Panic attacks can happen to anyone at any time. One in four people will suffer from panic attacks and be afraid to accomplish certain things. They will avoid those situations in order to prevent the panic attack or to not experience the panic attack again. That is not how you want to handle your panic attacks. You know that in so doing, you’ve given in to the panic attack and reinforced the idea that what you were doing was dangerous and that your body and you could not handle it.
What is a Panic Attack?
The panic attack is –just as the name implies—a sudden onset of pounding heart, increased blood pressure, shortness of breath, dizziness and feelings of impending doom. It can be caused by nearly anything, sometimes just by driving along and thinking you can trigger a panic attack. There isn’t any real causative agent, although of course many different things—and sometimes nothing at all, can trigger the attack for people.
If you’re really determined to get your life back, you can. It’s going to take some effort and some time, but you can overcome your panic attacks in many cases. With a few simple tips to assist you in overcoming the panic attack, you can, over time, get the panic attacks under control and take back your life.
5 Tips to Fight Panic Attacks
You’re in Control–To stop a panic attack you have to let the panic know that you are in control. The panic attack is taking the cue from you. If you avoid it or don’t go to it or pretend it doesn’t exist or run away from something each time, then your panic attack is being reinforced. The panic will return because you’re reinforcing the behavior or the thought that this is a dangerous thing and must be avoided.
Talk to yourself firmly. Consciously speak to yourself and say, this is not dangerous, this is something my body can handle. I am in control of the panic.
When you leave the situation, for example a supermarket or a store and tell yourself that it really is dangerous, you’re teaching yourself to panic again and again. You can handle what is happening. Tell yourself firmly, “I can do this, I will not run.” and then don’t. The more that you avoid the situation or run from it, the more your body will believe that panic was the right response.
Take Deep Breaths—During a panic attack you’re taking shorter, more shallow breaths. Getting a breath of fresh air often will help you to feel as though you can breathe better and help the panic attacks to slow down. Force yourself to slow down and breathe slowly and deeply. If you cannot then hold your breath. This will give your body a little reset and help you to breathe normally.
Simply pretend that you are not having a panic attack. If you continue to behave normally and to act as though nothing is happening, your body will realize and understand that nothing is happening. If there truly were danger, you could not and would not stand still and breathe and talk. Your body will get bored with it all and actually stop the symptoms of the panic if you continue to act as though nothing out of the ordinary is happening.
Act Methodically—if you do so, your body knows that panic isn’t necessary and slows down those symtoms. Keep eating, acting, thinking swimming, whatever it is that you are doing, continue to do it methodically and your body will get the message that the breathing and panting and sweating isn’t necessary.
In short, be in control of your body. It sounds crazy, it sounds impossible, but the fact is that if you take control of the panic attacks you can very often stop them from happening.
The body believes that something is dangerous. The body believes that you need the exercise and the ability to “fight or flight.” So long as it believes that you’re going to have the symptoms that the panic attack brings you. Take over and make your body sure that you’re not going to need those things. Behave as normally as you possibly can and before long, you’re going to be more in control of your panic attacks than they are of you.
According to Michiel Bosman, Psychiatrist, the key is “to seek help when you need it. For instance, try one of the self help options available online.”