your body out of fight or flight mode. The idea here is to do something that makes your mind and body work together to bring your focus inward.
So aside from doing all of the above, here are some ways I ground myself during panic attacks in public/ social settings:
Hug myself, run my hands up and down my arms. If I’m sitting down, I squeeze/rub my thighs. I try to focus on my body and the way my skin feels, the texture.
Take deep, long, steady breaths. I try and concentrate on the feeling of my expanding lungs, the way my breath feels underneath my nose as I exhale.
I trace my tattoos with my finger, especially the one on my inner arm. I got into this habit from having almost daily panic attacks at my desk at work.
Remember, this is a learning/unlearning process and it takes time.