Accept That Its A Panic Attack
So when you have a panic attack, you know that youre having one because you feel terrified, you might be having trouble breathing, you might be having trouble catching your breath, your heart might be beating out of your chest, you might be getting pain in your chest, you might be feeling dizzy, you might be feeling absolutely overwhelmed and out of control.
Thats usually what people who are panicking are going through.
Realizing that its a panic attack really is the first step to bringing yourself out of it and regaining your power from the panic.
Most often, people say to me when they know that they are having a panic attack, their first thought is, Im dying.
Then theres this little voice that comes up in the back of their head or maybe someone says it to them, Are you having a panic attack?
If youve had a panic attack before, you normally can kind of reference against how you felt previously in the past.
Although it doesnt make you feel any bother, what that can do is give you the knowledge that you are having a panic attack.
If youve never had a panic attack before, you might need someone else to tell you.
A lot of people end up at the emergency room with their first ever panic attack.
So, realizing and understanding and getting that knowledge that this is a panic attack is super helpful to calm down during an anxiety attack. Not because it makes you feel better at the moment but because it gives you knowledge in the longer term and knowledge is power.
Effective Ways To Deal With An Anxiety Attack
When anxiety strikes, knowing how to calm down is vital for your health and functioning in social situations. One way to battle an anxiety attack is to hone in on your senses. Deliberately thinking about items around you that you can smell or hear will help distract you from the anxiety itself so you can calm yourself. Removing yourself from the public eye when you are having an anxiety attack can be beneficial. When people stare at you because you are having an attack, symptoms may worsen. Let a few trusted people know if you regularly suffer from anxiety and alert them about what would make you feel better if you do have an attack. They may be able to talk you through the situation or get you to a safe location so that you can calm down.
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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.
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What To Do During An Anxiety Attack
Once an anxiety attack begins, it can be difficult to stop it in its tracks as the physical effects are already in motion. What you can do is to try to make the symptoms less intense and stop it reaching its peak.
Understand why they happen
If you have a good idea of why they happen, how the stress response works and what it does to your body, a lot of the fear of the unknown automatically disappears.
Fear is one of the big reasons why anxiety attacks happen and this keeps the fear cycle going. If you can tell yourself that an anxiety attack is a normal response to your mind having perceived a threat and that it isnt anything to be overly concerned about health-wise, you can feel more in control of the situation and how you react.
Another important thing to recognise is that your anxiety attack will end. It wont keep going on indefinitely and the quicker you can calm yourself, the sooner it will start to decrease in intensity.
It can be hard to focus on anything other than how youre feeling during an anxiety attack and this can intensify symptoms.
If you can refocus your mind away from it, this can be a way to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
When you feel panic setting in, distracting yourself from it can stop you getting too caught up in your own mind.
Walk around a bit
This can be the last thing you feel like doing when youre shaky and panicky but if youre able to move around a bit, it can be a good way to cope with an anxiety attack.
Walk Or Do Some Light Exercise
Walking can remove a person from a stressful environment, and the rhythm of walking may also help them regulate their breathing.
Moving around releases hormones called endorphins that relax the body and improve mood. Taking up regular exercise can help reduce anxiety over time, which may lead to a reduction in the number or severity of panic attacks.
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How To Stop Panic Attacks At Night
Getting a good nights sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. Sleep promotes rest and relaxation, and gives us a chance to recuperate and let go of the stresses of the day. However, this isnt the case for the many individuals who struggle with panic attacks at night.
Here, we provide advice on how to cope with panic attacks at night, and give tips on how to reduce them.
Sufficient Sleep And Exercise
Sufficient and proper sleep is always required. Its difficult to get adequate sleep when you have a panic attack. You will be able to sleep soundly without fear or panic attacks if you take the medications exactly the way your doctor prescribes.
Exercise on a regular basis can assist you in diverting your mind. Aerobic activity aids in the reduction of stress and the improvement of mood. Regular and light exercise will also help in relieving anxiety attacks.
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How To Calm Down When Stressed
Sometimes it is not easy to calm down when you are stressed and full of anxiety, it seems that you cant even think clearly and your mind is clouded. So how can you get ready for your exam or meet a deadline in your work/job? You simply cant.
If you calmed down, you are also much better to understand your stress and what stressful situation you are experiencing in the first place and you can address the situation much better and help yourself to deal with stress much better in the long run.
So here are simple ways how you can help yourself. There are more than these five ways to calm yourself down, but here we talk only about five of these ways that could help you deal with stress.
How To Calm Down During A Panic Attack
Here are 3 quick and easy tools to help you calm down during a panic attack:
Deep Belly Breathing
The best way to practice is when youre already feeling calm so you get used to these exercises and can easily recall them whenever you notice youre not feeling well. Set aside a few minutes each day to practice .
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Try The File It Mind Exercise
The File It technique works particularly well if youre lying awake at night thinking of all the things you have to do or havent done, or if youre rehashing something that happened during the day.
These are the steps for performing this exercise:
The idea with this exercise is that youre taking a moment to name your triggers, examine them, and then consciously put them aside with a deadline to tackle them later. In other words, youre validating your own feelings and making a plan to deal with them, one by one, when its a better time.
Calming Step : Have A Script Ready
A panic attack can fill your head with racing, negative thoughts, which can keep the panic going and make you feel worse. But you can wield a powerful weapon against them: A script of positive thoughts.
Write down encouraging words you can read to yourself during a panic attack, Dr. Josell says. Your script should answer the negative thoughts. So if you feel like youre going to pass out, tell yourself you wont. If you feel like youre dying, tell yourself you wont die from a panic attack. The words you hear are powerful, and over time, they become your truth.
Ideally, write your script when youre feeling calm. Tuck it in your pocket or purse or type it into your smartphone notes so its easy to access.
If youre in the middle of a panic attack and dont have your script, you can fight negative thoughts on the fly. Try repeating in your mind or out loud phrases like, Im strong, and I can handle this, or This is only temporary, and it will pass.
Your script helps you deal with an attack that arises, but its a preventive measure, too. It can calm your fear of having another panic attack because you know youre in control. The more confident you are that you can manage a panic attack, the less likely you are to have future attacks.
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How To Subdue A Panic Episode In 9 Steps
Here is something you can try to treat the pre-described symptoms,
It is a series of simple breathing techniques aimed at helping your body override its natural fight-or-flight response .
The following may be performed sitting down, standing up, or lying down. You can do this whilst on a crowded commute into work, when youre in bed, during a stressful work meeting, or basically in any situation where it is safe to switch your attention to yourself for a few minutes.
To feel less panicky, do the following:
This simple breathing exercise is effective because when you are feeling stressed, your breathing pattern changes. When we feel anxious, out natural physiological response is to breathe too much in short shallow bursts.
The above abdominal breathing exercise makes you conscious of how you are breathing.
Reasons Behind Anxiety Attack
The following are some of the causes of panic attacks or anxiety attacks:
1. Neurological Imbalance Imbalance or disruption of neurochemicals or neurotransmitters in your brain could be one of the causes. You will need professional medical advice in these situations.
2. Drug abuse Excessive use of alcohol and illegal drugs has been linked to anxiety.
3. Caffeine Intake it could be because of drinking too much coffee and tea and especially the evening intake as coffee is a stimulant, and this can lead to anxiety attacks.
4. Poor Lifestyles Lack of or poor exercise schedule or poor eating habits or sleeping habits can lead to anxiety attacks.
5. Medical conditions Anxiety may be caused because of some medical conditions, for instance, heart-related issues, respiratory disorders, etc
6. Unstable Mental Health People facing any sort of mental disorder are prone to have an anxiety attack.
7. Genetics One can have an anxiety attack if anyone in a blood relationship has a history of anxiety attacks.
8. DisturbingIncidents -If anyone has been through or witnessed any disturbing incidents, they are prone to develop an anxiety attack.
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Using Self Talk Strategies
Talking to yourself always seems unnatural at first. But your biggest supporter is you, and your brain is designed specifically to try to adapt to reduce stress and make you happier. So consider using these self-talk strategies to start making a real difference in the way you see your anxiety and how you adapt to it. You may find that it’s just what you need to make your anxiety attacks weaker, and overcome them easier.
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Does Anxiety Require Treatment
Constant worrying and avoidance behaviour can be very disabling to your everyday life. Since the practice of psychology is evidence-based, there are strict guidelines to facilitate effective diagnosis of people with anxiety. Unfortunately, terminology such as mental health, mental illness, and mental disorders come with a lot of societal stigma.
One of the barriers to getting the help you need is the language that surrounds anxiety and other mental health presentations. This is because most people dislike being labelled with a disorder such as GAD and will actively avoid seeking professional help and diagnose.
Sadly, only one-third of people experience an anxiety disorder receive treatment.
Being told that you have a mental illness is a burden nobody wants to shoulder. Ironically, the diagnosis is necessary to prescribe an appropriate action plan to help you maintain a healthy quality of life.
It is a normal part of life to experience occasional anxiety.
A teenager may experience anxiety in the lead up to their exams and upon release of their academic results. They may also feel anxious prior to asking someone out to be their boyfriend/girlfriend.
According to Beyond Blue, one in fourteen young Australians aged 4-17 experienced an anxiety disorder in 2015. This is equivalent to approximately 278,000 young people.
An adult may experience anxiety in the workplace and in their relationships .
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