The best part about panic attacks is when they come to an end.
I don’t think that there is a single person out there who enjoys experiencing a panic attack. So when it finally stops we are supposed to feel happy or, at the very least, relieved.
Except for when we don’t.
Not only is the experience itself very difficult, but it can also be a cause for something much worse.
One panic attack can lead to another, and soon enough these attacks can become a recurring issue.
Not only that, but people fear panic attacks, something which only makes them worse.
They find themselves running away from any possible triggers, and soon enough this state of mind starts controlling their lives.
Clearly, this problem needs to be dealt with.
Luckily for us, there are certain things that you can do to get better after having a panic attack and minimize any future attacks.
Even better, most of these methods can be done at any time in any place, making them highly practical and require no preparation.
From the moment you finish reading this article, you will be able to benefit from it.
Hopefully not, of course.
After all, panic attacks are an experience that we can all do without.
After a panic attack, emotions run high and impulses become difficult to manage and control.
Without being in the right state of mind you will not be able to further help yourself in any way, you are essentially compromised.
Because of that, relaxing should be your top priority after having a panic attack.
Wash your face, sit down, regain control over your breathing or maybe even get something to drink.
helpful activities with almost immediate proven benefits.
You can’t move on from your problem as long as you don’t get better.
Once you feel at least somewhat better you can actually start tending to your physical needs.
Feeling weak after a panic attack is a very common response.
Not only are panic attacks affect the mind, they also place a great burden on the body.
You see, all anxiety-related responses are caused by hormones in our brains.
Some of these hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, can have difficult after effects.
When going through a panic attack you are put under great stress.
Blood is redistributed all over your body and adrenaline allows you to ignore the side effects.
When you come down from that rush, however, you are faced with symptoms such as muscle weakness and dizziness.
These symptoms can last for a while, and that’s not even counting the mental side of things!
In other words, after relaxing, your immediate priority is to take care of your body and rest.
If possible, you might want to take the rest of the day off and get some proper rest.
Take a nap, eat a full meal and get something to drink (Dehydration is a major contributing factor to panic attack, after all)
Your body will thank you for it.
3) Come to term with the experience
So, after taking care of your immediate needs it is time to look out for your longterm solution to this problem.
After all, it is possible for you to experience more panic attacks in the future.
As such, minimizing the risk of these panic attacks is very important.
The first thing that you need to do after going through a panic attack is self-reflection.
Look at the experience for what it is, understand why you reacted the way that you did and look at it from a logical standpoint:
- Was your reaction appropriate?
- How long did your experience last?
- How did it make you feel?
- Is there something that you can do to avoid having this experience?
I would recommend writing the experience down in journal form.
Expressive writing greatly benefits your mental health, and getting this problem out of your system is crucial
Aside from that, describing your experience will make it seem much more real.
In many cases, the very thought of having a panic attack intimidates us, which only makes our overall anxiety worse.
Because of that, fearing panic attacks and living your life running away from them can actually make them more common, not less.
That’s easier said than done though, seeing as panic attacks are quite terrifying for those who experience them.
After all, many people experiencing a panic attack believe that they are suffocating or even that they are going to die.
In other words, panic attacks are quite overpowering.
By defining your experience and understanding it you will be able to look at your panic attack for what it is – an unpleasant experience, but one that can be managed and dealt with.
4) Look for any possible triggers
Many people who went through a panic attack believe that these attacks are at least somewhat random.
They believe that these attacks can happen at any time and in any place, making them quite difficult to predict.
In reality, however, they are anything but.
The truth is that panic attacks have very specific causes, regardless of how obscure they may be.
Reflect on your recent experience and ask yourself “What made me react this way?”
Sometimes the answer might be clear, in others not as much.
Certain situations that act as triggers may have some things in common, even if they do not seem to.
If, by this point, you already experienced multiple panic attacks then you should compare them to one another and search for any common ground.
This actually makes reflection even more important and makes having a journal all the more beneficial.
After all, you might not remember all of the specifics of a panic attack that you had three months ago, but your journal certainly will.
5) Learn to tolerate your triggers
Once you discover what triggered your panic attack be sure to avoid it… for now.
Running away from these triggers will only work against you in the long run.
Learning to tolerate your triggers is very important, and as long as you don’t you will never be free of this condition.
Exposure therapy is a particularly popular form of treatment for this problem.
This form of therapy works on the assumption that slowly exposing us to certain things, such as fears or triggers, can help us tolerate them better.
In many cases, it can be done from the comforts of your home, which is a huge plus.
For example, if a person’s panic attack trigger is crowds then they can start by talking to someone over the phone.
Then they could talk to someone face to face, and then hold a conversation with two people and so on.
The idea is that everyone has a limit to how much they can tolerate something.
For those of us who experience recurring panic attacks, discovering that limit and slowly pushing it is a very viable method of getting better.
In some cases, if the trigger or the trauma are severe enough, this can actually work against you.
For example, showing a war veteran with PTSD videos of military action can do a lot more harm than good.
The same can be said about panic attacks.
Should the trigger be rooted in trauma it can be very difficult to deal with.
In these cases, it is best to meet with a therapist and get professional help.
6) Continue living your life
After you make peace with the experience and identify any possible triggers the best thing you can do is move on.
The truth is that after doing these things you are as prepared to deal with any future panic attacks as you will ever be.
Doing any more than that will not benefit you.
In fact, putting too much emphasis on your experience might actually make your situation worse.
Think about it.
If you let thoughts of panic attacks consume you you will soon find them dominating your life.
You will start avoiding normal, daily situations based solely on whether or not they are possible triggers.
You will become paranoid, maybe even obsessed, with these panic attacks.
And you don’t want that.
By accepting the experience and moving on you are choosing to put it behind you.
Sure, you will still work towards minimizing future panic attacks, but you will do it in a controlled manner.
You will learn to control your panic attack rather than allow yourself to be controlled by them.
There is a big, beautiful world out there.
It would be a pity if you wasted your days running away from it.
Panic attacks can be permanently dealt with
Not everyone will be able to put all of these steps to use.
In some severe cases, the anxiety of the experience can overwhelm a person to the point where they need further help.
The point where they can’t help themselves.
Luckily for us, these cases are relatively few and far in between.
Given time, you will be able to minimize your panic attacks to the absolute minimum, maybe even get rid of them for good.
But it won’t be easy.
If you are determined to help yourself then I would highly recommend checking out the Panic Away Program.
Not only does it detail some of the best methods of overcoming anxiety in all shapes and sizes, but it is also very actionable.
Try it out for yourself, you will be thanking me later.
If you would like to get in touch then feel free to send me an email, I always read those.