How To Stop Panic Attacks In Its Tracks with 4 Therapist Recommended Useful Strategies
Panic attacks are frightening and it is important to understand how to stop panic attacks, and possibly manage the triggers to stop panic attacks in its tracks.
Panic attacks are frightening, sudden bouts of intense fear that can seem to come from nowhere. These attacks usually peak within minutes and then subside after about ten or so minutes.
Panic attacks can be unpredictable as well. One minute you’ll be fine and the next, you could be on the verge of panic. Many factors can contribute to the development of these panic attacks, which is why we explore several natural ways that you can treat this anxiety with ease. This article covers everything you need to know about how panic attacks form, tips for diagnosis, and treatment options that work effectively to stop panic attacks.
Do you have frequent panic attacks that feel out of control? Therapy can help to subside the anxiety and manage the symptoms of panic attacks in better ways.
What is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is a sudden, intense episode of fear that occurs due to excessive stress. The body goes into a state of hyper-arousal during a panic attack, which can cause many symptoms including:
- Elevated heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Heightened sense of danger.
Panic attacks can be very intense and disabling, and can cause sufferers significant emotional and physical distress. Although they are not dangerous, they are often distressing, and can significantly impact everyday life, causing frustration and limitation in social and occupational function.
It is important to be aware that panic attacks are often a symptom of something else, rather than a sign of serious illness. Hence timely therapeutic intervention is a much-needed step to resolve underlying issues and stop panic attacks.
Signs and Symptoms of a Panic Attack
Canada based Psychologist explains symptoms of panic attack and being aware of these signs can help you to stop panic attacks in its track and learn healthier coping strategies.
1. Difficulty breathing
You may feel like you’re about to pass out or even vomit, or you may feel like you’re choking. You may feel dizzy, unsteady, faint or light-headed.
You may feel like you’re breathing too fast and too shallowly, which can make you dizzy and unable to concentrate.
You may feel your whole body break out in a cold sweat, or you may feel like you’re freezing, even though it’s warm in the room.
You may feel nauseous or like you’re going to vomit, even though nothing is coming up.
You may feel shaky or like you’re trembling, even though you’re not.
6. Heart palpitations
You may feel your heart beating very rapidly or irregularly, or you may feel your heart skipping beats.
You may feel like you’re in dangerous and life-threatening danger, even though you are not.
These signs can vary according to situations and people. It is best to discuss these warning signs with a therapist and plan out the most suitable treatment course.
Identify Underlying Causes To Stop Panic Attacks
The underlying causes of a panic attack can be difficult to pinpoint, and will vary from person to person. You may find that certain situations trigger panic attacks, such as being in a public place where you have to speak with others, or meeting a person with whom you have shared a difficult history.
Other reasons may include having a health condition, being overworked, or having a relationship breakdown.
Panic attacks are often caused by an underlying cause, so it’s important to try to identify this and deal with it. You may feel a sense of hopelessness or like you’ve been pushed to your limit, which could be a sign that you need to talk to a therapist or figure out some life issues at hand.
Talk to a Therapist/Counselor before trying self-treatments
If you’re finding that your self-help treatments aren’t working, it may be a good idea to seek professional help. Panic & Anxiety disorders are a serious issue that typically need to be treated by a professional.
The best way to do this is to talk to a therapist or counselor about your symptoms and concerns. It’s important to remember that you are not alone, and that you don’t have to suffer in silence. By talking to someone, you can get help in managing your symptoms and stop panic attacks.
Moreover, if you feel hesitant in discussing about your symptoms in person you can always opt for online therapy. It is as effective as offline therapy with the additional benefits of saving money and time in traveling.
Effective Strategies To Stop Panic Attacks
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT has been shown to be one of the most effective treatment options for panic and anxiety issues. This form of therapy focuses on identifying the negative thinking patterns that contribute to your panic attack, and replacing them with more realistic and positive thoughts.
CBT involves many effective tools and techniques such as systematic desensitization. In this technique the individual learns how to identify their fears and overcome them using relaxation techniques. These methods have been proven to be most useful in treating panic and anxiety disorder and equip you with coping habits that help to stop panic attacks.
The practice of meditation has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and panic in both genders. Those who engage in meditation have been shown to experience reduced levels of cortisol, a hormone that raises blood pressure and stress. Meditation is a great way to stop panic attacks.
Regular practice helps you to calm your mind and induce a relaxed state. It can strengthen your mind and allow you to handle triggers in a much calmer and positive manner.
Breathwork is all about the way and manner in which you breath. Fast breath is a common sign of panic attack. Controlling the pace of your breath can not only help you to stop panic attacks but also cause you to live longer and have a stress-free life.
Breathwork is truly amazing in all the ways! A Therapist or Meditation Coach can help you to master the art of breathwork and how you can use it to relieve stress and anxiety.
4. Call Up a Trusted Friend/Family
Always keep a few emergency numbers ready. When you feel that a panic attack is coming immediately dial up a trusted friend or a family member who can talk to you and help you to relax.
It becomes difficult to think in rational ways when you are having a panic attack. There is a spiral of negative thoughts that keeps pulling you down into a dark hole. These voices of fear in your head are never true and talking to someone can help you to stay grounded and tone down the symptoms of panic attack.
This is often the most reliable and immediate step to stop panic attacks.
5. Stop Panic Attacks Tool Kit
I had a friend who suffered from high anxiety. 3 months after she moved to New York her long-distance relationship could not work out. The break-up took a negative toll on her mental health and she started to have bad panic attacks.
Being alone in the big city she had nobody to reach out to. When she confronted me about her issues via a video call I suggested that she should reconnect with her therapist online and be more regular with the sessions. Fortunately, the session worked well for her and she learned some super useful strategies to stop panic attacks before they blow out completely.
One of the most fascinating things that stuck with me was her ‘stop panic attacks tool kit’. This tool box consisted of stress ball, puzzle books, blowing bubble, mandala art, her journal and affirmation cards. These things help her to stay focused and calm and relieve panic like symptoms.
Avoiding the Triggers of a Panic Attack
If you’re treating a panic attack, it’s important to try to avoid the triggers that can cause them. If you know a specific place is causing you panic attacks, avoid going there.
If you’re around a certain person who usually causes you to have an attack, try to distance yourself from them. Avoidance does not mean that you completely shut off every possible place or person that could trigger the attack. It only means to be more self-aware of your triggers and protecting yourself.
It may also be helpful to try to identify what you do during a panic attack that makes you feel more comfortable. For example, if you feel like you’re about to pass out, try to sit up straight and focus on breathing. If you feel like you’re about to vomit, try to focus on something else until the feelings subside.
Diverting your attention to the surroundings or using all your 5 senses (eyes to see, nose to smell, skin to touch, mouth to taste, and ears to hear) is a useful technique to stop panic attacks.
How can therapy help to stop panic attack?
If you’re having panic attacks, working with a therapist or counselor can be extremely helpful. A professional can help you identify the underlying causes of your attacks, so you can use that knowledge to prevent them in the future.
While you may find that you can manage most attacks on your own, professional help can help with those that are more severe or difficult to manage. A therapist can also help you identify other factors that may be contributing to your anxiety, so you can learn to stop panic attacks on your own.
Panic attacks are certainly a scary business. They are often an indication of a more serious underlying issues that needs to be addressed immediately.
If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks then we strongly recommend to consult a therapist. Additionally you can also inculcate these 5 useful strategies to relieve anxiety and stop panic attacks in its tracks.