Helpful ways to manage panic:
1. Belly Breathing - Taking some deep cleansing breaths from the belly sends a message to your brain that you are safe and can calm the body. Click HERE for instructions on how to do this. Here is a link for kids: Belly Breathing for kids.
2. Mindfulness – Pay attention to the present moment. What is happening right now? What do you notice in the room you are in? Most panic is a result of future-focused thinking and when we orient toward the present moment we allow the brain (and body) a break from the constant worry. For a helpful video on Mindfulness click HERE.
3. Name It – It sounds simple, but when we name our anxiety (or other emotions) we see a decrease in how hard those feelings hit us. It also helps us externalize the problem and see it from a distance instead of getting stuck in it.
4. Connect to Your Values – Sometimes when fear takes over we lose sight of our values or what is most important to us. Refocus on those values and move toward them as much as you can. For an exercise that may help you sort those values out a little better click HERE.
5. Gratitude – When we are so fearful of what we may lose we sometimes forget what we have. Remember to look at what is going well in addition to the fear. The goal of this is not to drive out the fear, but to share the same space with it.