Panic attacks can be very stressful and threatening to your normal course of life. Most people don’t know what panic attacks actually are, so let’s begin by defining panic attacks. It’s actually a misnomer for a rush of adrenaline produced in the body which sends a message of fear and panic to the entire system. Symptoms might include: fast breathing rate, nausea, rise in the body temperature and a feeling of fear and sometimes vomiting. Some people have reported feeling a heartburn and mistake panic attacks for heart attacks, but all of these symptoms and manifestations are perfectly normal for your body. They won’t kill it and in fact it’s almost the same as the things that happen while you are exercising: pulse rate increases, temperature goes up, you begin to sweat etc. So now that we have established what panic attacks are, the question that most people face is how to face them and deal with them. Many people go into perpetual depression following panic attacks because they are completely lost as to how to deal with them. Some people stop going out completely fearing when the next attack might happen. But what we need to understand is that these panic attacks happen due to buildup of unnecessary stress or emotional trauma in our lives and can be easily stopped or controlled following some basic pointers. Here are top 10 ways to stop panic attacks:
10. Stop fleeing during a panic attack
When a panic attack triggers most people try to run, literally run and flee from the place. For example if you are in a restraint and are having a panic attack you will try to run away from the place. Instead of this try to relax. Because once you run it will stick with you that there was some life threatening situation at the restraint which made you run and you will never go back there no matter what. But if you tell yourself there’s nothing that’s life threatening and stay at the place. It will slowly go away on it’s own since the time period of these panic attacks can be 1-10 minutes.
9. Healthy lifestyle
Changing lifestyle can do wonders to your situations, not only your panic attacks but all the stress that you have been building up that ultimately leads to a panic attack. Stop drinking caffeine containing or aerated drinks and switch to healthier alternates of herbal or green tea. Cut down on high cholesterol products and the junk. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits. The antioxidants from these food items help in calming your body and fighting stress. And it’s ultimately stress which needs to be tackled since panic attacks are mere manifestations of the same.
8. Talk to your family and friends
Don’t hide under a shell, talk to people. Especially your family and friends, they need to know what’s been happening to you when you run away at odd times. You have to tell them about your situations and that it’s perfectly normal then only they can help you to stay calm under panic and all the support might even make the stress go away.
7. Use coping statements
Be verbal and vocal. Tell yourself it’s perfectly normal. Repeat it over and over again because it’s nothing external which is causing you to panic but your own body and it needs to know that this has to stop! Tell yourself there’s nothing that can hurt you at that moment. Use coping statements.
6. Prepare for them
Prepare yourself mentally. Many people just let them be and end going into depression due to the social repercussions of these panic attacks. Don’t fall prey to these conditions; mentally prepare yourself for these situations. Keep repeating your coping statements once in a while. Change your diet and exercise more often. Take up a calming activity like meditation or Yoga. When you talk to your family and friends you have to prepare them as well as to what they can do while you have a panic attack. Having someone to calm you down can go a long way.
5. Stop the negative thoughts
The most important thing to do during a panic attack is to stop your mind from thinking negative things. Because negative thoughts and out of control intuitions can lead to grave consequences. Stay calm and avoid any negative thoughts, switch to something else, distract yourself. Sing a song; recite a poem, anything that distracts you from the negativity.
4. Keep thinking
Stop thinking negative things but do keep thinking. During a panic attack the thinking activity of the brain slows down and becomes less active to help you run or fight a situation. But since you know there’s nothing life threatening you have to keep yourself busy thinking. Pick up anything methodological and keep doing that. Some people start counting number backward from 100 which has worked for them. Find what works for you. Pick that activity and keep doing it. Be it a crossword or just scribbling. Don’t let your brain fissile out.
3. Try to put yourself in control and control fear
You have to be in control and act normal, the moment you let the thoughts fizzle out you will start running or screaming or feel like dying which can be quite traumatizing in a situation when you don’t have the right people nearby. Think about normal and mundane things. If you have someone nearby try talking to them about what you are feeling, keep repeating your coping statements and most of all know that this is only a situation. That panic attacks are normal.
2. Breathe- Get fresh air
Breathing deeply and in a rhythmic way can help calm your body especially with the sweating. Instead of gasping, try controlling your breathing rate. If you are in a closed space, calmly try to move to an open area and take all the fresh air in. Keep breathing till your pulse rate becomes normal and the heart stops pounding. Breathing also helps in thinking clearly because you are giving more oxygen into your system. A tested way to breath during panic attacks is to hold your breath in the beginning, yes, hold your breath for ten to fifteen seconds because sometimes the feeling of not having enough air isn’t caused by breathing in a wrong way but instead because of exhaling too much air. So hold your breath for a while and then begin the rhythmic slow breathing after. You can join a meditation class or a Yoga class applied especially for when you are panicking because these breathing techniques do go a long way in calming your system.
1. Visit a doctor
Don’t take it lightly and think you can deal with it yourself, no consult a doctor before it all gets too bad. Although panic attacks aren’t really caused by a direct health issue but visiting the doctor and having the reaffirmation that what you are experiencing are in fact panic attacks can be a trigger when you try to calm yourself down since you will know that it’s not something that is doing this to you but your system just needs to relax more often. Doctors can also give very efficient pointers and techniques to follow when you undergo a panic attack.