How to Deal with a Panic Attack – Tips to Reduce Panic Attacks
Today, we are going to learn about how to deal with a panic attack, simple and easy tips to reduce it so now let’s begin…
How to Deal with a Panic Attack
Possibility: You may have Panic Disorder
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there’s no real danger apparent. Panic attacks can be very frightening, when panic attacks occur you may think that you’re losing control maybe even having a heart attack, possibly even dying. Many people have one or two panic attacks in their life but usually, this problem goes away but if you are somebody that has recurrent panic attacks unexpected and you spend a lot of time in constant fear that you’re going to have another panic attack, you may have a condition called Panic Disorder. Panic attacks themselves are not life-threatening, this can be frightening. It can significantly affect the quality of your life but:
Did you know there is a treatment for this?
Treatment can be pretty effective.
Do you know what to do when you are having a panic attack?
I am going to let you know about it.
Q1: What does a panic attack look like?
I know exactly what this looks like that’s why I’m here but panic attacks typically begin suddenly without warning. They can strike at any time, Panic attacks have many variations but symptoms usually peak within minutes. It happens quickly you may feel fatigued, tired, worn out after a panic attack ends but a lot of people don’t feel like their panic attack will ever end but panic attacks typically include some of these symptoms, and here are some of those signs:
- A sense of impending doom or danger
- The fear of loss of control or even death
- Having a heart attack
- Rapid pounding of somebody’s heart
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in your chest or even throat
- Some of those chills
- Hot flashes
- Feeling sick
- Stomach cramping
There can even be some chest pain, headaches that come along with this, dizziness. People can even feel light-headed like they’re going to pass out, there can even be some numbness or tingling sensations. A lot of people feel this just feeling of unreality or detachment at the moment they don’t feel like they are here. One of the worst things about panic attacks is that intense fear that you will have another one, you may fear having a panic attack so much that you will avoid certain situations, avoid those places that you originally had that panic attack.
Q2: What are the causes of a panic attack?
Now, we know what a panic attack is like:
What are the causes?
Why do people even have this in the first place?
What we know is that it’s not really known why people have panic attacks or panic disorders but we know that some of these factors may play a role such as genetics:
Do other people in your family have panic attacks?
Do they have stress or anxiety?
Do they worry?
Usually, major stress can be a big thing why people have panic attacks, and realistically because you don’t want to have one and you’re obsessing about it, means that you’re probably going to have one, it’s kind of messed up.
Q3: How to treat a panic attack?
What you do when you actually are having a panic attack so here’s what happens when you have a panic attack, you can think of it as your brain creating and etching out a picture in your brain. It’s created this memory of what happened, where you were, what the temperature was at, what thoughts you had in your head. Every sensation you felt even words that people said, it wants to remember every little detail about the scenario because it thinks it’s helping you.
If it can remember every detail and you avoid that in the future then maybe you won’t have another panic attack but it’s a trap don’t fall for it. It thinks it’s helping but it’s your job to retrain your brain to say you’re not, you were at a restaurant, last time you were there, the song was playing in the background, your friends were having this conversation, you started noticing your heart beating. Now, you’re noticing am I having a panic attack?… So that my breath is starting to get shallow and then you go back to checking, to see is my heart beating… yup oh no… I am gonna have a panic attack, you look around you’re seeing lots of different colors that are around you, you’re even noticing the shrimp that you’re eating below and your brain has put a lot of value on all these different aspects for it to warn you in the future that you better not sit there at that restaurant, you better not eat shrimp, you better not listen to that song all those things are gonna cause a panic attack. Your brain is warning you, don’t ever go back there again but what really happens is when you start avoiding the thoughts, feelings, places you’re actually increasing the likelihood of having another panic attack. This is exactly what you don’t want, this is because you’re checking, you put more value on that panic attack, you’re checking to see if it will happen again or not if that sensation means something if that breath means something if that physical feeling that you have in your body means something.
What you need to do is teach your brain that you don’t care about having a panic attack obviously you do but you’re acting like you don’t, you’re not putting any value on them anymore. You actually want to re-engage in those situations, go back to those places that caused the panic attack in the past, even create that at home if you can because what happens is if you don’t go back to that restaurant, if you don’t go back to that scenario your brain is going to place somewhere in there that, that is dangerous, don’t do it again and it’s going to make it a big deal in the future. We want to go back and not say I hope I don’t have a panic attack instead we say i might we’ll see could happen I don’t know and if I do we’re going to enjoy it.
Does that sound weird?
Why would you enjoy a panic attack?
You enjoy it, you ride the wave because that’s what teaches your brain that you don’t care. You’re taking the value away from it, you’re taking all the power, it wants to put on that panic attack to tell you that you’re in danger, stay safe. For you to say look at me, I don’t care, put my arms up I am relaxing through this thing. It takes a lot of work, takes a lot of acting but it helps.
Q4: How long do panic attacks last?
All panic attacks go down. They can’t last forever, it’s impossible, sometimes it feels like it’s going to last forever and it feels like you need to come up with all these ways to get rid of it but all those ways to get rid of it is actually making it happen worse.
Q5: What to do during a panic attack?
A lot of the advice that I see online and other places are.. do some breathing exercises, distract yourself, do anything you can to get out of the panic attack, play on your phone this seems like a natural answer but realistically it gets people stuck in this loop of having these panic attacks because if they’re distracting they are noticing that ‘is the panic attack still there’ yup keep playing that game ‘is the panic attack still there’ yup. It just perpetuates this idea that the panic attack is a bad thing and you have to figure out a way to get out of it.
When we treat it as if it’s not a bad thing then the body doesn’t care if it’s having a panic attack and actually makes it so the likelihood of you having one in the future is a lot less because you took all the value away from it. We don’t want your body to continually check if you’re going to have a panic attack or not because it’s like… it’s not going away, what am I gonna do, maybe something’s wrong, and probably this time it’s really a heart attack. So, if that thing worked for you last time then go do it again. You know when you distracted yourself, when you called your mom, when you did this, when you did some breathing, when you went outside, when you sat down, you lay down, you close your eyes at work so do it again. Our goal is to stop trying to control a panic attack. We don’t want any distraction methods, we don’t want to get in the mindset that your goal is to get rid of it. I know this sounds crazy and I’m making it sound really easy but we need to ride the wave.
Q6: How to ride the wave of anxiety?
Have you ever heard ride the wave before?
If you have ever been in the ocean, there are big waves that come along and if you’re out there you’ve got a few options, you can sit there, you’re standing there that big wave is coming it’s going to crash right into you and you’re just standing right there it’s going to be uncomfortable. Your body might be flailing around inside the water. It’s really not that great of an experience that’s not riding the wave. Another option is to go under the wave. I kind of think of that as the distraction method because the second you come back up that other wave is coming.
So, what you want to do that third option is that wave is coming and you’re going to jump right on top of it and you’re going to ride it into shore and what that means is like you’re not controlling it, you’re letting that do all the work for you, you’re going to get all the way back into shore, it could be pretty uncomfortable for a while. You’re going to feel anxious, you’re going to feel nervous, you’re gonna feel all those physical symptoms but you’re enjoying it, you’re riding the wave all the way back and when you get back the panic attack ends but it’s pretty natural for the brain to be like go check again make sure you don’t have a panic attack but guess what you’re gonna ride that next wave into shore if you need to don’t control it.
Q7: What is your job during a panic attack?
Your job is to react differently to the panic attack, to the anxiety that is coming your way because of the panic attack. If you continually react as if it’s a big deal, it’s going to be a big deal. So as those alarms are being thrown off in your head and it’s saying ‘this is so important’ then you’re saying guess what? … ‘I don’t care’ this is awesome, I love this feeling, I’m gonna sit here with this relax, might happen again might not. I am going to even like pay attention to that heartbeat, like let’s turn a song into this thing because I love that my heart is beating so fast right now this is so great. It’s almost like you are reacting completely different than you normally would.
Sometimes it’s doing the opposite, if it’s like… you better sit down, you’re having a panic attack… cool I’m going to stand up and you better do some breathing exercises. What if you pass out? … then I am going to make sure that I’m not doing any breathing exercises and maybe I’ll grab a straw and I will start breathing through the straw so I can’t breathe as much. It’s almost like you’re being a bully to your own brain, react differently to it often have a plan before you get into the panic attack because if you try to like have the panic attack and then you’re like… I’m gonna figure it out, I gotta figure out what am I supposed to do again? … the panic attack is going to win but have a plan next time I have this I’ve got my straw ready and maybe I’m gonna spin around in some circles, on purpose to say how much I don’t care about this thing, I’m going to close my eyes, I’m just going to relax, act like I’m riding that wave.
Sometimes a good task is to write down all the places, all the thoughts, all the sensations that have ever caused panic attacks in your life and revisit them. Make it a point to go back to that restaurant, back to that bathroom, back to that part of the couch whatever it is the places, sensations people go back, the risk that it’s going to happen again and if it does or if it doesn’t that’s great too. Your goal is to not have a panic attack, your goal is to say ‘i don’t care’ you’re the boss if it happens, ‘it happens’ if it doesn’t, ‘it doesn’t’. So, I hope this was helpful for you like anything, this new reaction of ‘i don’t care’ to the panic attack takes practice just like anything else. This is the thing that your brain is going to tell you not to do because it seems weird, it seems the opposite of what you normally should do but your brain’s lying to you, it’s keeping you trapped in this cycle of panicking, we want to enjoy it even if it feels like acting it doesn’t matter but your job is to do it every time and often panic attacks come along with OCD.
Hope so guys you liked reading this article. I tried my best as much as possible ways to make you understand everything clearly so hopefully, this article is gonna be helpful for you in how to deal with a panic attack. Keep visiting us to learn many more things. Have a nice day!