Yesterday I had a "near attack". I felt the usual sensations that precede a panic attack for me. I get about a 1-2 second warning and I feel this rush of heat from the lower part of my body flooding its way upwards. As it enters my chest, my heart starts to pound, I become scared, and the rest of the attack then sets in.
Anyway, just in the past few weeks I've learned about some of the different "breathing techniques" you can do. I've also started to teach myself a little about CBT and give myself some positive affirmations such as acknowledging tiny accomplishments no matter how small they may be.
Yesterday as I started to become overwhelmed and I felt the attack coming on I had a different response. Normally I would become scared, emotionally panic, curl up in a ball on the floor (I guess trying to protect myself), tense up, and hope/ try to make the attack stop.
But yesterday I simply acknowledged and accepted what was about to happen and thought "I've been here before, I know what to expect". Instead of dropping to the floor to curl up in a ball, I leaned back in my chair and relaxed my muscles (instead of tensing up). Finally I started the breathing exercises. I've been practicing these breathing exercises twice a day for about 3 weeks now. I think the practice really helped because in that moment what I just described happened basically automatically. I know I still have a long road ahead - but for me this was a glimmer of hope as the "attack" only lasted a few seconds. I've never had an "attack" (and that's why I'm using quotes) be so short.