When it comes down to it, you shouldn’t really try to stop your panic attacks.
In fact, you shouldn’t be having any panic attacks in the first place.
Panic and anxiety as a whole are not regular states of being and are obviously problems that need to be dealt with.
Easier said than done, really.
The treatment for both anxiety and depression is all about finding the causes of these problems and eliminating them.
In other words, the real problem is the fact that you are having panic attacks in the first place, and not said attacks in and of themselves
All of that being said, treating your anxiety disorder, and panic attacks by extension, takes time.
Until you overcome these problems, panic attacks are altogether unavoidable and need to be handled.
You can meditate, exercise and just boost your overall energy levels (something that will make you less prone to panic attacks, as it helps to manage anxiety), but these are just long-term solutions to a much more pressing issue.
Panic attacks are quick, powerful and can happen at any given time, making them difficult to deal with.
As such, the method that you use to stop these panic attacks needs to simple, quick and effective – one that you can remember despite your panicked state of mind.
With that in mind, here is how to stop a panic attack both quickly and effectively.
1) Take a look at yourself
One of the biggest problems with panic attacks is that they twist and bend at your mind, making you believe in things that are simply not true
This line of thinking is actually quite common and many people experience these sort of thoughts during a panic attack.
Some examples include: “I am going to die!”, “There is no way out of this!”, “I am choking!”.
Yeah, you need to stop that line of thinking.
Don’t say stuff like this, it affects your subconscious mind in the long run, and also serves to make you feel worse.
It’s as if you are convincing yourself that you are feeling bad.
The most important step that you can take in overcoming your panic attack is recognizing it for what it is.
An uncomfortable experience, but one that will end very soon.
Positive reinforcement also helps many people.
Try telling yourself things like “This isn’t so bad”, “My life is great”, “I have people who love me!”.
You will be shocked by how noticeable the improvement in your condition will become.
Positive influence, even the type that you have to yourself, is going to have a huge effect in a situation like this one when you feel that you hit rock bottom – that little reminder will make all the difference in the world.
Even if you don’t find meaning in these words, their real power comes from the fact that they keep your mind grounded.
Panic attacks pull you away from reality, so the best thing for you to do is to pull yourself back into it.
Another helpful method is self-reflection.
Ultimately, a panic attack has to be triggered by something and it doesn’t really matter what.
The thing is that most of these triggers are relatively minor.
After regaining a measure of control of your thoughts, the best thing that you can do is approach your panic logically.
Ask yourself questions like:
- “Why am I feeling like this?”
- “Is this issue really that bad?”
- “Is there a way for me to improve this situation?”
- “Can I tolerate something like this?”
Panic attacks are irrational and highly emotional affairs, so thinking about them logically should help you deal with them.
2) Control your body, don’t let it control you!
Anxiety doesn’t only happen inside your head, it also has great effects on your body.
Much like you have learned to control your mind, now you must control your body.
The most dangerous part about panic attacks is that they affect both body and mind, and that both the body and the mind affect each other.
In other words, the physical symptoms of panic can actually make the panic itself worse.
For example, one symptom of panic is dizziness.
This feeling of dizziness can contribute to the overall detachment from reality that people experience during a panic attack.
This, in turn, can make the world around them feel even less real, making the situation as a whole much worse.
So what can you do? Plenty.
Sitting down is the first step you need to take.
Not only does panic cause muscle weakness, but the dizziness as a whole can make it difficult to remain standing.
Panic attacks are known to cause hyperventilation – Quick and shallow breathing.
By controlling your breathing you can return your body back to normal much quicker.
One of the best breathing exercises is the 4-7-8 method.
It goes a little something like this:
- Take a deep breath from your nose to a count of 4
- Hold your breath to a count of 7
- Exhale slowly from your mouth to the count of 8
Once you regained some measure of control over your breathing you can start moving around, pacing from side to side etc.
Walking will help you regulate your blood flow and body temperature and it can help you deal with anxiety much matter.
Panic can also dry you out, so it’s important to drink some water as soon as possible.
Plus, staying hydrated is a good thing.
3) Talk with someone
This is the third and final step in stopping a panic attack.
Once you regained control over both your body and mind you’ve essentially gone through the worst parts of your panic attack.
The third step involves talking to someone else about your experience.
The idea here is that you have already regained some measure of control, and are relatively “okay”, but the emotional stress is still there.
Getting it out of your system is the best way to deal with it.
Aside from that, talking with other people stimulates your mind.
Only once you are able to hold a conversation with them will you truly be ready to go.
After all, talking with other people requires a measure of control over your own thoughts and emotions.
If your mind hasn’t recovered fully yet then other people will be able to draw it out from you.
Aside from that, the added benefit of sharing your problems with your friends and family is that they become more aware of them.
In other words, the next time you have such a negative experience their response is more likely to be quicker and more efficient.
Having someone to look out for you while you are having a panic attack is extremely beneficial, but can also be quite difficult.
After all, if you put this burden on someone who couldn’t care less for you then you are only going to hurt yourself once they retaliate and tell you that they had enough.
Still, having that one go-to person to help you, even over the phone, can go a long way in making you feel better.
Not only can they help you out, but they can also distract you from the experience, making you refocus on something else.
Let’s quickly review…
This article is quite long and drawn out, but the methods themselves are quite simple to remember:
- Recognize your condition for what it is and control it
- Control your breathing and, through it, your entire body.
- Talk to people and have them talk to you, preferably in person but just calling them on the phone will be enough to help
Panic attacks are relatively short and spontaneous experiences, but once they happen they are difficult to deal with.
You won’t be able to recall complicated methods, so remembering these few simple points is the best you can do right now.
But I will say this again since this is vital: These steps won’t get rid of your panic attacks, they will just help you out when one does occur.
It is possible to get better, and you can even help yourself from home, but it will not be easy.
In fact, you are going to have to commit to getting better in the long-term as well.
My biggest recommendation would be the “Panic Away Program”
It details many effective methods of both treating and stopping panic attacks.
Not only that, but there are also videos of people demonstrating each of these methods live.
You should defenitely check it out for yourself.
Here’s a quick question before you go on your way – “What was your experience with panic attacks like?”
Maybe they are recurring, maybe you are only here to see how you can help a friend who suffers from panic attacks, but your answers are important to me all the same.
Make sure to write them down in the comment section below – I read every single one of them.
If you have anything at all you would like to discuss with me personally feel free to hit me up.
My Email is: firstname.lastname@example.org