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Tips for Coping With Panic Symptoms
(Adapted from “Stop Running Scared”, by Herb Fensterheim and Jean Baer)
Feeling frightened, unsteady, shaking, palpitations, nausea, or unreal are part of the body’s normal reaction to stress.
Just because you have these sensations, does NOT mean you are sick/in-danger/dying.
These feelings are unpleasant but NOT dangerous.
Try to ACCEPT the unpleasant feeling, tolerate it and ultimately face it.
Try to rate your discomfort or unpleasant sensations or fear on a 0 to 10 scale.
Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible without escaping the situation.
Try to keep your thoughts in the present moment on something you can control.
Focusing on one of your 5 senses, on a pleasant current sensation may help.
(Is there something pleasant you can see?…hear?…smell?…taste?…touch?…right now? )
Repeat to yourself:
“These sensations are unpleasant but not dangerous. They are normal for my body in a panic attack. I will use this opportunity to practice corrective breathing & to focus on something pleasant that is external to me.”
Remember, each time you cope with a panic attack without fleeing, you reduce your fear, get stronger and become more resilient.
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