Panic attacks are a sudden feeling of intense and disabling stress or anxiety. They tend to last anywhere between ten minutes and several hours.They can occur to us at any time of the day, even when we may be feeling relaxed.
Once we have been through a panic attack and experienced the discomfort and helplessness of it, we are sure to ask ourselves: “How to stop panic attacks?”
Strategies to stop panic attacks
One important strategy we can learn to stop future panic attacks is the science of managing stress properly. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Counting to Ten
Unfortunately, we can’t always make the best decisions during times of stress or a crisis. So when we are placed in a stressful situation, it is best to step away from the problem and count to ten. During this time we should compose ourselves and think about the right course of action to be adopted in the circumstances.
Practice Deep Breathing
When we are relaxed, we take deep breaths through your abdomen. Abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing is the way our body breathes naturally when we are relaxed. Deep breathing comes from movement in our abdomen, rather than the chest movement that accompanies shallow breathing. When we get stressed, we generally tend to take rapid (shallow) breaths. This, in turn, elevates stress in us and can trigger a panic attack.
Look Out for the Frequent Stressors in Our Life
I should begin this introspection with making a list of the things in my life that frequently cause me to stress. Then I would try to come up with a plan to deal with (or get through) these situations next time they come up in my life so that I can stop panic attacks. I have found that having a plan makes uncomfortable issues much less stressful to deal with and helps to stop panic attacks.
Exercising a bit each day goes a long way toward improving both our physical and mental health. We don’t need to adopt an intense, rigorous exercise routine. Even 30 minutes of walking, jogging, swimming, or a similar activity done every day will give us a good workout and establish a healthy daily routine for us. This well-structured routine will make our life more ordered and controlled and keep the anxiety attacks to a minimum. Less stress would mean lower symptoms of anxiety and should help in achieving our goal of stopping panic attacks.
Seek Help from Friends
Panic attacks are very difficult to deal with alone. So we should try and share our feelings with a friend or family member we trust. We should also check with them if they are willing to lend us a hand to help us cope with stress. It is great if they are happy to help us out.
We just need to be careful that our family member/friends are not connected to the things that generally stress us out. For example, if it is our co-workers that are the cause of stress, we should talk to a friend outside of work settings.
Avoid Stressful Situations to stop panic attacks
When we are aware of the situations that cause us stress, we should try our best to avoid such situations. So, if we are getting stressed at work, we should push back and say “NO” when people try to pile additional responsibilities on us.
Having said that, I am well aware that we can’t avoid an unpleasant situation forever. In the long term, after we have stabilised our response and built up our coping skills, we should try to deal with the problems we have been avoiding.
Nobody can guarantee us complete freedom from panic attacks. However, learning skills and techniques to control the stressors in our life will help us in controlling our feelings of being overwhelmed or out of control in a situation.
We need to remember that it is a slow and gradual process and we need to trust ourselves and our therapists who are helping us out in keeping our emotions and thoughts in control.