Panic Attacks: 3 Things That Help
It’s normal to feel anxious or panicky at times. But if you experience these feelings often and they’re stopping you from living your life, you may have panic attacks. Panic attacks are a type of anxiety disorder. They’re characterized by intense fear or terror that comes on suddenly and without warning.
These attacks can be triggered by situations that are physically harmless. But they can also be caused by situations that are very real and can result in death or injury
Some people experience panic attacks when they feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or afraid. But for others, panic attacks are a separate, distinct feeling.
These can be terrifying. You may feel like you’re having a heart attack, losing control of your body, or going crazy.
Your heart may race, your breathing may become rapid and shallow, and you may have a feeling of dread. You may feel like your head is spinning, your skin may become clammy or sweaty, and you may feel dizzy or faint. Your thoughts may seem to go in loops.Your mind may be racing and you may feel like you can’t think.
Thoughts about death and dying may occur during panic attacks. Some people have a fear of dying, and this fear may be intensified during panic attacks. Some people have panic attacks when they feel like they’re about to have a heart attack.
Panic Attacks: 3 things that help
Panic attacks can be terrifying. But you can learn to recognize a panic attack and manage it so that it doesn’t interfere with your life.
3 things that can help:
1. Relaxation and breathing exercises.
2. Manage your self talk
3. Use your imagination
1. Relaxation and breathing exercise
Relaxation and breathing are two ways to help manage panic attacks. You may find that these two techniques combined are very helpful.
Progressive Relaxation is the process of gradually tensing and relaxing your muscles. It relaxes the body, which relaxes the mind.
Breathing exercises can also help calm your mind and body.
You may use a relaxation app. You can watch a self help video on Youtube or read one of the many helpful books on Panic Attacks.
2. Manage your self talk.
Typically, when a person has a panic attack, they are thinking “Make this stop!” “Make this go away.” That type of thinking can actually prolong the panic attack. Panic attacks happen because we don’t feel in control and fear really losing it.
If you use positive self talk, it will help you feel better. Ask yourself “What can I do to help myself right now?” Focus on a time when you were not anxious or panicking and remind yourself that you will feel better. You will get through this.
3. Imagine yourself feeling better
Imagine yourself, at some point later in the day or the next morning feeling better. Imagine yourself at some point in the near future when you usually feel good -that could be a holiday, your birthday, some other time when you are generally happy. What that does is, reminds you that there is an end in sight to the panic attack and you will be feeling better (way before the holiday).
Panic attacks can be terrifying. Once you understand how they work and what you can do to manage them and keep them from happening. FDR said “All we have to fear is itself.”
Once we know how to prevent them from happening in the first place, we don’t have to fear. We know we can handle anything.
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To learn more about Panic Attacks: Panic & Anxiety Attacks
Mayo clinic on Panic attacks: Anxiety and Panic