There are several helpful ways to get through a panic attack if you find that you suffer from them. First of all, if you have panic attacks or suffer from panic disorder, know that you are not alone! Many people experience panic attacks at some point in their lives, and thankfully, panic disorder treatments are EXTREMELY successful in getting people to stop having them all together. (If you are looking for a long term solution, consult a therapist who specializes in panic disorder.) If you are like me, however, and have panic attacks from time to time, remember these ways to get through a panic attack!
One of the most effective ways to get through a panic attack is to slow your breathing. Slowing your breathing will help you to relax your body. During a panic attack, we often breathe very rapidly and cause ourselves to hyperventilate. If you have a hard time slowing your breathing, try breathing into a paper bag as this will reduce the amount of oxygen hitting your brain and will keep you from hyperventilating.
One of the most comforting things you can do in the midst of an attack is to remind yourself it will not last forever! Panic attacks tend to only last for about 10 minutes before subsiding, due to the adrenaline response. So if you are having a panic attack, remind yourself it will pass shortly.
Many people don't understand the physical sensations that come along with a panic attack and think that they could die from them. You can't! No one has ever died from a panic attack, so remember you are safe, and you will be okay.
Don't try to fight your panic attack, and don't worry about having it. The attack happened, you are working through it, and you will be fine. Remind yourself you are human, and panic attacks happen, but you can get through it!
If you can focus on coping statements instead of negative statements, this will help to diffuse your panic attack. Thinking "I am a strong person and can get through this attack" is more helpful than putting yourself down for having one.
In addition to using coping statements, diverting your thoughts to something neutral or pleasant can help ease your panic attack. Negative thoughts only serve to fuel your attack, so if you can think about something other than what provoked your attack, this can help you calm down.
Using the stop and replace method for negative thoughts helps us to extinguish what's fueling the panic attack. If a negative thought pops into your head, don't beat yourself up for having it! Instead, try to replace the negative thought with something that is more positive. For instance if you think, "Why can't I control my panic attacks?" then replace that with, "It is not a flaw that I have panic attacks, and I am a strong person for being able to work through my attack."
Many people have panic attacks, and they can be scary if you don't know what they are or how to deal with them. What other things help you through a panic attack?
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