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How to be a friend to someone who suffers from: Panic Attacks

Here is how you can help your friend deal with an anxiety attack...

Panic attacks can happen anytime and anywhere without any warning. Thus, if your friend or loved one suffers from them, it is important to understand what triggers their state of fear and how it can be helped.

How to identify the symptoms?

  • If your friend frequently avoids certain situations.
  • If your friend often talks about breathing problems, feeling nauseous or dizzy.
  • If they talk about the fear of losing control or feeling helpless.
  • If they constantly ask for reassurance. Eg. ‘Are you sure you’re not angry with me?’

 

How can you help?

  • Keep your ears and eyes open for any signs or symptoms - Your friend might want to share their thoughts with you, but he/she is fearful of being judged or laughed at. So, create a comfortable and trustworthy environment for them to be able to vent out their feelings.
  • Educate yourself - Instead of being ignorant, try to understand the reasons for your friend’s panic attacks and help them channel it in a positive way by accompanying them for yoga or mediation classes, rather than dismissing it.
  • Don’t joke - Never make unnecessary jokes about their fears or tell them to just get over it. Every individual suffers from different issues that are personal to them and being supportive through the hard times will bring about a positive change.
  • Challenge their thinking - Whether your friend feels anxious about exams, crowded places or travelling on airplanes, ask them to view the situation from different perspectives. Tell them to write down their thoughts by measuring the positive and negative aspects of the situation.
  • Normalize their thoughts and feelings - More often than not, your friend might feel embarrassed or scared to open up to you. They may fear your judgment if their anxiety starts becoming visible to you. (E.g. Sweaty palms or shaky voice when having a conversation). Thus, normalizing their feelings by reassuring them about certain fears that every individual goes through can help ease their discomfort.
  • Encourage them to take a step forward - Being supportive and kind to your friend and helping them over come their fears can give them the confidence they need.
  • Praise their victories - When your friend steps out of their comfort zone and faces their fears, applaud them and do something enjoyable to celebrate. Make them feel proud of themselves for dealing with the issue.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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Channel it through Art

Deal with emotions like anger and sadness through these helpful art exercises...

Emotions

Deal with emotions like anger and sadness through these helpful art exercises.

Relaxation

Art therapy can be a great way to relax. Consider these exercises if you're looking to feel a little more at peace with yourself.

Paint to music: Letting your creativity flow in response to music is a great way to let out feelings and just relax.

Make a scribble drawing: With this activity, you'll turn a simple scribble into something beautiful, using lines, colors and your creativity.

Finger paint: Finger painting isn't just fun for kids – adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and really have fun spreading paint around.

Make a mandala: Whether you use the traditional sand or draw one on your own, this meditative symbol can easily help you to loosen up.

Draw with your eyes closed: Not being able to see what you are drawing intensifies fluidity, intuition, touch and sensitivity.

Draw something HUGE: Getting your body involved and moving around can help release emotion as you are drawing.

Use color blocks: Colors often come with a lot of emotions attached. Choose several paint chips to work with and collage, paint and glue until you've created a colorful masterpiece.

Let yourself be free: Don't allow yourself to judge your work. If you think your paintings are too tight and controlled, this collection of tips and techniques should help you work freestyle. 

Only use colors that calm you: Create a drawing or a painting using only colors that you find calming.

Draw in sand: Like a Zen garden, this activity will have you drawing shapes and scenes in the sand, which can be immensely relaxing.

Make a zentangle: These fun little drawings are a great tool for letting go and helping reduce stress.

Color in a design: Sometimes, the simple act of coloring can be a great way to relax. Find a coloring book or use this mandala for coloring.

Draw outside: Working in open air can be a fun way to relax and get in touch with nature while you're working on art.

Happiness

Art can not only help you deal with the bad stuff, but also help you appreciate and focus on the good. Check out these activities about reflecting on your personal happiness.

Collage your vision of a perfect day. Think about what constitutes a perfect day to you and collage it.

Take photographs of things you think are beautiful. No one else has to like them but you. Print and frame them to have constant reminders of the beautiful things in life.

Make a collage related to a quote you like. Take the words of wisdom from someone else and turn them into something visually inspiring.

Create a drawing that represents freedom. The Surrealists embraced automatic drawing as way to incorporate randomness and the subconscious into their drawings, and to free themselves from artistic conventions and everyday thinking.

Document a spiritual experience. Have you ever had a spiritual experience in your life? Paint what it felt like intuitively.

Make a stuffed animal. Soft, cuddly objects can be very comforting. Use this project to create an animal from your intuitive drawings.

Work on a softness project. Using only soft or comforting objects, create a work of art.

Build a "home." What does home mean to you? This activity will have you create a safe, warm place that feels like home to you.

Document an experience where you did something you didn't think you could do. We all have to do things that we're scared or unsure of sometimes. Use this activity as a chance to commemorate one instance in your life.

Think up a wild invention. This invention should do something that can help make you happier– no matter what that is.

Make a prayer flag. Send your prayers for yourself or those around you out into the universe with this project.

Portraits

Often, a great way to get to know yourself and your relationships with others is through portraits.

Create a past, present and future self-portrait. This drawing or painting should reflect where you have been, who you are today, and how see yourself in the future.

Draw a bag self-portrait. On the outside of a paper bag, you'll create a self-portrait. On the inside, you'll fill it with things that represent who you are.

Choose the people who matter most to you in life and create unique art for each. This is a great way to acknowledge what really matters to you and express your gratitude.

Collage someone you admire. If someone has ever helped inspire your path, collage this person.

Create an expressive self-portrait. Paint in expressive colors. Select colors for emotional impact.

Draw yourself as a warrior. Start thinking about yourself as a strong, capable person by drawing yourself as a warrior in this activity.

Create a transformational portrait series. Transform your perceptions about yourself with this list of self-portrait ideas.

Imitate Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Using objects that have meaning to you, create a portrait of yourself.

Create a body image sketch. Practice life drawing to fall in love with all of the varieties of the human body, including your own.

Draw a mirror. This activity is based around a Piet Mondrian quote: "The purer the artist's mirror is, the more true reality reflects in it." It involves letting die what is not your true reflection, to get back a truer reflection of yourself in your mirror. 

Draw yourself as a superhero. Many people like superhero stories. We resonate with the themes in the stories, with the dilemmas and problems that superheroes face, and we aspire to their noble impulses and heroic acts.

Self

Examine aspects if who you are and how you see the world through these amazing art projects.

Draw images of your good traits. Creating drawings of your good traits will help you to become more positive and build a better self-image.

Draw yourself as an animal. Is there an animal that you have a special interest in or feel like is a kindred spirit? Draw yourself as that animal.

Create a timeline and journal the most significant moments in your life. This timeline will be the story of your life, with the most important moments highlighted visually.

Put together a jungle animal collage. Choose jungle animals that you find the most interesting, draw them, and then reflect on why you've chosen these specific animals.

Sculpt your ideal self. If you could make yourself into the perfect person, what would you look like?

Draw the different sides of yourself. In this project, you'll explore the different aspects of your personality, giving each a visual representation. You might only have one or two, or maybe even twelve.

Make art with your fingerprints. Your fingerprints are as unique as you are. Use ink and paint to make art that uses your fingerprints.

Draw yourself as a tree. Your roots will be loaded with descriptions of things that give you strength and your good qualities, while your leaves can be the things that you're trying to change.

Design a fragments box. In this project, you'll put fragments of yourself into a box, helping construct a whole and happier you.

Paint an important childhood memory. What was a pivotal memory in your childhood? This activity asks you to document it and try to understand why it was so important to you.

Write and illustrate a fairy tale about yourself. If you could put yourself into a happily ever after situation, what role would you play and how would the story go? Create a book that tells the tale.

Design a visual autobiography. This creative journaling project asks you to look back at your life and make a visual representation of it.

Create your own coat of arms. Choose symbols that represent your strengths to build your own special coat of arms.

Draw a comic strip about a funny moment in your life. Enjoy a moment of levity with this exercise that will focus in on a comical even that happened to you.

Build your own website. Websites are very versatile ways to express yourself. Build your own to express what's most important about you.

Create a box of values. First, collage or paint a box the represents you. Then, place items inside the box that represent the things you value the most.

Gratitude

Here you'll find a collection of projects that will help you be happy about what you have and express your gratitude for it.

Document your gratitude visually. What things are you grateful for in your life? Paint or collage a work that represents these things.

Create a family tree of strength. This exercise honors those around you who support you. Paint those close to you who offer you the strength you need.

Make something for someone else. Making something for someone else can be a great way to feel good and help someone else do so as well.

Make anchor art. Who are the anchors in your life? In this project, you'll make an anchor and decorate it with the people and things that provide you stability and strength.

Draw all the positive things in your life. Everyone has at least one good thing in life, so sit down and figure out what makes you happy– then draw it.

Sculpt your hand in plaster. Once it's dry, write all the good things you can do with it right onto the hand.

Paint a rock. This project is meant to offer you strength. You can approach it in two ways. One option is to paint the rock with things that empower you. The other is to paint it with struggles you overcome.

Write on leaves to create a gratitude tree. What are you grateful for? This project asks you to write those things on leaves to construct a tree or banner of gratitude.

Map of consciousness collage. More often than not, in a single day, we can feel conflicted in our consciousness in several different ways. This directive helps explore personality dynamics by mapping them out visually with spontaneous collage and drawing. 

Create a snowflake out of paper. Write ideas about how you are unique on the snowflake.

Build a personal altar. This is a highly personal project that will help connect you with your spiritual side and honor your beliefs.

If you have a story to share, Email it to us HERE.

If you have a query, Email it to us HERE.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.

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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.