Breathe. It’s the best thing to do in a panic attack, or just to calm yourself in general. But it’s also one of the hardest things sometimes. So I’m dedicating a whole post to how I breathe through them.
- Acknowledge it
- If you’re in a panic attack, it isn’t going anywhere. It’s best not internalize it unless you absolutely have to.
- Realize that there are some things (like breathing) that can be done in public. Find things that help you and then use them after acknowledging a panic attack.
- Breathe in
- Through your nose
- 5 seconds
- 8 seconds
- Breathe out
- Slowly (shouldn’t be able to hear yourself breathing out)
- Through your mouth that is forming a small O shape, as if blowing through a straw
- Allow your muscles to relax as you breathe out
- 10-20 seconds
The longer you can do it, the better. It should be a little hard and uncomfortable, but don’t push yourself too hard that you pass out. It’s good to practice this first when you’re not in anxious situation. This will help you gauge what you’re capable of. You should be able to do a little less than that when you’re in an anxious situation. If you can’t do 5-8-20, then do 3-6-10, or whatever you can do. Just keep the ratios approximate: most time for breathing out, least time for breathing in, and holding it is in the middle.
Breathe. Take some time to acknowledge your panic attack and breathe.