f you have an anxiety disorder, chances are you will generally struggle when out in public. When we’re in crowded situations, it’s all-too-easy to feel our adrenaline surge and anxiety spread through our veins.
Panic attacks are bad enough when they happen in the comfort of your own home, but when they happen in public, it’s all the more alarming. You are outside of your comfort zone, and that means your usual techniques for recovering from an attack may not be available to you. There is also the added layer of the fact you’re likely to panic even more about the fact you’re panicking in public, which means the attack may have the strength to sustain itself for longer than usual.
It’s clear that the issue of public panic attacks is one that has to be taken seriously. Read through the tips below; hopefully you’ll never need them, but if you do find yourself suffering a panic attack while alone in public, they may help you make your way through the situation.
Stop and sit down
It’s important you don’t try to carry on regardless if you feel anxiety strike when you’re in public. As you can see if you read this site here, pedestrian accidents are an all-too-common occurrence, and you are all the more vulnerable to thoughtless drivers when you are distracted by panicking. So stop and sit down as soon as it’s convenient to do so, and preferably without having to cross the road.
Ask for help (if you feel comfortable doing so)
Just having someone to tell you that you’re doing okay can make a big difference during an anxiety attack, so consider going into the nearest store or business and asking for help. You may not like the idea of doing so, but it’s important to note it might be the best decision— and the one most likely to help you overcome the attack that is so distressing you.
Alternatively, call a trusted friend or family member so you can hear a familiar voice that might help to begin to calm down.
Take deep breaths
Deep breathing genuinely can help to lower anxiety; there’s genuine scientific evidence that deep breathing is an effective relaxation technique, so it’s definitely worth a try if you have an anxiety attack while in public. You don’t have to use any special techniques like alternate nostril breathing in this scenario, either: just close your eyes, inhale for 10 seconds through your nose, then exhale for 10 seconds from your mouth. Repeat this until you feel yourself beginning to calm.
Don’t rush yourself
The worst thing you can do is rush yourself to get back up and resume your journey. Give yourself a moment to be sure you have genuinely overcome the issue. If you have to message someone you are meeting to explain you’re going to be late, then do so; being late is preferable to rushing to make it to your rendezvous point before you are ready and triggering another anxiety attack due to the haste.
And remember: anxiety is an unsustainable state, and however bad the attack feels, try to remind yourself it will end. All you need to do is give yourself time to ride it out, and before you know it, you’ll be feeling more like your usual self.
Source: Dr Julian Existing Website feed