Panic attacks are no joke. They can make you feel as though you have a sudden heart attack or are gasping for breath or even dying. No matter how weak and helpless you may feel about your panic attacks, it’s essential to know that there are things you can do to help yourself get through it. Self-help techniques can help you overcome such situations.
The following are seven helpful steps that can make a big difference in helping you overcome your panic attacks:
1. Ground Yourself
According to experts, being reasonable and oriented to the present can help shorten the duration of your panic attacks. The ability to recognize whether your thinking is rational or not is key to coping with your anxiety.
It may help to write down what you feel. Based on research by James Pennebaker, people who wrote about their emotionally draining episodes were happier, less anxious, and less depressed. These people also reported better relationships and more success at work. So always keep a small notebook and a pen in your bag or car, so you’re ready to jot down when anxious thoughts begin to creep up.
2. Focus on Mindful Breathing
In times of a full-blown panic attack, remember to take time to focus on your breathing. Make an effort to breathe slowly and deeply to calm yourself. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, mindful breathing is the most effective technique for relaxation. Doing regular and mindful breathing exercise can be both calming and energizing. Dr. Weil said that mindful breathing could be a helpful tool to combat stress-related health problems ranging from digestive disorders to panic attacks.
3. Talk to a Friend or a Family Member
One of the best ways to cope with anxiety is having someone with you who you can rely on – your “panic attack point person.” This person can be your therapist, a close friend, or a family member. Whoever it is, he/she should be someone who knows about your anxiety history. It would be best if you were around people you can trust to distract yourself from anxious thoughts better.
4. Practice Self-Care
When emotionally struggling, it’s just normal to feel down. But, as much as possible, do your best to be kind to yourself. Understand that panic and anxiety management is a journey. So you must learn to look for the positives in your experience to cope with anxiety in your day to day life.
Remember that having an anxiety disorder doesn’t have to dull your quality of life. Learn to be conscious about your feelings and be vigilant about self-care.
5. Do Relaxation Techniques
When performed regularly, activities such as meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation strengthen the body’s relaxation response. This can help counter the stress response involved in panic and anxiety. Not only these relaxation techniques promote relaxation, but they also increase feelings of serenity and joy.
6. Avoid Stressful Activities
It’s important to avoid involving yourself in activities that promote stress. Instead, try to incorporate activities that reduce stress and tension on the body, such as exercising daily. Exercise releases endorphins, the hormone responsible for making you feel happy.
Regular exercise has been linked to releasing stress, sleep improvement, and a more stabilized mood. In conjunction with prescribed medication and therapy, exercise can give you additional control over your panic disorder.
7. Seek Consult With a Therapist
If your panic attacks and anxiety impede your ability to live a healthy and normal life, it’s crucial to seek professional help from a mental health expert. It’s essential to get a consultation from a psychiatrist to curtail the progressive nature of your anxiety.
A psychiatrist can help determine the root causes and take active steps toward management. Nowadays, psychotherapy, a kind of therapy that psychologically addresses mental disorder instead of medical means, is a standard treatment.
There is no denying that panic attacks can be dangerous and frightening. They can be so draining, physically, and mentally, that it can leave you feeling depressed after an anxiety attack. While the above mentioned steps may help you cope with your anxiety, the most crucial step is to talk to a medical professional. No one should have to live their lives in constant fear of having another panic attack.
David, S. (2016, September 06). You Can Write Your Way Out of an Emotional Funk. Here’s How. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.thecut.com/2016/09/journaling-can-help-you-out-of-a-bad-mood.html
Goldman, R. (2017, May 30). Panic Attacks: 7 Self-Care Strategies. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/panic-attack-self-care-strategies
Gould, W. (2017, November 17). 7 steps for getting through a panic attack. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/7-steps-getting-through-anxiety-attack-ncna801081
Weil, A. (2018). Breathing: An Introduction. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/stress-anxiety/breathing-an-introduction/