Panic attacks can strike at any time, even when you’re not expecting them to. Panic attacks are intense and frightening, and they may make you feel out of control and that you’re in danger. In reality, panic attacks aren’t dangerous, but the symptoms of one can be uncomfortable and distressing until it passes.
Here are some tips on how to overcome panic attacks to help you calm down and get through them safely.
What is panic attacks?
A panic attack is a sudden and overwhelming feeling of terror, fear, or impending doom that may cause physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, trembling or shaking.
A panic attack is an intense feeling of fear often accompanied by physical symptoms like pounding heart. The person experiencing a panic attack will feel as if they can't breathe and might think they're having a heart attack or going crazy. They also may have thoughts about death or losing control.
Identify your triggers
In order to overcome panic attacks, you'll need to identify what triggers your anxiety. Common triggers include public speaking, being in a crowd of people, driving on the freeway and standing in line at the grocery store. Once you identify your triggers, it's easier to start working on ways of coping with them. Try deep breathing or positive self-talk when you're feeling anxious.
It can be difficult at first but will help calm down faster than if you were just sitting there trying not to think about anything. Talking to yourself is another great way of calming down when stressed out. Talk through whatever worries are bothering you out loud and see if they don't seem as big after that.
Breathe deeply. This is the most important thing you can do when you're having a panic attack. Breathing exercises such as deep breathing can help calm your nervous system and reduce the physical symptoms of a panic attack, such as lightheaded, racing heart, and chest pain. When you are feeling intense anxiety or panic, take ten slow deep breaths. Inhale for a count of three, hold it for a count of three, then exhale for a count of three. Repeat this exercise until you feel calm enough to move on to one or more other methods below.
Use positive self-talk
The best thing you can do when you're feeling anxious is talk yourself down. Tell yourself that everything will be okay, and focus on the positive aspects of your situation. Don't let your thoughts spiral out of control.
Remember that just because something feels bad now doesn't mean it will feel bad forever. Practice deep breathing: Breathing exercises are a great way to get your anxiety under control because they help us tap into our body's natural relaxation response. Take a few moments right now to practice deep breathing by taking in air through your nose, holding it for a second or two, then releasing it through pursed lips. Continue this cycle for at least five minutes.
Visualize a calm place
Close your eyes and envision a place where you feel calm, safe, and happy. Imagine being there, being present in the moment. Ask yourself questions about this place and try to answer them as fully as you can. Who are you with? What are you doing? Is it daytime or nighttime? What is the temperature like? Are there any smells that stand out in your mind from that place? Remember what it's like to be there.
If you're feeling a panic attack coming on, try distracting yourself by focusing on something else. Grab your keys and go for a walk. Look at the sky and identify five clouds. Count backwards from 100 in increments of sevens. Do anything that gets your mind off what's making you anxious - even if it's only for a few minutes.
Accept that you are having a panic attack
A panic attack is a sudden and intense feeling of terror or fear that comes without any obvious cause. It may also be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as a racing heart, chest pain, tightness in the throat, and heavy breathing. A panic attack can last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour or more.
The important thing is to know what you are experiencing so you can identify it as soon as possible and take appropriate action. The sooner you recognize a panic attack for what it really is, the easier it will be for you to move on with your life instead of letting it control your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Seek professional help
Some people find it helpful to seek therapy or consult a mental health professional for anxiety disorders. The person can also find support groups where they can learn from others who have been through what they are going through.
Others might benefit from seeking out medical treatment, such as taking antidepressants or talking with a doctor about other treatments. Others might benefit from seeking out medical treatment, such as taking antidepressants or talking with a doctor about other treatments.
Here at Blue Oak Counseling Services, we can help you overcome anxiety symptoms so you can have a calm and peaceful mind. Contact us today to speak with one of our caring providers.