Have you experienced body sweats, a pounding heart, and racing thoughts? It may be a panic attack, with around 11% of the US population experiencing panic attacks every year. So, what should you do to prevent a panic attack?
Panic attacks are a sudden onset of intense psychological and physiological symptoms in comparison to a constant feeling of anxiety. Some people with panic attacks also have an anxiety or panic disorder diagnosis; however, anyone can experience a panic attack.
The good news is that there are ways to stop panic attacks. Read on to learn how.
Table of Contents
Practice Breathing Techniques
Regulating your breathing can help slow your heart rate, stop dizziness, and signal to your parasympathetic nervous system to relax. Practicing simple breathing techniques can help, such as deep belly breathing. It is common for adults to shallow breathe from their chest, often rapidly during a panic attack.
Focusing on expanding your stomach as you inhale air and then releasing it can help deepen your breath. You can also try breathing techniques such as box breathing or the 4-7-8. This involves inhaling through your nose for four seconds, holding for seven seconds, then exhaling for eight seconds.
Find Something Cold
If you recognize the onset of a panic attack, find something cold, such as ice cubes. You can also run your wrists under cold water or splash your face.
Ice and cold help reset your system, grounding and distracting you. This helps your body release the fight-or-flight response and refocus.
Use Mindfulness Techniques
Focusing on your breath, paying attention to what is around you, and tapping your feet, are all mindfulness techniques to stop a panic attack. You can close your eyes to help focus too. Some people find it helpful to have a grounding item for one of their senses, such as an object for touch or a grounding smell that helps them anchor.
Focus on Prevention
It is also essential to incorporate prevention techniques into your daily life. Exercise is an excellent form of anxiety treatment, helping relax the body.
Other techniques include daily meditation, a healthy diet, a good sleep schedule, and time outside in nature. Anxiety can cause people to distract themselves or not want to stop, but taking a pause can be the medicine you need to relax your body and mind.
Different types of therapy can help with anxiety and panic attacks, including talk therapy. There are also exciting developments within the psychological field, such as ketamine treatments for anxiety, which is showing promising results. Therapy treatments can help address the root cause of anxiety to stop panic attacks.
Learn How To Prevent a Panic Attack
Experiencing a panic attack can be a traumatizing experience, but it is important to remember you have the power to prevent a panic attack. It starts with compassion toward yourself, understanding anxiety symptoms, and recognizing the warning signs of an oncoming attack.
Professional support is also out there to help you; you do not have to go through this alone. Get therapy, call a helpline, or reach out to a loved one to get support.
Did you find this article helpful? Read on for more mental well-being tips!