Panic attacks are scary and very hard to handle. An attack is sudden and can be overpowering. The worst part about it is that it’s fairly common. A study regarding panic attacks states that 13% of the population will experience it once in a lifetime.
Although there are telltale signs that a person will suffer an attack later on, sometimes, it doesn’t. You can’t always predict a panic attack but making a plan on what to do if it ever occurs is one way to make the person feel like they are in control and make the event easier to manage. In this article, we will talk about how to deal with a panic attack if you’re in that situation.
Table of Contents
Keep Telling Yourself It Will Pass Soon
During a panic attack, one thing that you can focus on is to keep telling yourself that it will pass soon. Most of the time, it causes no physical harm. That said, by reminding yourself that it will end soon, your mind and body will be able to relax more. However, it can be hard due to hopelessness and fear, but you have to do so if you want it to pass. It’s not easy, and we know that.
Take Deep Breaths (and Medicine)
This is obvious, as most people know about this already, but it’s worth noting. During a panic attack, you’ll most probably be hyperventilating, which causes your brain to not have enough oxygen, which will make us feel light-headed. This is a common thing when a person is panicking. That said, by trying to breathe more deeply, your body will be able to relax and avoid feeling dizzy.
That said, first, you have to breathe deeply from your abdomen and fill your lungs with air for 4 seconds. Then after that, exhale for 4 seconds. You can also try the 4-7-8 technique, where you will inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. It’s also worth noting that not deep breaths don’t work for everyone. In some cases, it makes the panic attack worse.
Aside from that, make sure you don’t miss taking your medication for your panic attacks. Not missing a dose is an effective way of managing it, so ensure that you’re not low on stock. But if you’re low on funds, consider getting prescription discounts from the BuzzRX app. With a discount, you’ll rest assured that you’ll have enough supply to take your medicine at the right time.
Recognize that You’re Having a Panic Attack
Sometimes, people with a panic attack or feeling that they’re going to have a panic attack think that it’s a heart attack. This worsens the panic attack because the person will feel a sense of impending doom, further exacerbating the symptoms.
That said, by recognizing that you have a panic attack instead of a heart attack, you’ll be able to relax more since your mind will think it’s not a heart attack. Pair it with deep breathing, and you’ll be able to calm down much sooner. It also helps if you know your triggers to avoid doubts about whether you have a panic attack instead of a heart attack.
Close Your Eyes
Some panic attacks come from triggers, and if you keep seeing your trigger or are simply in a place where there are a lot of stimuli, your panic attack will continue to feed on that, making the event worse. That said, you should avoid any stimuli by closing your eyes. This will block out visual stimuli and help you focus more on breathing.
Smell Some Lavender
One way to ease a panic attack is to tap into your senses. One popular way of doing so is to smell something nice, like lavender. Lavender is a common traditional remedy for panic attacks as it brings a sense of calming relaxation. There are already a lot of studies that prove this belief.
If you have a panic attack, dab lavender oil under your nose or dab it on a handkerchief and smell it. The best part about lavender is that it’s a common item in many stores, and you can order them online. If the person dislikes the smell of lavender, try finding an alternate smell that the person likes. For example, you can try lemon, chamomile, bergamot orange, etc.
Focus on an Object
Grounding is a common technique that experts use when trying to help someone having a panic attack. People with a panic attack tend to have distressing thoughts, memories, feelings, or a mixture. So to make them calm, you can try and help them by grounding them. Grounding is helping someone focus on other stimuli, reducing the effects of their trigger.
You can do this by helping them focus on something around them. For example, you can look at an item and ask them how it feels like to the touch, taste, colors, smell, or anything that can describe the object. This will significantly reduce their symptoms and help them calm down much sooner.
Panic attacks are never easy to deal with. However, with some techniques to make the experience bearable and with the help of your family and friends, you’ll be able to get out of it sooner. Also, you can reduce your attacks significantly by asking for help from professionals and identifying your triggers beforehand.
Interesting Related Article: “The Importance of Mental Health Services“