7 Tips to Deal with a Panic Attack

Panic attacks usually happen without warning, and they may feel like the worst experience ever. They are usually accompanied by a variety of physical symptoms, such as dizziness, chest pain, blurred vision, chills, numbness in fingers or toes.

Even though the panic attack is a common mental health issue that may affect anyone with the right trigger, many people still don't know how to handle it accordingly. Here are six effective methods to cope with your fear and get your life back on track.

Take Deep, Slow Breaths

When you are in a panic, your heart races, and you can feel like you are going to burst. It is a sign that you are over-reacting and likely harming your ability to calm down.

A great way to quickly stop a fit of fear is to keep your breathing stress-free. In fact, it is one of the best things you can do to calm down and regain control over your emotions.

Try breathing through your nose for half a minute before continuing to pace or beat your chest until your heart rate returns to normal. When you are finished, return to normal breathing and try this exercise again. This technique is intense but can help calm your nervous system.

Over time, practicing breathing methods like these can help reduce the frequency or intensity of panic attacks.

Imagine Yourself in a Safe Situation

Another way you can calm yourself down is by imagining yourself somewhere safe.

Try closing your eyes and picturing yourself in a place where you feel secure even though things aren't perfect there either - like a favorite spot that may not have everything you want or need, but it has enough to make you happy.

Also, it can be helpful to conjure up an image of yourself performing exceptionally great.

For example, if you are driving, imagine that you have driven safely for the entire duration of the journey on the highway without any accidents or car trouble. If you are working on an upcoming presentation, visualize that your presentation is successful and goes well despite your nerves. If you are on a date with someone new, imagine that it is going well and everyone has had a great time.

This technique can also be applied to other feelings of fear or distress - just imagine yourself in a different situation where you feel calmer, more confident, or more relaxed. Within seconds of doing this, your feelings will start to shift and hopefully result in a calmer state.

Find Something Else to Keep Your Focus On

If you can think of something else, do it immediately.

Sometimes a panic attack can feel like you are drowning in your own thoughts. For this reason, it is important that you don't allow yourself to fall prey to such feelings of helplessness or stress. If you are feeling the dread looming, try distracting yourself with a random activity that you enjoy - whether it is exercise, listening to music, or reading a book.

Doing something else will help prevent the negative thoughts and feelings associated with panic from taking over your mind and get you back to living your life normally.

Talk to Someone

If you are having a panic attack, then talking to someone close can make a world of difference at the moment.

In order for this technique to work, it is important that the person you are talking with does not judge or dismiss your feelings. They should be supportive and understanding of what you are going through without questioning why you feel anxious or panicking in the first place. When having an anxiety attack, it is essential not to isolate yourself from others. To put it another way, let people help you.

Talking with someone about your feelings can help you manage panic attacks by calming your mind. If you don't have anyone to talk to, there are many online resources that can provide support when it feels like the world is closing in on you.

Count Backward from 10

Count backwards from 10 is a proven soothing exercise that can help you relax and de-stress. This concept has been around for a long time, but recently its is gaining traction with people who are looking to de-stress in no time.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina tested the effects of counting from 10 on people's anxiety levels, heart rates, and cortisol levels. They found that participants who counted backwards showed profound effects on their health in just a few moments and continued for longer than 30 minutes.

It can also be done anywhere, including the grocery line or while waiting in a doctor's office - perfect when you feel lost and overwhelmed by what is going on around you.

Speak Calmly to Yourself

When you are having a panic attack, it is almost impossible to calm down the fast-paced thoughts running through your head. But, there are tricks that you can use to speak to yourself in order to slow down and focus on the here and now.

There is no need to go into a state of fright and start yelling at yourself, "You're doing great!" The last thing you want is for your voice to sound too encouraging and for the panic attack to worsen.

The idea is, you need to be your own advocate. If you're feeling anxious or scared during a panic attack, say things like "I'm so glad I'm feeling brave" or "I'm so excited for what's next." It's not an easy task to just sit down and speak to yourself, but it can do a lot more good than harm.

Speaking in these ways will give you the ability to do something about the fear - it will prevent your anxiety from getting out of control, resulting in even more severe panic attacks.

Know Your Triggers

We all have triggers that make our anxiety worse and we should never rush into trying to fight off our fear without knowing what those triggers are. It is best to pay attention to your body and react accordingly before your anxiety gets out of hand.

Let's say that you've been left in charge of the family budget while your partner is out of town for a few days. This is likely to have a negative impact on your mood, and you might feel more anxious than usual. One way to cope with the stress is to write down what has happened and what will happen during this time, which may be helpful for preventing yourself from feeling overwhelmed in the future.

This technique can also be used in everyday life - make a list of the things that typically cause you anxiety so that you can avoid them at all costs!

The Bottom Line

Panic attacks can be a scary experience, but they don't last forever. They usually pass after a few minutes, leaving you with just the memory of the overwhelming feelings.

Everything in life comes with a set of challenges. We can't control the future, but we can control our reactions to it. Having the right coping strategy can help reduce the intensity of a panic attack and increase the quality of your life.

  • Mental
  • Psychology
  • Meditation