Having a panic attack can be scary. It feels like you’re losing control of your body and mind! You might feel hopeless and not know how to handle it. Thankfully, it’s possible to reduce your symptoms.
Follow these 7 steps to naturally stop panic attacks in its tracks:
1. Know The Symptoms
It’s good to be able to recognize when you’re about to have a panic attack. This way, you can make the appropriate move. And while everyone is different, there are common symptoms. Many people have tremors, nausea, chest pain, and a fast heart rate. Sweating and trembling are also likely.1
2. Stop What You’re Doing
Since a panic attack happens suddenly, you’ll probably be doing something else when it starts. You may need to briefly stop what you’re doing. For example, if you’re driving and can’t focus on the road, pull over. If you’re at the grocery store, find a spot off to the side. This will give you a chance to focus on calming your mind and body.
Hitting pause will also give you a chance to control your breathing. After all, it likely feels like your heart is going crazy! So try to practice deep breathing. This will help the blood and oxygen flow to your brain. Deep breathing will also encourage calmness by waking up your parasympathetic nervous system.2
4. Stay In Place
While it helps to stop what you’re doing, don’t run away. Staying put will increase your tolerance for the location. Confronting the area will strengthen your ability to combat the panic attack! Otherwise, you might start to associate panic attacks with that place. Stay in the same place so you can focus on breathing.3
5. Distract Yourself
Once you have control of your breathing, continue what you were doing. Better yet, do something that you love. Listening to music, cooking, and stretching are all great ideas. Anything that promotes relaxation is fair game. It will show your brain that danger is not actually present.
6. Think Realistically
Remind yourself that every panic attack will eventually end. Think about how you have overcome past attacks and anxious feelings. It’s also a good idea to notice that you’re not in any immediate danger. If needed, give yourself a mantra or phrase to repeat. You can even write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet.
7. Seek Help
Don’t be ashamed to look for support. If you’re near loved ones, reach out. Call a friend or family member that you love to talk to. It’ll serve as a distraction while providing security and comfort. And if you have panic attacks often, meet with a therapist for professional guidance.
You can also prevent panic attacks by practicing stress management. It’s also a good idea to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. If your therapist prescribes medicine, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
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