Anxiety attacks are the worst, and they can come at unexpected times. Sometimes, it’s inevitable that it’ll help in public. It can make the experience twice as bad when you realize there are people everywhere to see it happening. Here are some tips on what to do if you have anxiety attacks in public.
Listen to music
Put on your favorite tunes, or something that you associate with relaxation. You could even listen to a podcast for a similar effect. Blocking the world out by sticking in your earphones is a great way to escape.
Read a book
Novels allow us to escape to a new world, and it’s often one better than the one we’re in. Lose yourself in a new place through reading or an audio book. Reading takes concentration too, so it takes you away from your anxious thoughts and stops you focusing on breathing. It should help you return to breathing naturally.
Ask for help
Reach out to someone who knows what to do if you have anxiety attacks. Call a friend, family member or your partner and have them talk you through it. Speaking to someone and hearing their voice can often help you come down from the terror you’re experiencing.
Try and rationalize your thoughts
If you have a fear, what is it and why are you afraid? Try and remember that most thoughts you have during a panic attack are irrational. Apply logic to the situation you’re experiencing and shut down thoughts that don’t make any sense. It’ll help you realize that you don’t need to be afraid.
Get some air
If you have to remain indoors, open a window. Take deep breaths of fresh air. If you’re outside, take a moment to focus on the rejuvenation you feel when you breathe deeply. Keep remembering that there’s plenty of air around you, so you can’t possibly not have enough. It’s a rational thought to conquer the idea that you can’t breathe during a panic attack.
Go to a space that’s less crowded
Where possible, escape the crowds and find a place to be on your own. If you’re on the train or bus, remain close to the doors to remind yourself that you have easy access to an exit. Try and find somewhere that’s quiet and secluded to gather your thoughts and calm down.
Practice breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are specifically designed to target anxiety, and are often on advice slips of what to do if you have anxiety attacks. Search for some and find ones that work for you.
Skip the coffee
Caffeine can heighten the chances of you having an anxiety attack. While it might seem like a good idea, coffee, Coca-Cola and energy drinks will make you feel awake, but also more anxious.
Close your eyes
Shutting out the world for a few minutes can help you focus. If you can’t see what’s happening around you, it’s easier to focus on your mental state and calm yourself down.
Have something to eat or drink water
Water is the cure for everything! You’ll feel more refreshed after taking a drink of water. Food might also help, but avoid sugary foods.
What to do if you have anxiety attack in public: find something that works for you
Not every tip works for everyone, but once you’ve found a tip that helps, stick to it. Including it in your routine will make it feel familiar and comforting, so that each time you use it, it feels a little more natural.