Anxiety is a unique experience and can vary from one individual to the next. Some people experience anxiety daily, other people have more intermittent anxiety. Some people get anxious about certain situations (social situations, for example). Other people have seemingly no reason to be anxious at all, but experience it anyways. Some people experience panic attacks, and other people with anxiety do not.
Panic attacks are described as the sudden onset of intense fear that builds and reaches a peak. On average, symptoms last about 10 minutes. Symptoms include:
- Trembling or shaking
- Increased heart rate
- Fear of losing control
- Chest pains, shortness of breath
- Derealization (feeling as though the experience is not real)
- Depersonalization (feeling detached from oneself)
- Fear of dying
- Tingling or numbness
Having a panic attack is a very terrifying experience. They can happen at any time, whether the individual is currently in an anxious state or not.
There have been a lot of preventative measures for anxiety shared on this blog, but this post focuses more specifically on what to do once the panic attack has already happened.
Because lets face it: you can take your supplements, eat your healthy food, exercise, and take great care of yourself – but despite that, panic attacks still happen.
Here are 4 things you can do after a panic attack for comfort and self care. These tips cant undo what you’ve been through, but are intended to help you get through the “coming down” phases that often follows a panic attack.
Utilizing physical comfort after an anxiety attack can help invite in a state of relaxation. This can help you come down from the attack in a safe, comfortable space.
This might mean getting into your pajamas and crawling into bed, or grabbing a blanket and getting comfortable on the couch. If you have a weighted blanket, this would be the perfect time to use it.
Weighted blankets utilize a technique referred to as deep touch pressure therapy. Is has been shown that pressure on the body can trigger a release of serotonin. A release of serotonin can help you feel more calm and peaceful.
Use Positive Self-Talk
It is common for those dealing with anxiety to be overwhelmed with negative self-talk, and this can be especially detrimental during of after a panic attack.
Getting down on yourself because you’ve had a panic attack can lead to shame. This shame can lead to sadness and guilt, which can lead to anxiety. This can trigger the cycle to start again.
It’s important to remind yourself that having a panic attack does not make you any less of a person. You are worthy and you matter, and you deserve to feel good again, and you will.
You are only human – and you are doing the best you can.
Reach out for Support
If you have a safe person who can empathize with your anxiety and panic, you can reach out to them after a panic attack for support. Sometimes, the most powerful tool we have anxiety a panic attack is a small reminder that we are not alone.
You may be able to reach out to someone where you are. If not, perhaps there is a trusted friend or family member you could text or call. You could also consider calling a crisis or support line, if you need to.
You should never have to feel like you are alone in this. In fact, 1.5-4% of the general population experiences panic attacks. This percentage may be small, but considering there are 579 million people in North America alone, that means that at least 8,685,000 people are going through what you are going through – and again, that’s just in North America. You are not alone.
Like getting cozy, drinking tea provides warmth, comfort, and an avenue of self-care after a panic attack. But the benefit to drinking tea is actually two-fold.
Many of the herbs and other ingredients used in tea are helpful in managing anxiety. For example, chamomile is helpful in promoting relaxation. Holy Basil is another great one, known as an adaptogen which can help regulate cortisol levels. Ashwaghanda is another adaptogen that helps with cortisol. These can be found at most health food stores and steeped.
By drinking tea, not only will you be promoting relaxation externally with the practice of making and drinking it, but the properties of the ingredients can help regulate your stress and anxiety from the inside-out.
I know firsthand just how difficult a panic attack can be to go through. Never forget that there is light on the other side. You can help yourself by utilizing these methods to help you recover.
It’s always tough in the moment, but you will come out of it and be okay again.