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8 Practical Tips to Stop a Panic Attack

Mar 16, 2022

Urgent Care

8 Practical Tips to Stop a Panic Attack

If you suddenly experience a sudden episode of intense fear that leads to severe physical reactions even though there is no real cause or danger, you may be having a panic attack.

If you’re wondering how do panic attacks happen, the triggers may include over-breathing or long periods of stress.

Although panic attacks aren’t life-threatening, they can be frightening. Additionally, they can significantly affect the quality of your life because when they occur, you might start wondering whether you’re losing control or, worse, dying. According to reports, around 13% of people will experience a panic attack in their lifetime.

Eight tips to stop a panic attack

  1. Remember that the feeling of panic will pass, and no matter how scary it feels, it won’t cause any physical harm.
  2. Try to breathe deeply, as this can help bring the attack under control and reduce the chances of hyperventilating, which can worsen the panic attack.
  3. Soothing fragrances can help prevent anxiety. E.g., lavender can bring a sense of calmness.
  4. Try to find a peaceful spot to help create a mental space from sounds and sights that can potentially intensify attacks.
  5. Focus on a physical source in the surroundings to help you fight distressful thoughts or feelings. Describe the shape, color, and features of the object to yourself to calm yourself
  6. The 5-4-3-2-1 countdown method is a type of grounding technique that helps direct an individual’s focus away from stressful sources.
  7. Repeating a mantra (a phrase, sound, or word that helps with focus and provides strength) internally can help you come out of a panic attack.
  8. Muscle relaxation techniques can help limit an attack as the body relaxes, diminishing other symptoms like rapid breathing. Try progressive muscle relaxation where you squeeze one fist as hard as possible, count to ten, and then let your hand relax completely. You’ll find your muscles feeling more relaxed than before you started the exercise. Systematically constricting and relaxing various muscle groups can relieve stress and have a calming effect.

Also read: What Are the Main Causes of Sudden Dizziness and Vomiting?

Effective ways to reduce anxiety

Some useful methods to minimize your anxiety include

  • Meditation
  • Practice breathing exercises
  • Talktherapy, e.g., Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people who frequently have panic attacks and patients with panic disorders.
  • Regular exercise
  • Speaking to someone you trust

How can I prevent panic attacks?

Although experts haven’t found the best treatment for panic attacks or any way to help prevent them completely, you can take steps to protect yourself. Some of these methods include

  • Identifying any possible triggers in your environment. This can help you minimize the chances of developing a panic attack.
  • Following a healthy diet and exercising more.
  • Learning how to handle negative thoughts differently, such as trying relaxing techniques like meditation.
  • Practicing better time management and avoiding overworking yourself. Don’t force yourself to work more than you can.

Also read: COVID and Hypertension: What’s the Common Connection?

When should you visit your doctor?

Visit a doctor if you or a loved one have concerns about panic attacks or if they’re worsening. Your healthcare provider can develop the best treatment plans for panic attacks, such as counseling to reduce impact and manage symptoms. In fact, most panic attack patients get relief after treatment.

Wondering how to overcome anxiety or panic attacks? Our team at MI Express Primary Care in Canton, MI, can provide effective care for anxiety and depression. Schedule an appointment today to speak to our board-certified doctor.

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