My family used to tell me to stop worrying, but how to calm down from a panic attack? it only made me anxious instead.
How do I stop these spiraling thoughts from ruining my life? How do I know what “stop worrying” means or looks like?
The good news is that I’ve discovered various strategies to handle stress and anxiety. Meditation, breathwork, and yoga all assisted me in this process. The bad news is that I didn’t know these strategies when I was young.
When meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche made a YouTube video, he revealed that he, too, suffered from panic attacks as a child. Even while meditating. His father instructed him to greet the anxiety like a friend.
“No way! I have to get to know my anxiety?”
He found that creating a connection with panic made his meditations more bearable. Eventually, he would utilise support from panic just like having a friend meditate next to him. He developed such a close bond with his panic that something bittersweet occurred. After being his constant companion and his teacher, panic said goodbye and left.
My panic disorder was based on the foundation of that teaching.
The terror I felt during Savasana that day was just panic, just anxiety, just feelings. It always goes away.
Even when we use just one technique, we may need more than that in certain situations. Below is my five-step method for handling panic attacks.
My 5-step strategy for how to calm down from a panic attack
Step 1: Acknowledge your panic
Make friends with your panic or your anger or whatever you are struggling with. Feelings want to be acknowledged, so make friends with your panic or your anger or whatever you are struggling with. That might be enough to send your feelings away.
I greet anxiety as a friend in recent years. Just say hello and welcome it in like a valued companion.
Step 2. Focus on a stationary object in your space or room
Tell yourself about an object in your vicinity. For example, “I am looking at this picture. My dog is pictured in a wooden frame.” Keep talking to yourself, out loud, for a few minutes. Doing this helps you return to the present moment.
Step 3: Begin a breathing technique to relax your body even more
When experiencing panic, your body instinctively goes into fight-or-flight mode, causing your muscles to tense and your breath to quicken. To give your body the oxygen it needs, allow it to relax and breathe properly.
Take a breath in for four beats, hold your breath for two, and then exhale out of your mouth for six. Your nervous system ceases its fight-or-flight response when you breathe longer exhalations. As your inhalations become longer, your body will naturally relax.
Step 4: Smile
Your body is your subconscious mind, so what you do with it affects your mind. Even if you don’t want to, smile. Make up a smile if you must, but hold it for two minutes afterwards. Even when you are faking a smile, your mood will change.
Remember to use your body as a tool, and have fun.
Step 5: Say an affirmation to yourself
Your thoughts are important when speaking to yourself using affirmations. When using affirmations, it is vitally important to say what you want to yourself. By saying an affirmation, your anxious thoughts will be able to quiet down.
Here are some examples of positive declarations you might repeat to yourself:
- “I will remain steady and calm.”
- “The more I feel secure, the better I feel.”
- “I am actually quite powerful.”
- “My level of calmness is rising and rising.”
A meditation to help you calm down from a panic attack
You should feel better after going through the steps listed above. Your body wants to be relaxed, yes it does. Let your body perform what it naturally wants to do.
When you’re ready, find a comfortable place and allow my voice and music to relax you even more. Whenever you are suffering from a panic attack or anxiety, use this meditation. (The music consists of binaural beats with 528Hz, so use headphone or earbuds to get the most benefit.)
You can do it! You are stronger than you believe.