Almost every person will experience at least one panic attack in their lifetime. For those who are suffer from a panic or anxiety disorder, these attacks can become paralyzing. Learning how to recognize and stop panic attacks if the first step to being healthy mentally.
This is where your breathing is labored or you can seem to get enough air. This is one of the first signs of a panic attack and one of the more frightening and often the one that will bring someone to the emergency department of a hospital.
If you have been diagnosed with a panic or anxiety disorder, before going to the hospital, try these few tricks to slow your breathing down:
Concentrate on anything, but typically a place that you like to be. This is often referred to as your “happy place” or your relaxation center. Close your eyes if you have to, but picture that place, feel the air, smell the odors that surround you in that place, listen to the sounds. If it is outdoors, think on the weather. Feel the sun on your face, the breeze against your skin.
As you practice this method, you will become more proficient at letting yourself be in that place, which will relax you and relieve the panic.
Take slow deep breaths in and out. In through the nose. Hold for a count of a slow five: 1—2—3—4—5, then breath out slowly through your mouth. Repeat this until you feel your breath coming easier.
Sudden Feeling Of Panic
When you suddenly feel panicked or anxious, stop what you are doing at that moment. What s making you feel anxious and panicked? This will take some practice, but once you recognize what is making you anxious you can deal with it.
Tell yourself that what you are feeling and experiencing is not a real threat. Many people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), will suddenly feel that they are back in the situation that was so traumatic to them. Telling yourself you are not in that situation, that what happened then is not happening now is one of the most effective ways of learning how to stop panic attacks.
The Sudden Feeling Of Being On “Alert”
This is one of the hardest parts of anxiety and panic disorders to deal with. It is often extremely difficult to pinpoint that you are on alert until the panic attack is in full swing. This is where you have to learn your body and your triggers.
After a panic attack has subsided, go back and think about all the clues that it was coming. Did you suddenly feel like you were listening for footsteps, a voice or anything like that? Did you notice you vision becoming more tunneled? These are both symptoms of being on alert. This is due to the flight or fight response, which panic is part of.
Next, think of what was occurring in the moment that you felt yourself going on alert. This will give you a good clue to one of your triggers. By recognizing the trigger and your response to it, the next time it happens, you can relax yourself through meditation, self talk or by taking a small break and going for a short walk.
Other Tips To Stopping Panic Attacks
There are a few tricks to learning how to stop panic attacks. Some of these are harder to do, because at first they may actually increase your anxiety. But with practice they will eventually lessen the length of time the attack will last.
Don’t avoid your triggers. Our flight or fight response tells us to avoid our triggers. In reality, by not avoiding them, but dealing with them on the spot as they arise, you will eventually learn to “desensitize” yourself to their effect. If you are desensitized to the trigger, it will no longer cause a panic attack
Learn deep breathing exercise. There are a few different styles out there. You can find them online, in books or through therapists and counselors. Practice them. Waiting until a panic attack is in full swing is not the time to learn them.
Practicing them will allow you to be able to do them without having to concentrate, which is difficult in the middle of a panic attack. Your body and mind will remember the breathing exercises and it will take less time for the panic attack to subside and stop as you perfect them.
Learn quick ways to meditate. This relaxation technique has been used for thousands of years. You can learn to take one method and perfect it so that it will relax you in 5 minutes or less. This will take practice. But practicing it will also keep you more relaxed, meaning that a panic attack is less likely to happen.
Learn exercising programs such as Yoga or Tai Chi. These both have relaxation components to them and will also help you to learn breathing exercises as well as guided imagery. An added benefit is that they will help build muscle tone and increase core strength.
These are not all the ways that someone can stop a panic attack. However, these are some of the most effective and easy to learn. A panic attack is never any fun and when you have an anxiety disorder, they can actually affect the quality and enjoyment of your life. Using these steps, you will begin the process of learning how to stop panic attacks before they happen.