By Maan de Vera
First things first, what exactly is a panic attack?
A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. It is a sensation that makes one feel like a disaster is about to take place without any rational reason. This may often include palpitations, sweating, trembling, nausea, shortness of breath, and sometimes even a sense of being detached from oneself. Others would even feel like they are about to have a heart attack.
While there are a lot of movements that support mental health, the truth is, there are still a lot of overlooked aspects such as panic attacks. Unfortunately, a person suffering from panic attacks are often dismissed as hinihika or nag-iinarte.
When you start feeling as if the world is crumbling around you, here are the things that you can do whenever you get panic attacks.
1. Accept that you are having a panic attack.
It’s very important for you to keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with having panic attacks. It does not in any way make you any less of a person. By accepting that you are having a panic attack, you can remind yourself that whatever you are worried about can't and won't hurt you.
2. Close your eyes and breathe.
A sense of feeling overwhelmed may trigger or worsen a panic attack. When the moment comes and you are starting to feel the symptoms, close your eyes and take deep breaths. This is effective in blocking external factors that may contribute to your present condition.
3. Name three things that you are grateful for.
One of the best ways to lessen the effects of panic attacks is to expose yourself to positivity. Studies show that thinking happy thoughts is already enough to make your body release serotonin (A.K.A. the happiness hormone.) It doesn’t even have to be something big. You can focus on the nice weather or a kind gesture that someone did to you.
4. Have a mantra.
Suffering from a panic attack is a battle that you have to fight within yourself. Make it clear that you are your best soldier by repeating a mantra internally. This is a sure way to reassure and calm your mind. Go for something like "you're stronger than this," or whatever speaks to you on a personal level. Repeat it again and again until you believe it.
5. Consult a doctor.
Panic attacks manifests differently from person to person. While the tips above may help you get by, the key is to really have a pro take a look at your situation. The good thing is that there are a lot of clinics out there for you to choose from. All it takes is a quick Google search, and you should find a place where you’ll be comfortable.
We understand that these physical manifestations of our emotional and mental distress can sometimes feel paralyzing. In the end, it’s all about seeking the right help and recognizing that you are tough enough to conquer your own body. Remember that you are always bigger than what makes you anxious.
ALSO READ: In Focus: What Is Mental Health To Begin With?