How to deal with panic attacks: 11 effective ways
For panic attacks (or panic disorder) there is still no cure and even unambiguous methods of dealing with attacks – each person is forced to experimentally look for his own combination. Read our review to try and choose the methods for yourself.
1. Breathe slowly
How to Get Rid of Panic Attacks? Slow breathing helps to cope with palpitations and shallow breathing, which are both symptoms of a panic attack, and its instigators. Breathing slowly, you are sending a signal to your brain to calm down. It is one of the most effective physiological ways to stop a panic attack.
Focus on breathing. Inhale one-two-three-four, hold your breath for one second, exhale one-two-three-four. Look at your belly (even through your clothes): how it inflates as you inhale and draws in as you exhale.
2. Admit that you have a panic attack.
How do you know if you have a panic attack and get rid of it? During a panic attack, a person catastrophizes what is happening: it seems that it is a heart attack, stroke, death, madness, that you faint or about to vomit.
Tell yourself mentally several times: “This is not a disaster, this is a panic attack.” The intensity of the symptoms will decrease and you will begin to recover.
3. Close your eyes if there is chaos around
Some panic attacks are triggered by overload. If you are in the midst of noise and chaos, this can reinforce her . Close your eyes to block unnecessary stimuli.
4. Train Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the ability to notice what is happening in and around you.
Panic attacks often lead to feelings of unreality, out-of-bodyness, detachment from one’s own body and from the world. Mindfulness can help you deal with a panic attack and the first signs of an attack .
How to deal with panic attacks? Focus on your body, look at it or imagine with your eyes closed: how your feet touch the floor, how your clothes touch your skin, mentally move to the tips of your fingers.
To distract yourself, you can keep your gaze on familiar objects around you – a glass with pens and pencils, a plant on a window, a pattern on the wall or floor, and so on.
5. Find the “anchor”
Some people find it helpful to choose one subject to focus on during a panic attack. This is a kind of mindfulness.
Pick one object that is close enough and give all your attention to it. Mentally describe the color, size, shape, he on the touch as he moves or can move. For example, you can observe how the clock hand moves.
6. Train muscle relaxation
Like slow breathing, muscle relaxation helps the brain switch from panic mode to calm mode. Begin to gradually relax one part of the body after another, starting with a simple one (for example, toes and hands, buttocks).
7. Return to a peaceful place.
In each of our imagination or memories is a place where our good and quiet. A beach, a house in the woods, or a place in your apartment – it’s time to mentally be there. How to deal with panic attacks on your own? Think about the details: what colors, smells, sounds are there. Imagine the sensations in this place (hot sand, soft blanket, pine needles under your feet).
8. Stop the attack with medication
Drugs from the group of tranquilizers (anxiolytics or anti-anxiety drugs) help to stop a panic attack if you take a pill while it is still in its infancy.
Tranquilizers cannot be taken by everyone, they are prescription drugs, so they must be prescribed by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.
9. Do light physical activity
If you have already regained your breath, go for a walk or light jog, go to the pool or go to yoga.
If there is a lot of stress in your life right now , try to exercise regularly. The endorphins released during exercise can help prevent panic attacks.
10. Use your sense of smell
Smells also help with panic attacks. Lavender is known for its soothing properties. Choose a lavender-scented cream or carry a jar of lavender oil with you. Inhale lavender while breathing slowly to enhance the effect.
11. Read a verse or prayer to yourself.
Any rhythmic text, be it a prayer or a nursery rhyme, can help distract from the symptoms of anxiety attacks. How to deal with panic attack on your own? Repeat the text to yourself (from “ a Christmas tree was born in the forest” to “ooo-ooo-mmm”), ponder over every word, into the meaning of the text and observe the rhythm.