Read psychologist Corinne Sweet's top tips to reduce panic and anxiety from her new book The Anxiety Journal.
If you have never had a panic attack before, it can take you by surprise. In fact, even if you've had a hundred they can still feel terrifying. Try these tips for reducing panic:
1. Familiarise yourself, if you can with your usual symptoms that signal an attack — the more you understand your 'triggers' the better prepared you will be.
2. Understand that you are safe! Even though you are feeling panicky, you are, in reality, safe and there is no need to be frightened. You won't die even if you feel terrified.
3. Breathe. Concentrate on your breathing. Blow out slowly. Then breathe in and blow out again, to the count of ten. Do this several times, breathing deeper each time (but try not to hyperventilate). Slow your breathing, and breathe more shallowly, if you start feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
4. Stamp your feet on the ground. Feel how solid it is.
5. Hold something, like the arm of a chair, a bannister, even your own hand.
6. Tell yourself, 'I can do this, I can get through this, this shall pass'.