Quick measures to calm your organism
When you are having a panic attack, you can follow these tips, in the order they are listed. This will help you handle the panic attack for the moment. The first three tips are normally enough to overcome it. These measures, of course, do not resolve the issue underlying your panic, but they help you handle it well when it appears:
- Mobilize your body immediately: clench your fists, go for a run, do pushups, masturbation, etc.
- Tap your whole body, arms and legs, from top to bottom.
- Drink a glass of hot water.
- Eat heavy food (potatoes, meat, fat)
- Listen to a melodic female voice for a longer time (for example via Audible).
- Sit on the floor while leaning your back against a wall, knees bent, feet standing on the floor.
- Work your neocortex to the max, for example by playing a colourful, beeping game on your smartphone that requires all your attention and addresses all your senses.
- Look at your surroundings and focus attentively on things and people.
- Establish contact: Talk to people around you or call someone.
- Take an ice-cold shower.
- Place both hands on top of each other and press lightly on your sternum.
- Do the Forward Bend from Hatha Yoga.
- Exhale very slowly.
- Visit old trees or deep forests, and walk barefoot.
The following is also beneficial, independently from acute panic attacks (beneficial, but it also does not solve the underlying issue). It is mainly about nutrition and physical activity:
- Absolutely avoid all stimulants, like caffeine, green / black tea, etc.!
- Food: Everything that grows on or in the soil:
Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic, Beets, Potatoes, Celery, Radish, Carrots etc.
- Sleep sufficiently.
- Avoid stress. Do not overwork.
- Physical exercise and movement.
- Get into natural environments: Forests, Waters, Mountains, Sun.
- Bathe regularly (sea, lake, swimming pool, bathtub).
Panic attacks are a sign that you have been living fundamentally against yourself for a long time, that you force yourself to do things you do not want at all. Now, deeply suppressed emotions (like sadness / joy, particularly anger and hate) surface and want to be integrated. In states of panic, it is often one area of the body that is especially charged with the feelings that are held back, e.g. the neck. By being active physically, especially in nature, this high emotional charge, that has built up because of past circumstances that were experienced as life-threatening, can be channeled. The nervous system then realizes that there is no more danger present today and the space is cleared to experience these deep feelings. When this flow / discharge happens, the panic will cease because the protection it provides will no longer be needed.
Panic attacks always mean that the feelings that are held back are so deep and intense that they threaten the structure of the personality. These feelings are usually primal emotions from the relational context of the first few years of life that had to be suppressed in order to survive. Through the process of integration described above, an expansion of the “I” can happen, so that there is less need for defense mechanisms. This is a deeply transformational process that ultimately leads to a re-design of personal life circumstances. The old life, in which basically all life energy was used for upholding the defense mechanisms, cannot continue. The whole nervous system can come to relax and feel safer in itself.
The curious thing about this experience is that, to an adult, the emotional expression that was inhibited by the panic does not pose any real danger. For example, it is possible that the panic is nothing more than deep sadness. In early childhood, these tremendous experiences could not be held, so they had to be suppressed. But today, to an adult with a mature nervous system, these feelings do not pose a threat anymore. To the contrary, it is experienced as deeply enlivening, expanding and wholesome. This leads to a state of great inner peace and relief.