5 Ways to Deal With Panic Attacks


Recognizing the symptoms of a panic attack is the first step toward overcoming it. Everybody might experience a panic attack differently. Some people experience difficulty breathing or even believe they are dying. Often, they feel an impending sense of doom.

Here are the common signs of a panic attack:

  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Accelerated or pounding heartbeat
  • Feeling like you might be dying
  • Impending sense of doom

What causes a panic attack?

External causes, such as a stressful circumstance or a frightening atmosphere, might cause a panic attack. However, they can also occur spontaneously and without apparent reason.

Worrying about panic attacks isn't particularly useful. Some people have a history of anxiety and are concerned about having another panic attack in the future. That can make you hyperaware, increasing your chances of having a panic attack in the future. It can prevent us from living an entire, vivid life.

If you're experiencing regular panic attacks, I recommend contacting a licensed healthcare provider. We can teach you how to control panic episodes better. Panic attacks do not have to limit what you can accomplish.

The five hacks to deal with panic attack

The trouble is, when we concentrate on panic attack symptoms, they worsen. The key to halting or decreasing a panic attack is to focus on your surroundings (sights, noises, feelings) rather than your internal symptoms (heart racing, frightening thoughts, or quick breathing).

Have you heard of a panic attack survival kit? If you or someone you care about has ever experienced a panic attack, you know how unexpected it can be. You can use these five panic attack treatment methods to create a little bag of supplies to grab for the next time a panic attack occurs.

1. Sensory grounding with ice or cold water

If you have a washcloth and a water bottle, you've got a decent start on your panic attack survival kit. Panic attacks can make people feel uncomfortably hot. A moist towel around the neck or face can alleviate this discomfort and offer you something to consider.

The three ways water can calm a panic attack:

  • Place a cold, wet washcloth on the back of your neck
  • Hold an ice cube in your hand and focus on the sensation
  • Dunk your head into a bowl of ice water
2. Focus on your five senses

Concentrate on your exterior world rather than the symptoms. Use your five senses to stay present in the moment. Be curious about your surroundings. What do you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste?

This is where you can include tactile things in your kit, such as a fidget spinner, stress ball, or squishy toy.

3. Warhead sour candy trick

Sucking on sour candy, like a Warhead, is another way to divert your focus. If you don't have any sour candies, substitute something with a strong flavor, such as spicy sauce, horseradish, or wasabi.

4. Coping statements

A coping statement is one approach to practicing calming self-talk during a panic attack. Concentrate on what words are and how they sound to distract yourself from the symptoms. Here are some examples of coping statements:

  • This will pass
  • This feeling is uncomfortable but not dangerous
  • I'm not having a heart attack
  • I can get through this

You can jot down one or more of these coping statements and keep them in your survival pack.

5. Breathwork in any environment

The tips above may be difficult to follow in a crowded area or if you need the equipment. Fortunately, breathwork techniques can be practiced anywhere, at any time.

You can practice progressive muscular relaxation, meditation, or square breathing depending on your surroundings. Square breathing involves four motions, each lasting approximately four seconds.

Square breathing instructions:

  • Breathe in through your nose and count to four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of four.
  • Exhale slowly to the count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of four.

Repeat these actions for as long as you need to.

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Sunday, 14 April 2024