If you suffer frequent anxiety attacks, you might consider looking for some of the top anxiety treatment centers. However, amid a panic attack, you might not have access to professional medical care. What do you do when the panic starts to set in, and you feel hopeless.
Luckily, there are plenty of techniques that can reduce the severity of your panic attacks and help you manage your symptoms. Panic attacks are downright terrifying and they are even worse when you feel like you don’t have any help.
This article discusses the various ways you can manage your panic attacks so they don’t cause significant damage to aspects of your life. Continue reading to learn more about panic-reducing techniques you can use if you find yourself during a panic attack.
What You Feel
In a panic attack, it can be difficult to describe what you feel. Symptoms vary from person to person and in a state of panic, patients may feel multiple symptoms at once.
However, WebMD classifies panic attacks as severe episodes of panic with four or more of the following symptoms present.
● Feeling like you’re losing control or going crazy
● Pounding heart
● Trembling or shaking
● Trouble breathing
● Chest pain
● Chills or hot flashes
● Out-of-body sensations
● Feeling like you’re choking
● Feeling like you’re going to die
● TIngling or numb extremities
Panic attacks are often mistaken for a medical emergency, such as a heart attack. The symptoms can feel similar, but panic attacks aren’t life-threatening and there are some key differences in the symptoms.
What Happens to Your Body
If you struggle with panic attacks, it helps to understand what happens with your body during a panic attack and why you might feel some of the symptoms you’re feeling. During panic attacks, your “fight-or-flight” response kicks into hyperdrive.
Having a fight or flight response is a normal, essential response to being human. However, in today’s society, we don’t encounter as many imminent threats such as predators. Panic attacks occur as a “fight-or-flight” misfire, your nervous system kicking into action for no apparent reason.
Adrenaline starts to course through your veins, and your body gets put on high alert. Your heartbeat increases, sending more blood to your muscles, and your breathing becomes fast and shallow because your body needs more oxygen. These changes can happen instantly, and it’s understandable why you might feel out of control.
What Happens In Your Brain
From a neurological perspective, scientists are studying how panic attacks affect the brain. Parts of the brain that govern fear may activate during panic attacks. Some studies found that people who suffer from panic attacks increased activity in parts of their brain tied to fight or flight responses. Others found possible links to chemicals in the brain.
Is It a Panic Attack or a Heart Attack
Because of your increased heart rate, blood flow, and breathing, it can feel like having a heart attack. Many people mistake panic attacks for heart attacks and wind up in the hospital with unnecessary medical bills.
You never want to take chest pain lightly and you should always get chest pain diagnosed. However, it’s important to understand the recurring symptoms of panic attacks. If you experience these symptoms frequently and they are tied to panic attacks, it can help reduce the severity of your anxiety attacks.
Remember- Panic Attacks Pass
Another reason to pay close attention to your panic attack symptoms is so you can remind yourself you’re experiencing a physiological response and that it will pass. Acknowledge that you are experiencing a panic attack and don’t try to get rid of your symptoms. Instead, examine how your symptoms change throughout the episode and note when it begins and when it ends.
Follow Your Breath
Deep breathing can help you control your panic attack. However, during a panic attack, you might feel like you can’t take deep breaths. Again, take a curious approach to your breathing during a panic attack. Focus on the breath without trying to change it. Watch how your body breathes on its own.
When you focus on what happens to your breath when you stop trying to control it, you let your body relax and you take your mind off any intrusive thoughts occurring during a panic attack.
You can also try to incorporate the 4-7-8 breathing technique once you start to feel your breathing abate. In this technique, you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7, and exhale for 8.
Remove Yourself from the Situation
People who suffer from anxiety attacks have triggers. For some, it’s large crowds. For others, family functions. When you focus on how panic attacks develop, you start to understand these triggers better. You can pinpoint its beginning, the specific factors that cause it, and understand when to remove yourself from situations that cause panic or dread.
Effective Anxiety Reduction Techniques
A few anxiety reduction techniques can help reduce anxiety overall, thus reducing the likelihood and severity of suffering panic attacks.
● Breathing exercises
● Talk therapy
● Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Conclusion- What Should I Do During an Anxiety Attack?
Having anxiety is a terrifying experience. Many people don’t understand what it feels like and subsequently give awful advice. They may tell the panicking person, “you’re going to be fine,” “just breathe,” or “you’re not going to die.”
These attempts often make panic worse. The best thing you can do as a bystander is to stick with the person and listen to what they say about their feelings throughout the attack. After the attack, you can recommend a remedy for panic attacks and anxiety, such as therapy or meditation.