Panic attacks are sudden intense surges of fear, panic, or anxiety. They can be overwhelming and overpowering, but knowing what to do when they arise can reduce their severity or help stop them.
Study states that about 13% of people will experience one in their lifetime.
They symptoms of panic attack are not dangerous but can be frightening. It has physical symptoms as well as emotional symptoms. The former includes shaking, feeling disorientated, nausea, rapid, irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, breathlessness, sweating and dizziness, while emotional symptoms are feeling of fear and anxiety, feeling of impending doom and intense, repetitive worrying.
Some people will also experience chest pain and a feeling of detachment from reality or themselves during a panic attack, so they may think they’re having a heart attack. Others have reported feeling like they are having a stroke.
How To Reduce Symptoms of a Panic Attack
1. Take deep breath: deep breathing can help bring a panic attack under control. When panic attack arises, try to breathe slowly and deeply, concentrating on each breath.
People can also try using 4-7-8 breathing, or “relaxing breath.” With this technique, the person breathes in for 4 seconds, holds the breath for 7 seconds, then exhales slowly for 8 seconds.
2. Walk or do some light exercise: walking can remove a person from a stressful environment, and the rhythm of walking may also help them regulate their breathing.
Moving around releases hormones called endorphins that relax the body and improve mood. Taking up regular exercise can help reduce anxiety over time, which may lead to a reduction in the number or severity of panic attacks.
3. Know the signs/ triggers: it is important to take note of what triggers panic attack. You could be on a hike, at a restaurant, or asleep in bed. All of a sudden you get a strIt can last 5 to 20 minutes.
Once you learn to recognize when attacks are coming on, you can find ways to stop them.ong surge of fear.
4. Practice mindfulness: mindfulness can help ground you in the reality of what’s around you. Since panic attacks can cause a feeling of detachment or separation from reality, this can combat your panic attack as it’s approaching or actually happening.
5. Use muscle relaxation techniques: just like deep breathung, muscle relaxation techniques can help stop your panic attack in its tracks by controlling your body’s response as much as possible.
Consciously relax one muscle at a time, starting with something simple like the fingers in your hand, and move your way up through your body. Muscle relaxation techniques will be most effective when you’ve practiced them beforehand.
6. Rate Your Fear: when fear scrambles your mind, rate it on a scale of one to 10 every few minutes. This keeps you in the present moment. It’s also a good reminder that you’re not on a 10 the whole time.
7. Repeat a mantr: a mantra is a word, phrase, or sound that helps with focus and provides strength. Internally repeating a mantra can help a person come out of a panic attack.
The mantra can take the form of reassurance and may be as simple as, “This too shall pass.” For some, it may have a more spiritual meaning.