Panic attacks often occur when we experience a sudden feeling of anxiety or fear. The human body interprets such situations as a fight or flight’ scenario and starts a set of subconscious reflexes which affect us both physically and mentally. One of the main results of such a trigger is the release of extra adrenalin into the blood stream. This can be a good reaction in some circumstances but if an individual experiences such symptoms repeatedly it may get difficult to regulate or control.
Panic attacks can occur during important moments in your life, and be detrimental to both your professional and social life. You may feel totally helpless and at the mercy of these repetitive attacks which leave you dazed and fearing the next attack. How to stop panic attacks? You can do this by following a simple sequence of steps which will help calm you down and get rid of these annoying panic reactions.
- Breathe and Relax
As soon as you sense that a panic attack is happening, start to relax your muscles and focus on your breathing. Tense up all the muscles in one area of the body for a few seconds, and then relax them. Repeat this with all parts of the body like arms, legs, face etc. Focus on your breathing while contracting and relaxing your muscles and ensure that you stay relaxed and calm.
- Change the Environment
Changing the surroundings can be a big factor in nipping a panic attack in the bud. The instant you feel that a panic attack is happening do something to change the situation like telling a joke, drinking some water, sing a song. Basically undertake an activity that gets you out of the initial negative mood that triggered the panic attack. Once you have identified something that works, you can use the same technique every time you start to experience a panic attack.
- Do not avoid places that you think may trigger your Panic Attacks
Over time you may condition yourself to avoid those places or situations which have the highest chance of triggering your panic attack. Though this may seem like a sensible thing to do, all it does is to make you even more stressed out and paranoid. You will slowly begin to live in your safe zones and confine yourself to select areas. The condition can deteriorate to an extent where you are fearful to step outside your own house.
You should look to ease yourself back into those places which your dread. Build up self-confidence and knowledge over time and use relaxation techniques to help you counter any panic related episodes that may occur at these places. Also if you fear getting out into public places, you can start by taking a walk in the park, head on over to the beach etc. These activities have a very good chance at calming you down and easing you out of your comfort zone.
- Making Panic Attack Journals
Make a journal that documents all the strategies you have used to counter panic attacks. You can maintain multiple copies for home, work or our vehicle. Also maintain the numbers for crisis help lines, doctors. If you feel you cannot keep the attack under check then refer the journal and dial one of these numbers for assistance.
- Adopt Stress Management Techniques
You can use stress management tools like stress balls etc. to help you relax. Exercise is another excellent way to release any excess stress. Also remember to get a proper amount of sleep every day, as sleep deprivation can lead to unwanted tension and stress. Take more time out for yourself between work to recharge your body.
- Use Therapy
A good therapist will impart knowledge on the cause of your panic attacks and provide methods to prevent them. There are a number of methods that can be adopted by the therapist to help control your condition such Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or the Mindfulness Technique.
- Seeking Prescription based Cures
There are medicines out there used to treat panic attacks, and can be used when you feel that the situation is getting out of hand. Always talk to you doctor before taking any such medication since these drugs can have serious side effects if not taken properly.
How to Stop Panic attacks? The above mentioned points can be used to prevent attacks and ensure a calm and panic free lifestyle.