How To End An Anxiety Or Panic Attack
An anxiety attack can be terrifying, but it wont kill you. If you want to overcome it, take a deep breath and know it will end soon.
“Anxiety” is a general term that describes a variety of experiences, including nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry, that are common in several mental health disorders. While most of us have anxiety at some time, this is completely different from an anxiety attack or anxiety disorder. Normal feelings of nervousness, worry, and fear often have a known trigger . But when you’re having a full blown panic attack or anxiety attack, the symptoms chest pain, flushing skin, racing heart, and difficulty breathing can make you feel as though you’re going to faint, lose your mind, or die. The reality is, you wont. The key to surviving is to learn all you can about anxiety attacks and practice the skills you need to get through them.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of an anxiety attack include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Fear of loss of control or death
- Feeling of unreality or detachment
- Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
- Trembling or shaking
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers practical strategies in how to deal with stress and anxiety attacks, including:
- Accept that you cannot control everything.
- Do your best.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety.
Here’s how to stop an anxiety attack and recover.
How To Handle A Panic Attack
Professor Paul Salkovskis, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath, says it’s important not to let your fear of panic attacks control you.
“Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything harmful happening,” he says. “Tell yourself that the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by anxiety.”
He says don’t look for distractions. “Ride out the attack. Try to keep doing things. If possible, it’s important to try to remain in the situation until the anxiety has subsided.”
“Confront your fear. If you don’t run away from it, you’re giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing’s going to happen.”
As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and continue to do what you were doing before.
“If youre having a short, sudden panic attack, it can be helpful to have someone with you, reassuring you that it will pass and the symptoms are nothing to worry about,” says Professor Salkovskis.
How To Stop An Anxiety Attack
People have this powerful idea to make the anxiety attack stop, Carbonell says, but you cant make it stop through force of will. However, if you look back at your history, you’ll see that every anxiety attack does indeed stop, even if it feels awful for a while.
Your best first step stopping an anxiety attack is to simply notice your symptoms and accept that you’re having an attack. This can be challenging if it’s one of your first anxiety attacks, but after that you’ll know more about what to expect.
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Plan What To Do The Next Time Panic Strikes
If youre reading this article, chances are youve had an anxiety attack or saw one happen to someone you care about.
That can be a cue to think about remedies. Then, if it happens again, you will be prepared.
Psychologists speak of panic attacks rather than anxiety attacks. Anxiety is ongoing. A panic attack is when your fear is acute and for a short period, you cant function normally. During a panic attack, your heart is racing, or you might feel weak, faint, or dizzy. Your hands and fingers may tingle or feel numb. Youre sweating or getting chilled. Your stomach churns or aches. You may have chest pains or pant. You feel dread or are overwhelmed.
If you have panic disorder, the panic attacks come repeatedly and may be unpredictable. Nearly 5 percent of American adults and more than 2 percent of teens experience panic disorder at some point. The trouble runs in families and may be involved with another anxiety problem. For example, someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder may have a panic attack if they cant engage in a ritual like checking the door handle repeatedly to see that the door is closed. If youre afraid of heights, you might have a panic attack on a mountaintop.
How to stop an anxiety attack: Try these techniques in advance and when you feel panic coming on, choose one to do in the moment. You might do two or more in a sequence.
How Do I Stop Intense Anxiety
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Do I Need Treatment For Anxiety
Thereâs a lot you can do on your own to relieve anxiety, but sometimes you need help. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety disorders.
Signs that itâs time to talk to a mental health professional include:
- Constant or nearly constant anxiety
- Anxiety that gets in the way of your daily activities, like work or social life
- Anxiety about things that donât actually threaten you
- Panic attacks
Check your health insurance policy to see what mental health services your plan covers. Then, review a list of your in-network providers to find one to connect with.
âYou donât want to add to your anxiety by paying big out-of-pocket fees,â Kissen says.
Your primary care doctor may also be able to recommend a mental health professional with experience treating anxiety and anxiety disorders.
Rosmarin notes that itâs important to find a provider you click with and trust. He also says therapy doesnât need to go on indefinitely to be effective.
âA course of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety may be eight to 10 sessions,â he says. âThereâs also data to suggest that people feel substantially better after just one therapy session for panic disorder.â
Tell Yourself Youre Just Processing Information
When youre suffering from PTSD, panic attacks are so often you cant tell when youre actually having one. Youre in a constant state of fight or flight for months on end. Youre too scared to fall asleep and terrified while being awake. Eventually, when you do finally fall asleep, you wake up from nightmares that scare you awake. Sometimes they come as often as every ten minutes.
A social worker once told me that nightmares are the brains way of processing information. The best way to combat them is to say processing information every time you wake up from one. This little trick has helped desensitize nightmares over the long-term so you feel less panicked after waking up from one.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Panic Disorder
People with panic disorder may have:
- Sudden and repeated panic attacks of overwhelming anxiety and fear
- A feeling of being out of control, or a fear of death or impending doom during a panic attack
- Physical symptoms during a panic attack, such as a pounding or racing heart, sweating, chills, trembling, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, tingly or numb hands, chest pain, stomach pain, and nausea
- An intense worry about when the next panic attack will happen
- A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past
Who Can Diagnose Anxiety Disorders
If your provider finds no signs of physical illness, they may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They may use specially designed interview and assessment tools to figure out if you have an anxiety disorder. Typically, the provider bases a diagnosis on:
- Your reported symptoms, including how intense they are and how long they last.
- Discussion of how the symptoms interfere with your daily life.
- The providers observation of your attitude and behavior.
Providers also consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The American Psychiatric Association publishes the DSM-5. Its the standard reference manual for diagnosing mental illnesses.
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Stopping Panic: What To Do When Youre Having A Panic Attack
Here, some strategies that have worked for others that may help you:
How To Prevent Weed Anxiety
Prevention is always better than a cure, as the adage goes. Here are a few ways to ward off potentially traumatising weed anxiety episodes.
|More CBD, less THC
|Pick a strain with a THC:CBD ratio that favours the latter. A ratio of 1:1, also known as the golden ratio, will still get you high, but the psychotropic force will be more tame thanks to the presence of CBD.
|This is geared specifically to first-time users who are most susceptible to weed anxiety. Its okay to take smaller doses for your maiden cannabis voyage. This way, you get to familiarise yourself with its effects much better. This is especially pertinent when it comes to taking edibles for the first few times.
|Set up a comfortable environment
|Ideally, you want to be in a controlled space with people you trust. Set up the lights in a way that creates a chill vibe. Also, have some food nearby for when the munchies hit, and some water for the cotton mouth.
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Mindfulness Meditation And Relaxation Techniques
This means having a moment-by-moment consciousness of our thoughts, feelings, and environment by accepting and living at peace with everything. This is done to prevent the feeling of not being in your own body or feeling unreal that are associated with panic attacks.
In mindfulness, you focus on the real things surrounding you. For example, you can use your feet to play with the soil while focusing wholly on it. You can also for example focus on the texture of your clothing or hair
Focusing on such things will help you to stay away from the harmful thoughts of fear, nervousness, and worry thus stopping impending anxiety or panic attack.
Other relaxation techniques that are important in preventing anxiety disorders include progressive muscle relaxation, massage, listening to calming music among others. For massage, which is one of the best relaxation techniques, you can get one of the best massagers for anxiety.
What Is A Panic Attack
Panic attacks are a type of fear response. They’re an exaggeration of your body’s normal response to danger, stress or excitement. This page covers:
“My teeth would chatter uncontrollably and my whole body would tremble, I’d hyperventilate and cry with panic as the feeling that I was going to fall unconscious was so convincing.”
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Close Your Eyes And Breathe
Whenever you find yourself having a panic attack, take a moment to lie down, close your eyes, and take a deep breath in. Then out. In. Then Out. In. Out. Breathing deep naturally helps slow your heart rate to help you calm your anxiety. Taking the time to focus on your breath helps move your mind into the present inside of the past or future. Find time each day to get that quiet moment to yourself just to breathe. The more you practice mindful breathing, the fewer panic attacks youll have.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are like other forms of mental illness. They dont come from personal weakness, character flaws or problems with upbringing. But researchers dont know exactly what causes anxiety disorders. They suspect a combination of factors plays a role:
- Chemical imbalance: Severe or long-lasting stress can change the chemical balance that controls your mood. Experiencing a lot of stress over a long period can lead to an anxiety disorder.
- Environmental factors: Experiencing a trauma might trigger an anxiety disorder, especially in someone who has inherited a higher risk to start.
- Heredity: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. You may inherit them from one or both parents, like eye color.
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How To Prevent Panic Attacks
Unfortunately, many times you just have to wait for a panic episode it to run its course, so prevention is just as important as any in-the-moment coping strategy.
Your physical health affects stress tolerance, so maintain a healthy diet, good sleep habits, and adequate exercise. Avoid caffeine or alcohol if they make your symptoms worse. In addition, since panic attacks mimic symptoms of other health problems, get a checkup to rule out other causes of your physical symptoms.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation, and mindfulness work can also help. Cognitive interventions teach you how to control your thinking during panic attacks. Behavioral strategies often include gradually exposing you to your fears safely. Mindfulness activities and structured relaxation exercises can reduce both mental and physical symptoms.
In some situations, your therapist may recommend a medication evaluation. If your anxiety is severe, medication can reduce the generally anxious feelings so you can do the work of therapy more effectively. Eventually, though, therapy alone may be enough.
Anxiety Attacks Can Prevent People From Forming Lasting Relationships Achieving Success At Work Or Having A Healthy Home Life Learn Some Ways To Reduce Anxiety Attacks To Achieve A Healthier Lifestyle
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Anxiety attacks can be disruptive and stressful for those who experience them. Many people who experience them wonder, How do you prevent anxiety attacks? Understanding how to prevent anxiety attacks requires a good understanding of what anxiety attacks are and what causes them.
Anxiety is a natural response to stressful situations. Your body uses anxiety to provide the extra energy and focus needed to overcome the stressful situation. However, some people may experience more anxiety than is normal or anxiety that is not related to a stressful situation. In these cases, anxiety is no longer helpful and may be disruptive. While there is no precise or completely accepted definition for anxiety attacks, most people generally accept that an anxiety attack is an episode of anxiety that is normally disruptive and difficult or impossible to control.
While true panic attacks may require professional help to control, anxiety attacks can often be controlled without the help of a doctor. There are several natural ways to prevent anxiety attacks that you can do by yourself at home.
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