Dealing With a Panic Attack At School: Proven Strategies That Work

Dealing With a Panic Attack At School: Proven Strategies That Work

Nobody enjoys having a panic attack…

But they're particularly awful when they happen at school. On top of experiencing all of those physical symptoms - shortness of breath, tense muscles, pounding heart - you're worried about how other people will respond to you. 

One of the most helpful first steps is to find a calm area, alone, and go there.

This can be as simple as leaving to use the restroom and finding a stall to sit in - you can always let your teacher know you had to leave for the restroom, and few people will want any details if that's your excuse. 

In the moment, try to ground yourself.

I like to use the 5 Senses Scavenger Hunt - name one thing that you see, one thing that you hear, one thing that you smell, one thing that you can physically touch, and check in with how your mouth tastes. This helps bring you back into your body and the moment. 

Next, try focusing on slowing your breathing.

Try breathing in through your nose for

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Meditation at Home: Part Two

Meditation at Home: Part Two

Last week we talked about meditation at home vs. trying out a meditation class as a family.

For those of you who want to give meditation a try (and recognize it’s benefits for anxiety, anger management, and building compliance in your little ones), read on!

Floating leaves meditation:

Meditation practice is a huge part of what we work on in therapy. One of my favorite guided meditations that I utilize is called the floating leaves meditation. Rather than trying to switch your brain off or stop all thoughts, you want to just let them float by. 

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Should Our Family Try Meditation Classes?

Should Our Family Try Meditation Classes?

I always recommend thy parents help to build a meditation practice together with their kids.

The trick is, though, like all other skills, meditation becomes so much easier with practice. That calm centeredness is much easier to recall and use when you’ve actually had some regular meditation practice.

Deciding between meditating in a class vs. trying meditation at home?

So, for those deciding between classes and at home, I would recommend at least trying a class to see if guided meditation feels easier than alone. Sometimes we get focused on stopping our thoughts (which is impossible) rather than just letting out thoughts gently pass us by, and a good meditation coach will help you still your thoughts in a non judgmental way, and will give you tips you can use at home.

The whole family can benefit from meditation and mindfulness practice, but it might be easier to do it together in your own space.

You can also try online or different apps for meditation

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Midterms and Prioritizing

Midterms and Prioritizing

One of the most important components of stress management and a busy schedule is prioritizing.

A lot of the anxious, perfectionist teens and college students I work with feel overwhelmed by the amount of things to get done during the busy school year.

Rather than letting all of those tasks feel insurmountable, you can break down what needs to be done and when. Figure out the steps needed to reach your goal, and keep those steps really specific and time-sensitive (such as, "I need to research 10 articles for this upcoming history paper by Tuesday," vs. just "I need to start work on my history paper.")

Productivity is crucial, but so is restorative time.

It's also important for teens and college students to build in lots of self-regulation and coping time. So, schedule it in.

Along with breaking down homework into manageable, tasks, add 5 or 10 minutes of a guided meditation, walk outside, or listening to calm music.

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