Panic attacks can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. They are often marked by a sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort. They can occur unexpectedly, leaving you suddenly feeling powerless.
However, there are some proven methods and help available to manage and stop a panic attack. One option would be to consider joining an outpatient mental health program for professional guidance. That is one of several strategies designed to give you control during these challenging moments. Let’s look at some proven methods.
Learn some deep breathing exercises
When a panic attack strikes, your breathing often becomes quick and shallow. This
can increase a sense of panic. Deep breathing can counteract this response.
Practice slow, deep breaths. Inhale for a count of four, hold for a second and then exhale for a count of four. This technique helps to reduce your body's stress response and promote a feeling of calm.
Learn to recognize and accept what is happening
It helps to acknowledge that you are experiencing a panic attack. Understanding that it's a temporary state and not a life-threatening situation can be comforting.
By accepting what you are experiencing without judgment you can help reduce the intensity of the attack. Remember, panic attacks are common and you are not alone in this experience.
Learn some mindfulness and grounding techniques
Grounding techniques can help you stay connected to the present moment. This can be as simple as focusing on your feet touching the ground or naming five things you can see, for instance. Mindfulness meditation, which emphasizes a non-judgmental focus on the present moment, can also be a particularly effective tool for managing a panic attack.
Try progressive muscle relaxation
This technique involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. It can reduce physical tension, which often accompanies a panic attack.
Start from your toes and move upwards, tensing each muscle group for a few seconds and then releasing.
Change your environment
It can often help you to deal with a panic attack if you can change your environment, if possible. If you're inside, step outside for fresh air. If you're in a crowded place, try to move to a quieter area.
Changing your environment can sometimes interrupt the panic cycle and provide a distraction from overwhelming thoughts.
Learn to use a mantra
Repeating a calming phrase or mantra can provide comfort and focus during a panic attack. Choose a phrase that resonates with you. Repeating this phrase can help you feel safe and calm.
Repeating a mantra is good for centering your thoughts and reducing the intensity of your panic attack.
Seek professional help and develop some long-term strategies
If your panic attacks are frequent, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. Therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have been proven to be highly effective in treating panic disorders.
You could also exercise regularly and adopt a healthy diet. These strategies, combined with plenty of healthy sleep can play significant roles in managing anxiety.
Panic attacks can be daunting, but these strategies can be effective in helping to manage and stop them. With the right tools and support, it's entirely possible to overcome the challenges posed by panic attacks.