A racing heart, shortness of breath and a tight chest. If you have ever experienced these symptoms, it is possible that you have had a panic attack. A panic attack is a result of an overwhelming surge of dread and in the moment it can feel like you are dying. Fear is a natural response to a dangerous situation, it is simply our bodies tapping into our survival instincts, but a panic attack can strike out of blue and this, in turn, makes us panic more. With this in mind, let’s take a look at five ways how to deal with panic attacks.
1. Recognise the Symptoms
One of the best tips on how to deal with panic attacks is to recognise the symptoms for what they are. As soon as you feel your heart rate begin to accelerate and your chest begins to tighten up, tell yourself that you are having a panic attack and tell your body that it is nothing worse than that. Try to think about your panic attacks as if they were a house alarm. The alarm is there to make a sound if there is a security threat but it can also go off for no reason at all. Your panic attack is simply a false alarm and your body doesn’t need to go into fight or flight mode.
2. Embrace the Feeling
This is a tricky one. No one wants to experience a panic attack, never mind welcome one with open arms. However, embracing the feeling rather than fighting it can help you to deal with the tidal wave of panic that is washing over you.
3. Use Relaxation Techniques
Panic attacks often happen when you experience more stress than usual. For example, you might be looking after a poorly relative, starting a new job or going through a divorce. Juggling a lot of stressful responsibilities can put your body under a lot of stress and so if you are having panic attacks, relaxation techniques can help. Explore meditation and encourage your body and mind to let go and relax. Taking some time out to relax every day can help to lower your stress levels.
4. Turn Negatives into Positives
Panic attacks can often lead to an abundance of negative thoughts while you wonder when the next one will occur. Training your mind to reduce negative thoughts and swap them for positive ones is a step towards conquering your fear. Yes, panic attacks can strike at any time but living your life fearing the worst is not going to help your symptoms but it could make them worse.
5. Discover the Triggers
When it comes to panic attacks, knowledge is power. Think about where you were and what you were doing when the panic attack arose and use this information to find out what triggered the attack. You could be experiencing an attack because of something that happened in your childhood or even a reaction to the challenges of adulthood.
Follow the tips above to learn how to deal with panic attacks and put panic in the past. If you still need help, consider booking a consultation with one of our Private Consultant Psychologists.