I've been taught a breathing exercise by my therapist which I find very helpful. It works best if you practise it at home at few times while you are calm, so you know what sensations it might cause and you can start it without having to think too much.
1. Sit down so you are comfy and place one hand on your tummy, in line with your tummy button, and the other over your chest, where a mid length chain would end. Breathe in and out. Feel your hand rise and fall. Ideally the hand on your chest should be still and the one on yout tummy should be moving up and down. In a panic state you'll probably find this is the other way around.
2. Slow your breathing down. Imagine there is a balloon in your tummy underneath your hand and that everytime you breathe in you are blowing it up as far as it will go. Focus on how inflating the balloon feels and then breathe out slowly. Repeat this.
3. Continue to inflate the balloon but now release the air in it quickly, in a huff, three times in a row. Then go back to slowly inflating and deflating the ballon, noting how you are no longer breathing from your chest but from you tummy.
4. Pick a word, or a colour or a sound to symbolise all the tension you want to dissipate when you exhale. Now, when you deflate the balloon imagine that tension leaving your body. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to while imagining all the tension leaving your body. (I imagine my tension as a long scream or a vivid blue colour. My therapist ssays I need to work on making the sound more positive.)
5. When you feel ready, allow yourself to settle into a calmer state of mind and lower your hands.
I have found this very useful and do it a lot for my panic attacks. Obviously I'm no doctor and if you don't feel safe about
doing this, don't do it. Have you got a therapist/counsellor? They will be able to give you good advice and lots of exercises like this to help.
Dx: Panic Disorder, Psychotic Depression, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rx: Humira, Methotrexate, Plaquenil, Prednisolone, Codeine, Diclofenic Sodium, Folic Acid, Propranolol, Citalopram