Is it a heart attack or a panic attack? Many a time, symptoms of a panic attack are so distressing that people feel that they are dying or going crazy. The signs and symptoms develop abruptly and usually peak within 10 minutes. Generally, panic attacks do not last more than an hour and end within 20 to 30 minutes. While the panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, the frequency tends to rise in some in certain panic-triggering situations. In situations like public speaking, air travel, crossing a bridge, etc., the possibility of panic attacks increases.
Regardless of the risk factor, one can learn to cope with the symptoms of a panic attack which could help him/her reduce the frequency and severity of anxiety. Some of the effective coping strategies are as follows:
Taking a step back to evaluate one’s predicament
One of the efficacious ways to avoid a panic attack is by stopping the escalation of negative thoughts through constant practice. Sometimes, one might have to stop himself or herself to instruct his or her mind not to run along the track of anxiety. Taking a second to evaluate one’s train of thought can help him/her recognize the value of those thoughts.
Writing down thoughts
Studies have established that writing down thoughts help to put one in the right direction and alleviate any irrational fears. Experiments exhibit that one can effectively deal with the stress associated with loss by speaking and writing about their emotions. Such measures assist a person in stepping out of their loss by experiencing a new perspective before moving on.
Focusing on one’s breathing
Since panic attacks are accompanied by hyperventilation, one of the most effective relaxation techniques is methodical and controlled breathing. One has to make an effort to breathe slowly and deeply, which can be achieved by practicing mindful breathing exercises regularly. Deep breathing during yoga has been effective in normalizing breathing in people suffering from depression, anxiety, etc.
Having an anchor
An effective anchor is familiar with a person’s anxiety history and is not judgmental about it. It could be the affected person’s therapist, spouse, relative, or a good friend with whom he/she feels comfortable reaching out for support.
One has to be more in tune with his or her emotions to be able to gauge in advance any signs and symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. This is only possible if one takes care of his or her emotional and physical needs. Rather than succumbing to a debilitating condition, one can make his or her life more exhilarating by becoming conscious of his or her needs.
Regaining control through activities that reduce stress
Some effective interventions include yoga and meditation, which help strengthen the mind and reduce negative thoughts. Through regular exercise, one can reduce stress and improve sleep. Exercise assists in the uplifting mood by releasing endorphins.
It is essential to seek professional help when problems like anxiety and panic attacks prevent one from living a healthy and productive life. Proper counseling and medications can help a person determine the root cause and address his or her mental disorders. If you or a loved one is suffering from any mental disorder, contact a professional service for mental help.