How to Cope with Panic Attacks

How to cope with panic attacks: If you’re suffering from panic attacks, then you would have experienced some kind of fear while in the moment of an attack. Feeling powerless and overwhelmed is one part alongside physical symptoms, such as

  • A “racing” heart
  • Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Breathing difficulties
  • A loss of control
  • A sense of unreality
  • A fear of dying

Panic attacks can either be brief or last up to 10 minutes. Some may even last longer.  Although at times isolated, you would be happy to know that panic attacks are not life-threatening.

You can learn to manage, reduce, and perhaps overcome panic attacks altogether. There are steps you can take to help you overcome this challenge.

Where to begin?

Learning about panic attacks when studying can help you understand the core root of your attacks. The onset of panic can occur when you’re feeling threatened in some way. Recognising the danger of panic can release adrenaline that enables you either to stay and ‘fight’ or run away ‘flight’.

When you’re in this situation, your reaction can depend on how you feel at that ‘moment’. Your thoughts precede behaviour, so that, even if there is no present threat, your mind tells you it’s real. For example, you may have experienced negativity when at the shopping centre. Such that, future trips may prevent you, and set off a panic attack.

Whether you’re aware of why you have suffered a panic attack, it is good to know you can get through it! There are strategies to help you overcome!

Breathing exercise before and during an attack.

When recognising physical symptoms or in the middle of a panic attack, you may feel powerless. Try this useful breathing exercise so you can focus on your bodily sensations and begin relaxing.

If you make your breathing slower and deeper, then your body will become less tense and your muscles will begin to relax. To try this, you can either sit in a chair or lie on the floor

  1. Breathe in slowly through your nose for 4 seconds
  2. Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  3. Then breathe out slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds

Repeat until you feel you’re becoming more relaxed.

Telling yourself that you can’t do this can reinforce negative behaviour, which may result in a panic attack. This will probably feed your fear and make the attack stronger. By engaging in this simple exercise, you will eventually help reduce or altogether, overcome!

Other methods

Counselling/Psychotherapy – Talk therapy is a great way of helping you understand what panic disorder is and how you can gain support in helping you to manage it.

Meditation is another method of becoming more relaxed as it helps ease the anxiety and acts as a preventative coping strategy for the onset of a panic attack.

Regular exercise (not in the middle of a panic attack) can help your body release ‘happy’ endorphins that may control future panic attacks.

Visiting your doctor can help you with the discomfort of ongoing panic attacks. By visiting your doctor, you can be completely sure that you’re not experiencing something more adverse. This is important as you may be required to take medication if there are repeated episodes. Your doctor is the only one that can diagnose a condition, such as ‘panic disorder’.

Anti-panic strategies such as those mentioned in this article can be the beginning of you taking charge of your panic attacks. You can be an overcomer! With, understanding and practice, you can start to become free from fear!

Self-reflection

  1. Has my mood changed of late because of excessive worry?
  2. Have I experienced any life-changing situations that can cause me to panic?
  3. Is there anything right now that I can do about my panic attacks?
(c) 2022 Copyright. The Savvy Woman CFE. All Rights Reserved.

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