Panic attacks are a type of anxiety disorder. They are marked by sudden episodes of intense fear that can include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or feelings of unreality. Most people who have panic attacks experience them repeatedly. Panic disorder affects about 2.7 percent of the U.S. population. It occurs around twice as often in women than men and usually appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. Panic disorder is not the same as agoraphobia (fear of open spaces). People with agoraphobia avoid situations where they might have a panic attack, such as being in crowded places or traveling on public transportation. Let’s take a look at some of the tips that could help you deal with panic attacks in a better way.
Identify Your Triggers
One of the most important things you can do to deal with panic attacks is to identify your triggers. What things make you more likely to have a panic attack? Triggers can be different for different people, but the most common triggers include the following:
- Stressful life events, such as a death in the family, divorce, or job loss.
- Environmental triggers, such as loud noises or bright lights.
- Physical triggers, such as a change in blood sugar or hormone levels.
- Psychological triggers, such as feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
While these are the most common triggers, they are certainly not the only ones. It’s important to take some time to figure out what your personal triggers are so that you can be prepared when they happen. For example, an expert Illinois dog bite lawyer notes that some bite victims start getting panic attacks after their attack because they become afraid of dogs. If you know that being around dogs triggers you, you can take steps to avoid situations where you might come into contact with them.
Develop a Coping Strategy
Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to develop a coping strategy. This is an essential part of dealing with panic attacks because it can help you to manage your symptoms and hopefully prevent an attack from happening. There are a few different things you can do to develop a coping strategy, but some of the most effective techniques include the following:
- Deep breathing exercises.
- Progressive muscle relaxation.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Each of these techniques can be effective on its own, but a combination of techniques works best for you. It’s essential to experiment and find what works best for you.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re dealing with panic attacks, it’s important to talk to your doctor. This is especially true if you are also experiencing other symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Your doctor can help rule out any other potential causes of your symptoms and provide you with information about treatment options. In some cases, medication may be necessary to help control your panic attacks.
Join a Support Group
There are many different types of support groups available, including online groups and in-person groups. Support groups can be a great way to meet other people who are dealing with similar issues. They can also provide you with information and resources that you may not be aware of. If you’re interested in joining a support group, talk to your doctor or mental health professional.
When you’re in the midst of a panic attack, it can be difficult to remember to breathe. But deep, slow breathing is one of the best things you can do to calm yourself down. If you can, try to find a quiet place to sit or lie down. Then, focus on taking slow, deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth. You may also want to count to four as you breathe in and out. Repeat this until you start to feel more relaxed.
Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are short, positive statements that you can repeat to yourself. They can help to shift your focus and may make you feel more positive and hopeful. Some examples of positive affirmations include:
- I am safe.
- I am strong.
- I can handle this.
- I am in control.
- I am not alone.
Try to find affirmations that resonate with you and repeat them to yourself whenever you start to feel anxious or panicky.
Challenge Your Thoughts
When you’re dealing with a panic attack, it’s common to have negative and distorted thoughts. These thoughts can make your symptoms seem worse than they actually are. For example, you may think that you’re going to pass out or have a heart attack. But it’s important to remember that these thoughts are not reality. They are simply your brain’s way of trying to protect you.
One way to challenge your negative thoughts is to ask yourself some questions. For example:
- What is the evidence for and against this thought?
- Is there another way to look at this situation?
- What would I tell a friend in this situation?
Answering these questions can help you to see your thoughts in a different light and may make them seem less daunting.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgment. When you’re mindful, you focus on your breath and pay attention to the present moment. This can help ground you and make it easier to control your anxiety.
To practice mindfulness:
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Pay attention to the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to your breath.
- Practice mindfulness for a few minutes each day.
In conclusion, panic attacks can be extremely frightening and overwhelming. But there are things that you can do to help calm yourself down. These strategies may not work for everyone, but it’s essential to find what works best for you. If you’re dealing with panic attacks, talk to your doctor about treatment options. And remember, you are not alone.