Panic attacks are disturbing and unforeseen. Their intensity can be reduced only when one knows what to do in this situation.
Although no one can predict when a panic attack will occur, planning ahead of time what to do if one occurs can help a person feel more in control and make panic attacks more bearable.
In this article, we will be covering nine ways to stop a panic attack. But before that, let us look at what exactly is a panic attack.
There have been numerous occasions where we hear about people going through panic attacks in the middle of an event or place or maybe in hospitals during treatments of other diseases! Now, What is a panic attack? Panic attacks are intense bursts of fear or anxiety. They are daunting, and they have both emotional and physical symptoms.
During a panic attack, you may have trouble breathing, sweat a lot, shudder, and feel your heart racing.
During a panic attack, some individuals may experience chest pain and a sense of disconnection. Some have described experiencing as if they are having a seizure.
9 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack
- Taking deep breaths
- Muscle relaxation
- Repeating a mantra
- Seeking counseling
- Remembering your triggers
- Practicing mindfulness
- Focus on one object
- Recall a happy memory
Taking deep breaths
Deep breathing can help you control a panic attack.
Panic attacks can result in rapid breathing, and chest tightness can cause breathlessness. This type of breathing can exacerbate anxiety and stress.
Rather, take deep breaths slowly, focusing on each inhalation. Deep breaths from the abdomen gradually inflated the lungs while counting to four on both the inhale and exhale.
People can also try 4-7-8 breathing, known as “relaxing breath.” This technique involves inhaling for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling gradually for 8 seconds. Deep breathing can aggravate panic attacks in some people. In such cases, the individual should rather try to focus on something they enjoy.
Muscle tension is another sign of panic attacks. Muscle relaxation techniques can help limit the severity of an attack. This is because if the mind perceives that the body is relaxing, other symptoms, such as rapid breathing, may also lessen.
A common technique for dealing with anxiety and panic attacks is progressive muscle relaxation.
This entails tensing and then relaxing various muscles one at a time. To accomplish this, you must:
- Keep the tension in place for 5 seconds.
- As you let go of the muscle, say, “relax.”
- Rest the muscle for ten seconds before progressing to the next.
Repeating a mantra
A mantra is a sound that promotes concentration and endurance. Mentally repeating a mantra can assist someone in overcoming a panic attack.
The phrase might be as simple as “Don’t worry” or “It will go away soon,” and it can be soothing. It may have a spiritual significance for some.
Physical responses will slow as the person concentrates on quietly repeating a mantra, enabling them to control their breathing and calm their muscles.
A doctor may give a use-as-needed medicine depending on the severity of panic attacks. These drugs usually work quickly.
Some have benzodiazepines or beta-blockers in them. Propranolol reduces blood pressure and pauses a rapid heartbeat.
Valium and Xanax are two benzodiazepines that doctors frequently prescribe for panic attacks.
These medicines, however, can be highly addictive, so people should follow their doctor’s instructions to the letter. They can have life-threatening side effects when combined with narcotics or alcohol.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which can help avoid panic episodes in the first place, may also be mentioned by a doctor.
People with panic attacks and panic disorders can benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other types of psychotherapy.
CBT is available for groups or individuals, online or in person, and the duration of treatment varies. Your therapist will help you work through it in exposure-based CBT.
CBT may change the structures in your mind that are involved in panic symptoms and change your behavior.
Remembering and recognizing your triggers
Panic attacks are frequently triggered by such things as enclosed spaces, crowds, or financial problems.
People seem to be able to decrease the occurrence and intensity of panic attacks by learning to manage or avoid their triggers.
When you recognize that you’re having a panic episode rather than a heart attack, you may tell yourself that it’ll pass and be fine.
It is not always feasible to avoid attack triggers, but knowing what they are will help you recognize that it is a panic attack and nothing else.
Mindfulness can help you stay grounded because panic attacks can cause a sense of detachment or separation from reality; this can help you combat your panic attack as it approaches or occurs.
Mindfulness entails concentrating your mind on a particular, recognizing your emotional state, and meditating to reduce stress and improve relaxation.
Concentrate on familiar physical sensations, such as trying to dig your feet below ground or feeling the surface of your jeans on your hands. These specific sensations anchor you to reality and provide you with something objective to concentrate on.
Focus on one object
Concentrating on something concrete in the environment might help people feel grounded when traumatizing feelings or recollections overpower them.
Concentrating on one object can lessen the impact of other stimuli. When considering the thing, the person may consider how it feels, who made it, and what form it is. This method can assist in alleviating panic attack symptoms.
If the person suffers from panic attacks frequently, they can carry a specific familiar object to help them relax. It could be a smooth stone or a hair clip.
People with panic disorder, depression, or trauma can benefit from grounding exercises.
Walking can help a person escape a stressful situation, and the cadence of walking may also aid with breathing control.
Endorphins are hormones that calm the body and boost mood when you move around. Exercise helps lower anxiety over time, resulting in fewer or less severe panic attacks.
Imagine a happy place.
A person’s happy place should be where they feel the most at ease. Everyone will have a unique location. It will be a place where they will feel at ease and calm.
When an attack starts, closing one’s eyes and imagining oneself in this location can help. Consider how serene the environment is. People can also picture their bare feet touching cool soil or soft rugs.
Panic attacks seem disastrous, but they can be stopped by taking the actions mentioned above. In this article, we discussed nine ways to stop a panic attack with a quick overview of what a panic attack is. We hope this article will prove to be of great help to you!