During a panic attack, your mind might be racing with uncontrollable thoughts and worries. You might also be flooded with negative memories. In an Instagram reel, Dr. Jason Singh suggests a popular mindfulness technique to engage your parasympathetic nervous system and direct your attention to your senses. Grounding methods such as this 5-4-3-2-1 technique give your mind something else to do rather than allowing these feelings to ruminate (per Therapist Aid).
When you feel a panic attack coming on, name five things you see around you. Then identify four things you can touch, three things you hear, and two things you smell. Finish off this grounding technique by offering some positive advice from your future self that would be useful to you at this moment.
"This tangible pattern will bring your focus to the present–the here and now–with a positive, internal dialogue," he says. "That's what interrupts fearful thoughts."