If you have experienced a panic attack, you know how scary it can be. Avoiding them may not be completely possible, but having some tricks in your arsenal to help slow or overcome them quickly can be a lifesaver. Panic attacks can happen in a variety of places and last for minutes or much longer. Below are some techniques to help you handle the onset of a panic attack and return to a calmer state.
1- Utilize Breathing Techniques
Regulating breathing is one of the best ways to reset your brain and help you return to a calmer state. Breathing in for 4 to 10 seconds, holding that breath for another 4 to 10 seconds, and then breathing out for 4 to 10 seconds can help prevent you from hyperventilating. Most people who experience panic attacks have shallow breathing or rapid breathing. Slowing this to a normal rate helps to signal to your body that everything is ok.
2- Close Your Eyes
Panic attacks can happen when you are around triggers. Sometimes closing your eyes to avoid looking at the situation or the objects around you can help limit the onset of a panic attack. If there are lots of stimuli or too many things happening around you, closing your eyes will help limit distractions and decrease anxiety.
3- Realize You Are Having A Panic Attack
Often a panic attack can feel like a heart attack or other serious health issue. While panic attacks are serious, recognizing that you are having a panic attack rather than a heart attack can help alleviate some anxiety.
Taking away some of the fear that you might be dying will help you to focus on breathing or using a grounding technique. Knowing your triggers, or beginning to understand what a panic attack feels like will help you to get through the attack when it does come.
4- Find A Focus Object
Some individuals may find that focusing on one object can help stop or limit the symptoms during the onset of a panic attack. Finding one object around you and noting all the details of it can help ground you. Looking at a vase or photo and noticing the colors and designs, or if it is slightly tilted can help remind you that you are in the present. Putting all your energy into looking and thinking about the object may help panic symptoms subside.
5- Work With A Counselor
If you continue to have frequent panic attacks, speaking with a therapist or counselor about how to better manage them could help. It is often impossible to avoid some of our triggers, but talking about them and learning ways to cope with stress could limit your panic attacks.
6- Practice Mindfulness
Meditation and mantras have been found to help keep our minds sharp and focused on the good. If you find that you are extremely stressed or anxious, mindfulness can help you focus on more positive things and limit the onset of a panic attack.
When our body doesn’t know how to handle a stressful situation, it can go into fight or flight mode. Training our minds to relax and focus on solving a problem can help limit panic symptoms.
7- Use Ice
Sometimes a shock to your system will help you overcome a panic attack. Using an ice pack, taking a cold shower, or splashing your face with cold water can all help to reset your system. Some find that rubbing ice packs on their chest or around their temples helps to alleviate chest pain and calm them down. Once you can breathe again, try holding the ice packs in your hands or placing them on your lower back and belly until you feel that attack subside.
Therapy Help With Ogden Psychological Services
Our therapists are here to help you work through and manage your mental health symptoms. Each patient has a unique skill set and unique needs that they can use to help them manage panic attack symptoms. Ogden Psychological Services provides a safe space to discuss triggering topics and gives you the coping skills and confidence to live a more well-balanced life.
Life is stressful, especially in the world we live in today. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness and can help us overcome stressful situations or large life changes. Our therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors will give you the tools you need. Contact us on our website or by phone to set up your first appointment.