How to Stop a Panic Attack: 6 Techniques to Try

How to Stop a Panic Attack: 6 Techniques to Try

How to Stop a Panic Attack: 6 Techniques to


Panic attacks can strike without warning and be both frightening and overwhelming. If you've never had a panic attack before or have recurring panic attacks, learning a few techniques to stop a panic attack quickly can be beneficial.


What is a panic attack?

Almost everyone has experienced fear or panic at some point in their lives. A panic attack, on the other hand, is not the same as a reaction to an alarming situation. Panic attacks are distinguished by an unexpected, unexplainable, and overwhelming sense of fear and dread. They can cause anxiety as well as physical symptoms such as heart palpitations (fluttering heartbeats), rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, or even the sensation that you are dying. These unexpected, gripping feelings of fear can be terrifying, but panic attacks aren't as rare as you might think.


Panic attacks can occur when you are trapped or unable to escape from a situation, or when an emotional reaction to a situation leaves you feeling trapped with no good options. Knowing how to stop a panic attack while it is happening can help alleviate the stress associated with this condition.


What does a panic attack feel like?

A panic attack strikes unexpectedly, and the symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes. A panic attack rarely lasts more than an hour. Most last between 20 and 30 minutes. While it may appear to be a short period of time in theory, you may be desperate to know how to stop having a panic attack when you're in the middle of one.


A panic attack can cause the following symptoms:

• Heart palpitations or a racing heart
• Pain, tightness, or discomfort in the chest
• Cold sweats or sweating
• Nausea
• Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
• Shaking hands, feeling as if you're trembling all over the place
• Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
• Hot flashes, then shivering cold flashes
• Feeling as if you're choking or have tightness in your throat or neck
• Extreme numbness or tingling sensations in your hands or fingertips
• Feeling detached from your surroundings or as if your situation is unreal
• Fear of losing control, of dying, or of going insane


Not everyone has a panic attack in the same way, and not every panic attack causes all of these symptoms. The most common symptom is an overwhelming sense of helplessness. This is why many people want to learn how to naturally stop a panic attack.


Repeated panic attacks can be emotionally draining, both because of the fear of having another panic attack and because of the "adrenaline hangover" that follows the intense fearful feelings of the initial panic attack. Panic attacks that occur on a regular basis may indicate panic disorder.


How to stop a panic attack?

Attempting to stop a panic attack may aggravate your symptoms. However, there are some things you can do to prevent a panic attack when you feel it coming on.


Understanding how panic works and the stages of a panic attack can help you calm yourself and control your racing thoughts. You can talk yourself through an attack if you understand what's going on with your body and what's going to happen next.


Learning to control your breathing can help with hyperventilation and serve as a distraction from racing thoughts. "Box breathing" is a technique that involves inhaling for four counts, holding for four counts, exhaling for four counts, and then holding for four counts. Repeat for a few minutes, concentrating on the counts and the breath.


Regular exercise and adequate sleep are also ways to reduce your susceptibility to panic attacks. Exercise aids in the regulation of emotions and the reduction of stress. Regular, quality sleep can help you deal with upsetting situations and the negative emotional responses that come with them.


Relaxation techniques, such as gentle yoga or daily meditation, can also help you find your centre. When you practise mindfulness and consistency with meditation, you may be able to soothe your fears more easily with the meditation techniques you use when you're calmer.


Managing certain medical conditions that cause panic attacks can also be beneficial. Mitral valve prolapse, which occurs when one of the heart's valves fails to close properly, hyperthyroidism, and hypoglycaemia are examples of these.


Certain lifestyle choices, such as pre-workout stimulants (excess caffeine, cocaine, or methamphetamines) or medication withdrawal, can cause panic attacks. Being aware of these effects may also aid in the management of your symptoms and the frequency with which they occur. Speak with your doctor about quitting the stimulants or adjusting the medications that cause the attacks.


Other major life changes and transitions that can cause panic attacks include having a baby, losing a loved one, getting married or divorced, losing your job, or graduating from college.


When should you consult a specialist?

If you have recurring panic attacks, whether they occur without a specific trigger or are triggered by specific situations, you should consult a specialist, especially if the panic attacks are interfering with your daily life. For example, if you have panic attacks when speaking in front of a group, you may find it difficult to advance at work. Panic attacks caused by driving over bridges or through heavy traffic can limit your travel options or make your daily commute stressful and difficult.


Repeated panic attacks could be an indication of panic disorder. Panic disorder is characterised by recurring panic attacks and a noticeable fear of having another one. Panic disorder, if left untreated, can lead to other difficult anxiety-related conditions such as:


• Phobic avoidance is the practise of avoiding situations and environments that cause a panic attack. You may begin to avoid situations that are associated with your panic attack, either consciously or unconsciously. You should also avoid places where you don't think you'll be able to escape or where you don't think you'll be able to get help. If this condition is not treated, it can progress to agoraphobia, which is a fear of going out in public or conversing with others.


• The "fear of fear," or worry and anxiety about having another panic attack, is referred to as anticipatory anxiety. Most people are relatively worry-free in the intervals between panic attacks. Those who suffer from anticipatory anxiety experience nervousness in between attacks as a result of a fear of future attacks.


Certain medications can help if your panic attacks are beginning to have a long-term impact on your health, such as high blood pressure or stress headaches. These can help you find mental relief while also reducing the effects of the panic attack on your body.


Some people have panic attacks while remaining happy and healthy. Others may experience panic attacks as a result of undiagnosed depression, GAD, or bipolar disorder. These mental illnesses can be treated through therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Often, treating the underlying cause of panic attacks will aid in the natural resolution of the attacks.


Things to remember

Panic attacks, while frightening, are rarely life-threatening; however, chronic panic attacks can have a significant impact on your overall quality of life. While an occasional panic attack isn't cause for alarm, repeated panic attacks can lead to worsening mental health conditions. If you have frequent panic attacks or if your panic attacks are interfering with your ability to do your job, enjoy your relationships, or go about your daily life, you should consult with a specialist.


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