Everyone that suffers from panic and anxiety attacks in public knows that familiar feeling of shame and embarrassment. Your heart starts to race a hundred beats a minute, you begin to sweat and the world sometimes begins to spin around you. Recovering from an anxiety attack in public is possible, no matter how hard it may seem to be on the surface.
Obviously the first thing you should do is try to find a semi-private to private setting. If you are in the supermarket for example, go to the bathroom. If you are in a meeting, excuse yourself for a moment to go to the restroom.
Relax your mind regardless of whether you are able to get out of the situation or not. Do this by understanding that the worst is not so bad. If you are having a panic attack and are concerned about what your friends or those around you are thinking, then you are wasting brain cells on a problem that does not exist.
Remember that people are rarely as shallow and scary as we think they are in these situations. If you saw a stranger or even a friend struggling to gain their breath or having chest pains, would you laugh at them or ridicule them? Of course not. So too will those around you fully understand your situation and be thoughtful as a rule. If not, then you seriously need to change the people you are surrounding yourself with.
The most effective method of eliminating anxiety attacks in public is exposure. This should only be tried under the supervision and care of a therapist, but it is effective. Most of the time with anxiety attacks, a certain situation or scenario brings on the attack. For example, the man that is fine until he gets in front of a group to speak, or the woman that gets panic attacks in the grocery store when alone. There are no limits to the various situations that can bring on anxiety attacks in individuals.
Whatever the situation is, exposure therapy will allow you immerse yourself in that situation or scenario under controlled circumstances. This builds your confidence and shows you there is nothing to fear. Again, this is not a good idea for every anxiety problem. It is worth asking your therapist about.
Another effective quick method to handle anxiety attacks in public is to follow the situation through to the worst. In other words, ask yourself what is the worst that could happen. Force yourself to be realistic as much as possible. Usually the conclusion is that the worst is not the end of the world, and the anxiety will subside.