Talk To A Therapist With Experience In Anxiety Attacks
People often fear the worst when they’re having an anxiety attack. Most of the time, theres no underlying physical problem, such as a real heart attack. But you should get the medical all clear if you have repeat anxiety attacks, just to be sure you dont need additional treatment. Then find a cognitive behavioral therapist with experience treating anxiety to help you through.
Talk To Someone Who Gets It
If your feelings of anxiety are making it hard to function, you should speak to a health professional. But talking to friends can also help. I have friends who have an anxiety disorder too. When Im feeling really bad, I send them a message telling them how Im feeling.
They might have a new hack I can try, or they can point out something that might have acted as a trigger. But sometimes its just nice to vent to someone who knows how it feels to be in my shoes.
Find What Relaxes You
There are already things in your life that relax you. You may find it beneficial to make a list of things you enjoy and that help you to relax so you can reference it when symptoms of anxiety arise. When you notice your anxiety rising turn to those activities to help stop symptoms before they escalate.
For example, if you find that a warm bath is relaxing, don’t wait, draw a bath, maybe light some candles or add a few nice scents and get in. Whether it’s a bath, a shower, skipping stones at a park, getting a massage – if it works, do it right away, rather than allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by your anxiety.
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Regain Control With Meditation
Meditation is another common intervention that can be helpful not only as a preventative measure to reduce anxiety on an ongoing basis, but also as a tool to re-establish your relationship with your thoughts, which becomes important during an attack.
It can help clients become an observing witness to the fluctuations of thought, realize they are not controlled by them, and consequently reduce symptoms, says Meredith Strauss, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker who specializes in treating anxiety and depression. By focusing on the breath, or the mantra, clients are distracted from disturbing thoughts dictated by the mind. They also learn to become non-judgmental of negative and distracting thoughts as they become a witness to their own thinking.
She also notes there are meditation apps available that help calm an anxious and overactive mind. Also, writing thoughts in a journal can also help the client vent and understand the origin of their feelings.
Warning About Using Herbal Formulas To Stop Anxiety Attacks
Although you may read about using herbal remedies to stop anxiety attacks, some of these can cause serious harm to your body, such as liver damage, and no definitive studies with adequate controls and participation exist that support the use of herbal remedies to control attacks. Further, many herbal supplements can interact with medications your doctor prescribes and result in serious drug interactions or allergies.
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Focus On Something Specific
Your mind races, and you cant seem to focus. A lot of thoughts are going through your mind, but you need to focus on something. Thats the thing about anxiety, the overwhelming sense of no control. To combat that, you need to focus on some point to keep yourself from losing it.
Choose a point to focus on so that you can quickly go there during an anxiety attack.
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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Simple Grounding Techniques To Stop Anxiety Attacks Fast
As many as 40 million people have been diagnosed with anxiety in America, and many of those people have never learned how to deal with anxiety or fend off an anxiety attack before it completely takes over their emotional state.
Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, if you suffer from panic attacks and frequently get overwhelmed with emotional grief, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with it.
Fortunately, there are ways you can calm your stress thanks to “grounding techniques.” Grounding techniques are strategies of connecting to the present moment that can help you manage anxiety or feelings of panic and without pills or medications.
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It can be so hard to manage anxiety, particularly in our current culture where it seems like the world is more competitive, scary, and dangerous than ever before.
Luckily, using grounding techniques can be extremely helpful in managing the physical symptoms of anxiety and help you stop panic attacks in their tracks.
I Think My Partner Has Anxiety What Should I Do
People with anxiety often know that they are feeling anxious all the time. As you will know, different people react differently to personal feedback and when it comes to addressing anxiety, quite often, partners can aggravate the situation despite their good intentions.
Here are a few tips to show that you care and are empathetic to their feelings of anxiety:
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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.
Ground Yourself And Then Write A Quick Note
This takes practice, but when your anxiety begins taking over, experts say being present and reasonable can help shorten the duration.
When I get in the middle of my what-if snowball, at some point I’m able to back off, says Elaine, a 32-year-old mother in Indiana, who has been diagnosed with panic disorder. I sometimes have to actually tell myself to stop out loud. I’ve said, Stop, Elaine. That’s ridiculous. When I take a second to really evaluate whether or not what I’m thinking is reasonable, I am able to recognize it’s not and just move on.
In cases where she cannot recognize whether her thoughts or anxiety is normal, she physically writes down a note and discusses it with her therapist.
Studies show that people who wrote about emotionally charged episodes were happier, less depressed and less anxious.
Which science says is a smart move. Writing down your fears can actually help reduce them, and ease the anxiety that accompanies them. One study found that writing thoughts down and physically throwing them in the garbage can be an effective way to clear your mind.
So keep a notebook and pen in your car, by your bedside, and in your purse for when anxious thoughts begin to creep up.
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Acknowledge The Panic Attack
People spend most of their time in the two wrong places: the past or the future. In the past, you drown yourself in depression. In the future, youre scared for your life. But in the present, thats where you can find the most joy. While having a panic attack can be wildly unpleasant, its important to sit with yourself in the present moment and acknowledge it.
Tell yourself, Right now, Im having a panic attack. I feel scared, anxious, and worried that something will go wrong. However, right now nothing bad is happening right now. I am safe. I feel myself taking a deep breath in. I feel the oxygen entering my lungs. I feel my toes grounded on the floor. Im shaking my arms back and forth. This moment isnt perfect but it will pass. Good moments are up ahead. All I need to do is feel this present moment.
To Relieve Anxiety Talk Out Loud To Yourself
Give yourself permission to have an anxiety attack by saying the words out loud. Remind yourself that the attack will end, and it wont kill you or cause you to faint.
Carbonell says that understanding the physiology of fainting and reminding yourself of it is important. People faint when their blood pressure drops. A anxiety attack can make you feel like youre going to faint, but you wont because your blood pressure doesn’t drop during an attack. Remind yourself out loud of truths like these to counter your fears.
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Recognize The Warning Signs And Symptoms
Since the symptoms of a panic attack can be so intense and frightening, one of the first things you should do if youre trying to figure out how to stop a panic attack fast is to recognize the warning signs. After a panic attack occurs, take the time to write out the physical and psychological symptoms you experienced so you can look for consistencies over time. Youll probably notice a lot of similarities, and will eventually be able to recognize the symptoms you are experiencing are a result of a panic attack and not something more serious.
Write your symptoms down in a notebook you carry around with you or as a note in your smartphone, and remind yourself to review your list each time you start feeling the symptoms of an impending panic attack. This will help you remember that you are not losing control or having a heart attack so you can focus on strategies to help bring yourself back to a place of calm.
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About the Author: Javier Velazquez is a Mental Health freelance writer. He uses his expert knowledge, skills, and personal experience in digital marketing to craft content in Mental Health that makes people take action. When hes not working on his latest project, you can find him reading a wonderful book and drinking coffee.
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios only.
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Remember To Always Keep Breathing
When youre anxious, this is the first thing you need to learn how to do again. And its as simple as breathing because, in a panic or anxiety attack, you forget to breathe, and if you dont breathe, it gets worse.
You need to practice. Margaret Jaworskiou of Psycom recommends you Practice breathing in through your nose for a count of five, hold it for five, and then breathe out through the mouth for a count of five.
Give Yourself A Simple Massage
In order to stop panic attacks, youll need to help yourself relax. Unfortunately, going to the spa regularly can be out of some peoples price range. So youll have to practice pampering yourself. There are a few spots that do the trick.
When having a panic attack, massage the top part of your nose between the eyes. Just move your finger up and down gently to help you relax. You can also massage your wrists or feet. Sometimes rubbing your chest above the heart can help you unwind. Some people rub ice on themselves in a massaging motion to help stop panic attacks. So you can try that too!
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Controlling Rapid Heartbeat From Anxiety
Because rapid heartbeat is linked to anxiety, the best way to control it is to reduce your anxiety. But for those looking for specific tips to address this one symptom, there are different strategies and techniques you can try:
A rapid heartbeat is, unfortunately, one of those symptoms of anxiety that is not easily stopped. Anxiety is the fight or flight system, and the fight or flight system releases adrenaline which races your heart.
Instead, what you should try to do is focus on preventing rapid heartbeat from creating more anxiety for you. You can do this by learning to breathe during times of anxiousness, waiting out the rapid heartbeat in a comfortable place, and gaining a greater level of understanding about how it occurred.
It may not stop the way your heart beats, but it will give you a chance to prevent rapid heartbeat and other anxiety symptoms from feeding on themselves and causing more anxiety to occur.
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