A panic attack may not cause any physical damage but that doesn't make them any easier.
I used to suffer terribly with panic attacks. Even as a child they were a huge burden I carried.
Whenever I experienced a panic attack I had to attempt to get to a safe place, the severity of them meant I'd often faint.
I tried many different techniques and followed the advice of others to a T.
Sadly for me nothing worked.
What exactly is a panic attack?
A panic attack is a sudden, overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety. It can happen for absolutely no reason and with no warning. Aside from the horrific fear there are other symptoms people often face whilst having a panic attack.
The symptoms of a panic attack
Feeling dizzy, faint and/or weak
Hot or cold flashes.
Physical pain, mostly in your chest or stomach
Feeling like you aren't in your body.
Struggling to catch your breath.
Feeling out of control.
How to prevent panic attacks
As most of you know I regularly tell you about my 'home made' methods.
These tend to be techniques I created myself when I made the decision to take control over my mental health issues.
This article is going to explain exactly how I want from having regular panic attacks to once in a blue moon.
I was sat in my backyard when I came up with this idea. I was lost in my own thoughts when I started to smell a neighbour's dinner cooking.
I all of a sudden felt an overwhelming feeling of happiness, I even had the warm butterfly feeling in my stomach.
So what happened?
Well, have you ever smelled a specific smell and it reminded you of a happy time?
Sometimes you can't even remember the memory but you still felt a burst of happiness regardless?
That is exactly what happened to me.
I did remember this particular memory, it took place when I was a little girl. My mother does a lot of charity work. When I was young she regularly volunteered for the poppy appeal. We would go round knocking on people's doors asking if they would like to buy a poppy.
Although it wasn't your average child's idea of a good time, I loved it. I am and always have been very close to my mother and back then she worked a lot. This meant I loved spending time with her no matter what the activity was.
The smell that gave me the memory was food, the scent was really strong and I could smell it when they answered the door to us. I still to this day remember thinking how nice the food must of been to give off the aroma it did!
At this point you are probably wondering what the heck this has to do with panic attacks right?
Well, the impact it had on me was so unbelievably strong, even after so many years. That got me thinking about using it in some way as one of my mind tricking methods.
You see how I work is I trick my mind. I reprogram myself. I figure out everything there is to know about an issue I'm having and then I think of logical ways to solve it.
That explanation was awful. I'm sorry. A very simplified version of it is this..
You need to crawl through a tunnel but you won't fit with your rucksack. You can't leave it behind. But you also can't carry it in your hands as it will repeatedly get caught underneath you so what do you do?
Well, I would think of a logical way to get through the tunnel with the rucksack. My solution? Tie the rucksack to you foot so you can pull it along behind you.
I'm waffling now, back to it..
Logically, I decided this idea would be perfect to prevent a panic attack from fully taking hold.
How to prevent a panic attack
Heres my theory... What if you purposely link a certain smell to a person or anything that makes you happy and have a strong feeling of love?
I don't know whether you have noticed this because you are obviously panicking at the time. But, it's a vicious circle.
You panic about having a panic attack which then causes a panic attack. Try saying that three times fast.
I know this may sound a bit out there but please bare with me..
There is a tiny window of opportunity when you are worried a panic attack is going to come on.
Sometimes it's a matter of seconds so you may not have long, but the good news is you don't need long.
As long as you are dedicated to trying this method out then you will make sure you are always prepared.
You can do this by making the scent you choose easy to carry around with you. You can use anything that you can keep with you at all times, something small. I myself used an essential oil.
How do you intentionally connect a smell to an emotion?
I done this by using a few techniques, it took a bit of time but it did work.
• I listened to songs that had a deep meaning to me whilst smelling the essential oil.
• I watched my favourite comedies with the oil in a diffuser
• Lastly, whenever I felt happy I would smell the oil
Eventually, I tested my progress by smelling the oil when I was feeling down. It instantly gave me comfort, it felt familiar in a way. Overall I felt better, it worked.
I have to tell you that the first time I tried it in action, it didn't work, the panic attack still happened. However, I didn't give up at the first hurdle I kept trying it, on the third try it worked.
It didn't always work but it did more than it didn't. I can't be certain but I'm quite sure it was down to the timings. If I left it a few seconds too late it was less likely to work. Which is why I am advising you to make it easily accessible and to keep it with you at all times.
The fact alone that I had a method to prevent a panic attack immensely helped. I relaxed about the whole thing and was no longer worrying about it. I stopped having sudden bouts of anxiety that I may have one. Stopping those significantly lowered the amount I was having.
That safety blanket and my new method meant that gradually they became less and less. Now I can't even remember the last time I had a full fledged panic attack.
As the saying goes prevention is better than cure.
As always as human beings we are all different, meaning, different tactics work for different people. I have taught this method to multiple panic attack sufferers and I can honestly say it has worked for each of them.
If you have any questions regarding this method please do contact me. You can always comment in the section below or you can find my email address here