Around one in 10 people will experience the occasional panic attack, but for some they may be more frequent and extremely distressing.
Recurring panic attacks that interfere with daily life are often linked to a condition called panic disorder. It can be very stressful living with panic disorder and sufferers will experience intense surges of anxiety and terror often very suddenly – or whenever they come into contact with something that triggers this reaction.
Learning how to better manage symptoms of a panic attack is important for ensuring your health and well-being does not become too affected by the disorder.
Below is a quick guide on what to do when you experience a panic attack:
1) Stop and take yourself away from the situation that is triggering your panic. If you are inside, go outside for a breather.
2) Practise breathing – deep into your belly and then out again. Repeat several times over until your heart rate slows down and close your eyes to shut out distractions. This will help to focus your mind and connect with your body.
3) Try essential oils to provide a sense of calm. Lavender has long been associated with helping to promote relaxation and can help to take the edge off moments of panic.
4) Drink some cool water to calm you down. When experiencing a rush of nerves and fear, your body will heat up quickly and you will start sweating. Drinking a glass of cool water or pressing a cold compress to your forehead will help to soothe your anxiety and will enable your mind and body to refocus.
5) Try progressive muscle relaxation. Starting from your toes and working yourself upwards, contract your muscles and hold for five seconds. Then release and do this with each isolated muscle group as you move up the body. This will help to ease tension.
Hypnotherapy is often used to help alleviate stress and anxiety which are intertwined with panic attacks. Hypnotists can also help sufferers to desensitise themselves from particular triggers which may be impacting quality of life. For more information, please see our panic attacks page.
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