If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know how scary they can feel. Panic attacks can make you feel like time is moving very fast and yet very slow at the same time. Your heart feels like it may beat right out of your chest, and breathing feels impossible because you’re hyperventilating and can’t catch your breath. You feel paralyzed with fear and freeze up, trying to protect yourself from your panic.
Panic attacks are different than general anxiety because of how intense they are. When your brain goes into panic attack mode, it turns off the logical part of your brain in order to pour all its energy into fight or flight. That’s why saying “calm down” doesn’t always help! Panic isn’t logical. It’s chemical!
Fortunately, there are many ways to stop a panic attack in its tracks. Here are some skills to try if you find yourself in the midst of a panic attack.
[Related: 10 Tips to Help Someone with Anxiety]