I've had panic and anxiety attacks most of my life.

While I cannot provide a magic cure, I can share some strategies that might make panic attacks a little less horrible.

If you remember one of these strategies mid-panic, it was worth sharing this essay.

If you don't get panic attacks, I encourage you to read on, as you might be able to help someone else who does.

A panic attack can happen when your body's fight or flight response kicks in.

It's helpful to know your panic triggers. For me, panic attacks are more likely to happen when my senses become overloaded. For example, when I'm somewhere hot, noisy, and crowded. Finding a safe environment and doing everything possible to feel safe is one of the best ways to soothe a panic attack.

Focus on your breathing - try to breathe slowly. It can also be helpful to repeat a mantra (out loud). For example, 'this is a panic attack; it will pass, I am safe'. Repeat your mantra until you start to hear it.

Of course, everyone is different, and I realise you might struggle to think about anything mid-panic (you have enough to think about). But it's a good start if those around you know how to help.

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