Here’s a rather tongue-in-check cartoon that speaks volumes of the experience of having a panic attack and trying to keep it in check. Can you relate with the line of thinking expressed by this cartoon cat?
As you surely know (or anyone who’s ever struggled with upcoming panic attacks), this is precisely how it feels. That moment when you first take notice that something is off about your perception of reality. The sudden, familiar pangs of anxiety that you know very well could escalate into full-blown panic, without a moment’s notice. As though your mind is getting ready to unravel in the post catastrophic possible way.
What can you do to keep panic from unraveling?
We’ve been writing about some strategies you can use to try and freeze panic attacks, but this time around we’re focusing on the right attitudes that you can benefit from, in those exact moments when you feel that panic could take over your being at any second.
Prepare for the worse: panic attacks are fueled by your fear, so if you can somehow bring yourself to accept the worse (ie full scale panic), that will actually make it less likely for the worse to come about.
Expect for the better: it’s always a 50/50 chance on whether panic does strike or whether it just amounts to a false warning. In those moments when your mind starts spinning out of control, embrace the feeling that it may not
Check the facts: do you understand that people cannot die from panic attacks? Do you realize that panic attacks are essentially your mind playing tricks on you? Can you trust that you’re just living a purely mental conflict? If you hold on to these facts steadily in those darkest hours, it will make a difference.
Find motivation in your suffering: even if you cannot stop the rising of panic, even if you have to withstand its influence and cringe over its effects… try to use that suffering as a motivation to find treatment. Panic attacks are always treatable; it may take months and the intervention of a skilled therapist, but respite is possible as long as you seek it.