When Panic strikes, It’s hard to keep from drowning in anxious terror. You can, however, learn how to stop a panic attack, and bring back peace of mind.
You will never understand the sheer terror of enduring a panic attack. From out of nowhere, there is a dread which just won’t leave you alone. Your mind is telling you that something is horribly wrong or something is about to happen. Your heart races, your mind scrambles, and your breathing becomes erratic. Most people have no clue of how to stop a panic attack, and this is tragic.
What is the panic attack
Many people want to know how to stop a panic attack because they endure this condition or they watch someone they love suffer. Either way, going through this torment is never easy. In case you’re not familiar with the panic attack, here are a few facts and indicators to help you.
The panic attack, no matter how irrational it may seem, is quite real to the one who endures. This sudden onset of fear, as I said before, is accompanied by physical symptoms.
- Racing heart
- Short breaths
- Sudden headaches
- Tingling or numbness of extremities
- Dizziness or weakness
- Chest pains
These symptoms go hand in hand with mental panic. And while it may seem almost impossible to help someone when they are going through a panic attack, it can be done. If you want to learn how to stop a panic attack, try to implement a few of these techniques.
1. Take deep breaths
One of the main symptoms of panic is short rapid breathing. This is not a healthy form of respiration and can cause other negative symptoms to increase. Like many people learn in yoga or meditation, deep breathing can be therapeutic and can also help with focus.
During the panic attack, if you can find just enough control to regulate your breathing, it could improve other symptoms simultaneously.
2. Relax your muscles
As you are taking deeper breaths, you will be able to attempt muscle relaxation. If you are able to relax just enough to loosen the muscles, this will then help regulate your heart rate. If you don’t feel an instant improvement, then continue to regulate breathing. Even though it might take some time, eventually your muscles will relax.
If you’re a friend or loved one who is trying to help with a panic attack, try softly suggesting these techniques without being aggressive. You might be able to coax muscle relaxation a little sooner than with the victim attempting the practice on their own.
3. Recognize what’s happening
You cannot help or stop a panic attack if you don’t know what’s going on. Most people who have panic attacks already know what’s occurring, but surprisingly, there a few that have no idea or this is their first attack. If you can realize what’s happening to you, then you will be more likely to accomplish deep breathing and muscle relaxation.
Loved ones can softly remind you that what you’re experiencing is panic and there’s nothing to fear in reality. Be careful to not downplay the condition or try to suggest their feelings aren’t important.
4. Use grounding techniques and suggestions
Another way to help yourself or your loved one during a panic attack is by utilizing grounding solutions. Grounding basically means, understanding where you are, how stable you are and not running from the imaginary danger. When you are in panic mode, grab something sturdy and hold on.
Firmly plant your feet or pull them up to your chest and hug your knees. One technique that I use for myself is to place my back against a wall so that I can see all my surroundings. This often makes me feel more comfortable and safe.
5. Musical influence regulates breathing and heartbeat
Family members or friends can utilize music therapy to help regulate the heartbeat and breathing. Just as ambient music or similar music types work to calm anxiety on a regular basis, it can also create calm during a panic attack. Slowly implement sounds and music into the atmosphere and gently raise the volume. This will help systems return to normal during the panic attack.
6. Mantras have the magic touch
Another way to learn how to stop a panic attack is to learn a mantra. A mantra is a positive statement which can be repeated to invoke power. There is power in the human word, as many know, and this strength can reinforce a stable and healthy mind and body.
A mantra such as, “I am a strong person” or “I will not be afraid” can help you center once more. Your trusted people can also repeat this same mantra while you take deep breaths.
7. Attempt focused talking
During the panic attack, if you attempt to say the alphabet backward, you will start to transfer focus from your panic to your organized and logical thought. Since repeating ordered letters in a backward fashion takes more concentration than saying them forwards, this technique can trick the brain into distraction.
You can stop a panic attack!
Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems to learn how to stop a panic attack. Now, I’m not saying it won’t take work and concentration, but it surely can be done. There are other techniques which promote distracting the mind and some which include outside support and tools.
First, utilize these breathing and suggestion techniques and see if these work for you or your loved ones.
Have another technique for thwarting a panic attack? I would love to know!
By Sherrie S.
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