How to help your loved one with Panic attacks

One out of every 22 people suffers from panic attacks some time or the other. While it is one thing to go through it and help yourself, it is completely another thing when you have to help your loved ones with panic attacks. It is true that the person suffering from it needs to help themselves out, right from the root level. However, being their loved ones, you can try to compassionate and empathic towards them, to help them heal. When the family members get involved in the recovery phase, it can lead to a completely different and better outcome.


Here’s what you can do to help your loved one with panic attacks:

1. Vairagya:

Yoga teaches us about the philosophy of Vairagya, which is detachment. When we try to help someone else out with their problems, especially panic attacks, we must look at the situation objectively. It is very important to detach ourselves from that situation and help them out, instead of getting carried away with it. Don’t get too involved in the problem but try to find out the solution and help them to reach there. Lend them a patient ear but don’t take anything personally. Developing the attitude of Vairagya can really help you to help them from an outside perspective.

2.  Pratipaksha Bhavana:

While as an outsider, you are able to look at things from a broader perspective, it is only fair that you try to extend that wisdom to your loved one as well. When someone is having a panic attack, they aren’t able to see the rights and wrongs correctly. You can help them to replace their negative thoughts and worries with positive ones. Help them believe that everything is going just fine and it will all be alright. Help them see the other side of their worries as well. The grass is always greener on the other side, and sometimes we just need someone to show us that all you need is a change in perspective to see your own greenery.

3. Stay calm and breathe:

Your mere presence is enough and reassuring to someone going through a panic attack. Simply be there with them in silence and just ask them to breathe through it. The correct way of breathing and pranayama techniques can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, while further helps us to calm down. When we are having a panic attack, we start breathing in a haphazard manner. It is very important to first breathe normally, only then will we be able to think straight. This won’t stop the panic attack entirely, but it would definitely help to slow down the process.

4. Keep them distracted:

When the mind is unable to take care of itself, it becomes the body’s duty to take over. The mind-body relationship is meant to balance each other out. So when the mind is agitated with panic attacks, the body must take charge of the situation. You, as a loved one, can help them to be a little active. Maybe you can ask them to join you on the yoga mat, even if it’s for 15 minutes. Even those 15 minutes can help to keep them distracted and calm down.

By supporting your loved ones with these steps, you aren’t ignoring the root cause of the problem. In reality, you are just helping them to calm down at the moment so that they can look at the whole situation from a different perspective, in a calm manner. You cannot make decisions for someone else, however, you can definitely help them to reach that state of mind wherein they can make better decisions for themselves.

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