When you have anxiety, public areas can hold a lot of triggers. All of the things, people, and sensations can be overwhelming. On top of that, having a panic attack in a public space can trigger more anxiety in itself. The worry of someone noticing your anxiety tends to build on itself creating an issue very difficult to deal with. There are plenty of things you can do to help manage that anxiety.
Count. Try counting to ten, twenty, fifty, etc. until you can completely focus on the numbers. As opposed to just telling yourself to breathe over and over, this will distract your mind to slow your breathing. Giving yourself a goal of ten or twenty can give a small amount of satisfaction. Alternatively, counting until you feel relief may also give comfort.
Watch your Body Language
Try not to curl into yourself. Putting yourself into smaller positions will reinforce insecurity. The smaller you can make your body, the less powerful you begin to feel. If you can remind yourself to stand tall and open, you may be able to regain feeling feelings of power and confidence in yourself.
Text or Call Someone.
You can explain what’s going on and why you’re panicking to someone you trust. Hopefully, they’ll be able to reassure you back into being calm. Being able to express what is making you anxious will usually help you analyze the root of the matter. Even if you don’t feel comfortable talking about your specific issue, you can always change the subject to something completely different. Taking your mind off of it may also calm you down.
Set time goals for yourself. As long as you can make the next ten minutes, you’ll be able to leave. If you can last fifteen more minutes, you’ll buy yourself an ice cream cone afterwards. Little goals will keep you motivated to push through the anxiety. By overcoming the tiny obstacles, the other triggers may seem small in comparison.