A panic attack can be a pretty dramatic experience if you suffer from one for the first time, or you find yourself suffering from a panic attack on a regular basis. There are some essential things to know about panic attacks whether it is your first one or one of many. These attacks can ruin your social life, create a constant feeling of anxiety, and can develop out of nowhere. Anytime a person goes through a major life change, loss or stressful time, panic attacks can occur, even with no history. Panic attacks create a shortness of breath, a feeling of losing control, increased heart rate and even dizziness. If you find yourself suffering from a panic attack, remember these things to do immediately. Taking action is the first thing you should do when you experience this type of panic in the body. You don’t just have to let panic attacks ruin your life if you know how to manage them effectively. Try implementing these tips and if you have any of your own, please feel free to share them!
1 Get in a Quiet Place ASAP
One of the best things to do when suffering from a panic attack is to immediately escape to a quiet place. If you’re in a meeting, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom, or if you’re in a public place, go outside and take a walk or go to the restroom. Many times, just removing yourself from the situation can automatically calm down the body. Trust me, no matter how much you feel it may inconvenience someone you’re with for you to leave, it is better to do so than to try to combat the attack while around others.
2 Practice Deep Breaths
Once you get to a quiet place, try deep breathing. This one simple action automatically calms down the central nervous system and eases anxiety. Deep breathing also changes the way blood flows through your blood vessels, which lowers the heart rate and blood pressure. Also be sure to breath out through your mouth and in through your nose. If you try to gasp air through your mouth, it can actually make breathing harder and less effective at calming you down.
3 Drink Some Water
Another tip to remember is to drink some water if you’re suffering from a panic attack. If you’re dehydrated already, you should be drinking water to prevent letting uneven breaths cause you to choke. Or, if you’re having a panic attack, your breath may cause you to become dehydrated, which could lead to choking. Drink some water once your breath is calm and you can manage to swallow.
4 Remember That You Are in Control
One important thing to remember when you’re suffering from a panic attack is to keep in mind that you are in complete control. Though you feel out of control, you aren’t and you have complete control to calm yourself down. You are the most powerful tool in managing panic attacks, even though it feels like the opposite!
5 Close Your Eyes
As you practice deep breathing, close your eyes and just focus on your breath. Disturbances you may see or be subjected to can harm your ability to calm yourself down. After you’re away from a situation, calm yourself down by closing your eyes and just focusing on your breath. Tell yourself you’re in control and just keep practicing this same repetitive sequence until you’ve managed to get control again.
6 Don’t Feel Badly about Yourself
If you suffer panic attacks, you shouldn’t feel badly about yourself. They can occur from a variety of instances, and plenty of people have them, or will have them at some point in their life. Also, a panic attack is nothing more than a bodily function serving as a warning sign. Paying attention to why and when you suffer from panic attacks is the important part. Don’t judge yourself, but instead, start paying attention to why they occur in the first place.
7 Talk to Someone
After you calm yourself down, it may help to call someone or talk to someone about what is bothering you. This can ease stress, and help you get some perspective on why the attacks are occurring. The good thing is, you may not need medication at all, once you’ve gotten control of your feelings and are understanding why they are happening in the first place.
Though it seems obvious, drugs, alcohol, smoking and junk food will not help your stress when you’re suffering from an attack. In fact, these things can make matters worse. Yoga, walking and meditation each day, along with journaling can also be effective management tips to help you prevent attacks from occurring at all. If you know someone who has suffered panic attacks, or if you have, what can you share about what has helped?