You are at work on a normal day, when suddenly your pulse races and it feels as if the walls are closing in on you. Sound familiar? You are just one of many people who suffer from panic attacks. Although symptoms can be widely different from person-to-person, the sense of fear and anxiety is a common thread. For someone who has these attacks often, it can seem like they control the person’s life. This does not have to be true. Using the tips below, you will finally be able to control panic attack.
Find a Peaceful Location: This may be a tough tip to follow, depending on your location. If at all possible, find a quiet place as soon as you feel an attack beginning. An empty bathroom, your private office, or even an isolated place outdoors can all be the perfect peaceful place. Since outside stimuli are more harmful than helpful during an attack, the more peace and quiet you have, the better. Also, this will keep you from worrying about the reactions of others, especially those who do not understand the nature of your condition.
Close Your Eyes: The best way to begin to relax is simply to close your eyes. Outside stimuli are usually unhelpful during an attack. As soon as you feel an attack coming on, close your eyes and shut out the world. When your eyes are open, it is too easy to see the reactions of others, which can make the situation worse. If there was any kind of trigger in the attack (for more on triggers, see below), continuing to look at it is definitely a problem. Closing your eyes is the first step towards control.
Focus: Turn your focus inward. Do your best not to think about anything other than relaxation. If you know some meditation techniques, use them to channel your thoughts. Think about relaxing each part of your body. Do not listen to anyone or anything other than yourself.
Breathing: Many people get the urge to breathe too fast during a panic attack. This not only makes the attack worse, but it can also cause hyperventilation. Try your best to breathe normally. Deep breaths will also help with your focus and/or meditation. Even Lamaze breathing can be helpful. When you concentrate on your breathing, it keeps you from concentrating on the anxiety of the attack.
Look for Signs and Triggers: Knowledge is power. Keep a log or journal of each attack, the date and time, and the activities of that day. Many attacks have clear triggers, which can be situations, activities, people, etc. Once you learn your triggers, do your best to avoid them. If you can stop an attack before it begins, you won’t have to even use any of the above tips.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Doctor: Panic attacks have multiple symptoms. If you have not already been to a doctor to get a diagnosis, do it immediately. There is always a possibility that you are suffering from another condition entirely. Once you know for sure that you are having panic attacks, weigh your options. The doctor might advise you to take certain anti-anxiety medications. Some people are scared to take any drug, but you might discover that the only way to control your attacks is through medicine. Another helpful medical solution is seeing a psychologist. Dealing with your problems and stressors will help keep the attacks at bay.
Going to the doctor is not admitting defeat. Try out the various techniques first, and see if you can stop an attack through relaxation. Always be aware that a panic attack begins in your mind, and the only one who controls your brain is you.