If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack, you know firsthand the name is apropos. Within seconds you can go from feeling quite well and “ordinary” to experiencing absolute dread and fear. And often with no obvious trigger. It’s a horrible way to live.
But you don’t have to live feeling like a helpless victim of these attacks. Here are some powerful ways you can stop panic attacks in their tracks:
1. Recognize What’s Happening
If, in the moment, you can recognize that you are having a panic attack and not a heart attack, you can begin to instantly calm yourself at the realization this is temporary. It will pass and you will be okay. And once you gain a little bit of calm, you can employ further techniques.
2. Slow Relaxed Breathing
Hyperventilating is a common symptoms of a panic attack. Breathing in an erratic pattern tends to make the attack intensify.
Conversely, slow, relaxed breathing can reduce the symptoms of a panic attack and bring you back to a state of calm. Breathing slowly and deeply signals to the rest of your body that the “threat” is gone and you can get out of “fight or flight” mode.
3. Close Your Eyes
Some people can become triggered by things in their environment. If this happens to you and you find yourself in a fast-paced environment with too much stimuli becoming overwhelmed, close your eyes while taking some slow, full breaths.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Panic attacks tend to cause a feeling of detachment or separation from reality. Mindfulness meditation is powerful because it can help you stay fully present in the here and now. In addition, the practice of meditation has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety.
5. Get Help
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other mental health treatments have been shown to help people suffering with panic attacks. CBT sessions can happen in private, in groups, and even online.
If you are interested in exploring treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’m here to help and answer any questions you may have.