If you read yesterday’s post you may have noticed how many symptoms are directly related to breathing or not or hyperventilating. https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2015/03/10/panic-attacks-symptoms/ The first 4 symptoms all involve breathing. I learned from one of my medical doctors that it only takes 10% increase in breathing to reach hyperventilation that can cause dizziness, numbness, chest pain and several other panic attack symptoms. Your breathing is semi-voluntary. You can control it and control your breathing helps you control your reaction. A quick trick to even out your breathing is to breathe into a paper bag. This reduces the oxygen intake and helps stop the dizzy spacey feeling. If you don’t have a paper bag, breathe into your cupped hands. First step of mindfulness is to become aware of your breathing.
If you are in a safe place, this breathing technique may help.
Breathing through the nose and out through the mouth.
Breath in and out slowly for 2 minutes.
Drop your shoulders….consciously work at relaxing your muscles.
Think in your mind of peaceful place you would like to be, visualize the scene. Keep breathing slowly.
This does not end a panic attack. It gives you 2 minutes to regroup your physical and emotional resources. Giving myself time to think is vital to choosing healthier ways of handling a situation.