before you do anything, sit down, relax your body as much as you can and calm your breathing. start breathing slowly and deeply through the nose. five seconds in, five seconds out. do this for at least five breaths but better, for a few minutes. while you do this, continue relaxing your body, let it all drop and be completely supported by the chair.

close your eyes and bring a happy and joyful moment back into your memory. maybe a hug with a loved one, kissing your girlfriend for the first time, celebrating a professional or sporting success or whatever it is that first comes to your mind and gives you good feelings. feel this moment with all your senses. be there right now. see it, feel it, smell it, … connect with that emotion and bring your focus to your heart.

as your heart rate slows down, feel how your breath and heart start syncing up. continue breathing five seconds in and five seconds out through the nose. while you are reliving that beautiful moment, realise that whatever brought you into panic mode is just a creation of your mind. our minds are extremely powerful, we can create anything in our minds. and just as much as you can create anything in your mind, they can create the illusion of darkness, depression, hopelessness, panic or whatever it is you are feeling.

whatever you were perceiving just a moment ago, is an illusion, no matter how real it feels. and as you continue relaxing, breathing and reliving your beautiful moment, you are moving out of this illusion, even if just temporarily.

when you are a bit calmer, find someone that will listen to you not help or rescue you. someone that is just going to be there with you. if you want to talk with them, they will listen but not advice or wanting to help you. clarify that with them before: tell them, don’t try to fix me or help me, just hold space for me aka just be here with me. share with them what you feel like saying or if you feel just like being quiet, ask them just to set with you or if you want, ask them to hold you or give you a hug.

if there’s no one around in person, call a friend or relative. or your therapist. choose the person that you feel you feel safest with, most cared about and that you feel can hold space the best in this moment. don’t overthink this, trust your intuition whoever pops into your mind first and then just reach out to them. don’t worry about what they might think. just call them.

once you feel better, try to get outside into nature. where it is calm and you can walk in the grass. take of your shoes and socks and connect with earth. or sit down or lie down, whatever supports you best. continue to take deep slow breaths and relaxing your thoughts and body. hug your friend. ask them to give you a proper hug, a heartfelt one, a tight and long one. and thank them for being there with you. if you feel like crying, cry. whatever wants to come out, let it come out.

i once had a panic attack smoking week. i thought the world is conspiring against me and that my heartbeat, getting faster and faster, is going to make my heart explode and i need to get to the emergency room asap. i called my coach at 2am and she helped me calm down, made me realise this is likely an effect of the weed and whether there is someone that could be with me in person.

i was staying with a friend in mexico and so i woke him up and we chatted for a bit as i was calming down. thank you lisa and isak for being there for me. this experience powerfully showed me how crazy the mind can go. our minds are all making us insane whether we feel insane or not so experiencing this for the first time was a revelation for me not to trust my mind. it makes stuff up. i shared this experience in a video (15 mins):

addition: i recently came across that splashing the face with water instantly lowers the heart rate as well. i haven’t confirmed this but you might want to give it a try as well.