Not all of us actually go to the shrink immediately when we experience panic attacks. Most of the time, we look for signs first that may indicate that it’s already a serious or clinical matter. Even if you haven’t experienced panic attacks, though, you need to know basic panic attack self help methods. Remember, most panic attacks come without any warning. You’d want to be prepared if you were suddenly caught in a tight spot.
Signs of a panic attack
Panic attacks usually happen when you feel a sudden fear for things don’t pose actual dangers. For example, you can experience a racing heartbeat for example just because you’re in an alien place with strangers and the thought of being around strangers suddenly engulfs you. Panic attacks can also occur while you’re driving and you realize that you’re totally alone in a dark strip of road. While it’s normal to feel uneasy under either circumstances, panic attacks usually magnify this unease, turning it into an illogical fear.
A panic attack becomes extremely dangerous when you’re unable to control your fear, and your paranoid thoughts just generate more paranoid thoughts about being harmed. For example, aside from fearing strangers or dark roads, you also panic about panicking, until it becomes a vicious cycle and your anxiety just snowballs on you.
Ways to stop it
The reason why panic attacks turn for the worst is because most people react to it by running away from it. When you’re caught in a random situation where you feel panicky sensations in your body and you know that a thought triggered your body to react this way, the key it to lasso that thought and to face it head on. You should try to keep your breathing even while you do this.
If your experience a tightening in your throat, grab on to something soft like a stress ball and release all the negative thoughts there. You’ll find that once you convince your body to relax, you will relax, although it may take 5 to 10 minutes. If you’re diving, make sure that you pull over first before you deal with your panic attack.
Once you’ve calmed down slightly, you should try to scrutinize the thought that made you panic in the first place. Convince yourself that the thought is unrealistic, and that the truth of the matter is that you’re really safe and you can control the situation. This might be a bit hard if you’ve only started experiencing these panic attacks and you’re literally psyching yourself out for the first time.
If you’re unable to maintain a steady pace of breathing, and your heartbeat is still racing like crazy, don’t attempt to drive on your own or do anything that can cause you to harm yourself or other people. Stay where you are and call up a friend or family member who can get you out of that tight spot.
Experts say, though, that constantly calling out for help is counter productive to mastering your panic attacks. If you experience a panic attack again, and you’re in a safer place where you can “train” your thoughts, don’t call out for help right away. You’ll find that the more you understand your panic attacks, and the more you try to deal with it on your own, you become stronger and less afraid of your anxiety.
Scientific studies also show that a healthy lifestyle with balanced diets, regular exercise and enough sleep actually helps prevent panic attacks.
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