What Should You Do While Having A Panic Attack?

by on November 24, 2014

A panic attack can begin suddenly, sometimes with very little warning. A panic attack can be especially frightening if you are unfamiliar with the symptoms. One thingKeeping Panic from Controlling You that makes panic attacks so unsettling is that they can cause both physical and physiological symptoms — that is, they affect your mental/emotional state and your body. PsychCentral lists a number of the symptoms, including:

– Dizziness and lightheadedness
– Choking sensations and nausea
– Fatigue and weakness
– Muscle spasms
– Hot flashes or sudden chills
– A fear that you’re going crazy
– A fear that you might die or be seriously ill

A lot of people are concerned with preventing panic attacks, and it can certainly be helpful to familiarize yourself with the lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the frequency of the attacks.

Common recommendations for people who are prone to panic attacks are to avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine (for example, chocolate and coffee) and to try to get a restful and full night’s sleep. Taking care of your physical and emotional health by being mindful of your stress level is also helpful.

One thing that people who panic attacks worry about is what to do once an attack has already started. At that point, preventative measures are no longer helpful. According to an article on PsychCentral, “How to Halt and Minimize Panic Attacks“, there are a number of techniques you can use to calm yourself when you are having a panic attack.

Learning how to utilize deep breathing techniques is one way you can cope with panic attacks as well as other anxiety-related problems. Deep breathing helps you to feel calm, controlled, and steadied. It can de-escalate some of the anxiety you feel when having a panic attack. It can also help you to slow the racing, irrational thoughts that often come with a panic attack.

About.com also suggests using distraction as a strategy to lessen the severity of a panic attack. By taking your mind off the unpleasant symptoms of a panic attack, you can gain a measure of control of the situation. Thinking about positive things in your life during a panic attack can be helpful, especially because of the negative thoughts that can overtake you during an attack. Reminding yourself of people and places you appreciate or imagining a peaceful setting can help you to calm down and make it through the attack, according to the About site.

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