5 Tips for Combatting Panic Attacks
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Panic disorder affects about 6 million American adults and is twice as common in women as men.” This disorder can become extremely serious if left untreated and possibly lead to agoraphobia and other issues. If you have panic disorder, or you merely have experienced individual attacks in the past, try these 5 tips for combatting panic attacks.
1. Breath Control
When you begin to notice that you are about to have a panic attack, try to use breath control exercises in order to slow your breathing. One method you can try is to take a deep breath and then to try and hold it for as long as possible. This will minimize the feeling of fear you experience at not being able to breathe properly. You can also try breathing in through your nose slowly and watching as your stomach expands. As you exhale, breathe out through your mouth and watch your stomach deflate, letting all the air out as slowly as possible.
Another helpful tool for when you feel a panic attack coming on is visualization. Visualize that you are somewhere safe and comfortable, somewhere you don’t feel afraid or unhappy. It helps to choose this place beforehand and to practice envisioning it. It can be a real place or a place you imagine. Once you begin to feel the symptoms of a panic attack start, close your eyes and visualize your calm, comfortable place as you take deep, slow breaths.
3. Avoid Certain Foods and Drugs
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Reducing or avoiding caffeine, certain cold medicines, and stimulants” can help you avoid having panic attacks as well as possibly reduce the intensity of these attacks. When you begin experiencing them often, it is important to consider your diet and what substances you are putting into your body. If you are often taking in a large amount of caffeine or other stimulants, try to limit the amount of those substances because it may be contributing to the frequency of your panic attacks.
4. Make a Routine and Take Care of Yourself
Your body will run much better if you take care of yourself, and that doesn’t just mean staying away from stimulants. Make sure to eat balanced meals and to eat at regular times during the day. Exercise regularly, and get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you do not make an effort to take care of yourself, it is more likely that you will experience panic attacks than if you create a routine that your body can count on.
5. Seek Professional Help
If you notice that your panic attacks have become extremely frequent and intense, you may have panic disorder, for which you should consider seeking professional treatment. According to the NIMH, “Panic disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both,” and you can find the best possible treatment plan for you by speaking to a doctor about your condition and your needs.
Do You Want More Information on How to Combat Panic Attacks?
Call to speak to a disorder specialist today and find out more information about panic disorder as well as treatment options that are available in your area.