6 Impactful Strategies To Deal With Panic Attacks On The Spot

While your body can only physically sustain a panic attack for a short period of time, it can feel like an eternity when you’re actually the one having one. Shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, nausea, and a terrifying feeling of being unsafe; sometimes for no apparent reason, can make you feel vulnerable and out of control. Other people might react poorly to your panic disorder, telling you “just calm down” or “stop being so dramatic.” Stigma, misconceptions, and fear can make you afraid to even go out in public in case a panic attack should strike. There’s no need to stay locked in your house though with these 8 strategies that you can use to stop a panic attack on the spot. 

#1. Recognize What A Panic Attack Is, And Isn’t

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), a panic attack is the sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort. It can be as short as 10 minutes or less but includes acute symptoms of shaking, heavy breathing, racing heart, sweating, chest pain, intense fear, and more. The severity of the symptoms creates panic and the sufferer can feel like they are losing control, having a heart attack, choking, or even dying. The first step to being able to control and stop panic attacks is being able to recognize when you are having one. Everyone experiences panic attacks a little differently, know your common symptoms. Once you recognize that a panic attack is taking place, calmly remind yourself that these feelings will pass and squelch negative thoughts about being in danger.  Remind yourself that you are safe and that in a few moments, your breathing and heart rate will return to normal. Encourage your mind to take part in the following strategies that will help put the breaks on your panic attack as fast as possible. 

#2. Using CBD Oil For Anxiety And Panic Attacks

CBD oil isn’t just a holistic health trend, it’s a real plant-based treatment option for anxiety and depression disorders. Cannabidiol (CBD) works on your body’s natural endocannabinoid system that regulates, among other things, your mood and emotions. A recent article from CBD KYRO talks about the significant studies done over the last decade that prove CBD oil can help treat anxiety and depression.  It can regulate the stress hormone cortisol while encouraging the brain to produce more feel-good hormones like serotonin. Check out this list of 20 best CBD oils by Giftwits if you need a starting point for trying this supplement.

There are various ways of taking CBD, you can also buy CBD gummies. If you are wondering as to how many CBD gummies you should take, you can check online.

#3.  Deep Breathing And Muscel Relaxation

By controlling your breathing you can prevent hyperventilation which worsens the symptoms of a panic attack. The feeling of not being able to catch your breath is frightening, so getting that under control should be a high priority. Try counting, breathing in for 4 seconds, holding it for 1, then blowing back out for 4. There are even some great phone apps for guided breathing exercises you can use. You can combine deep breathing with muscle relaxation techniques. Systematically clenching, holding then slowly releasing muscle tension can be very relaxing.  

#4. Learn How To H.A.L.T.

H.A.L.T. (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) is an acronym that reminds us of  4 things that can bring out our worst emotional states. All of these things can be triggers for panic attacks and emotional distress. Learning your triggers can help you avoid a panic attack or to recover faster. Bradford Health Services discusses how H.A.L.T. is used for anxiety, ADD, addiction recovery and more. If you’ve ever heard the expression “hangry” then you know that hunger and mood are closely related. It can lead to destructive habits or negative feelings. Being lonely or angry can also lead to poor decision making and feelings of helplessness. Finally, being tired takes a toll on our physical bodies and our emotional state. H.A.L.T. is a reminder to check-in and take care of our basic needs to stabilize our emotional health.

#5. Practice Mindfulness Or Meditation 

You can’t always control the stimuli around you but you can control your response to it. Mindfulness is the art of being fully present in the moment and using that clarity in your response to the world around you. To be mindful you have to slow down, focus on one thing at a time, and be self-aware. Many people use meditation to help practice mindfulness. The publication Mindful.org urges those that suffer from panic attacks to take things one moment at a time, explore your breathing, and “just be.” Remind yourself that there is nowhere else you need to be and nothing else you need to do; other than to live in this moment in time.

#6. Carry Lavender And Drink Chamomile Tea  

Tons of anecdotal evidence and now several clinical studies have shown that lavender essential oil can have a calming effect on the mind and body, according to an article abstract found on the US National Library of Medicine. The essential oil is inhaled, using aromatherapy to deliver the natural plant-based chemicals to the brain. Similarly, chamomile tea can help you relax and even sleep better. There are many other essential oils and plant-based medicines that claim to help with anxiety, so you can try a few and find the best one for you.  

In addition to these strategies that can help you end a panic attack quickly, there are things you can do in your everyday life to prevent panic attacks from creeping up on you. Improving your overall diet and getting in some physical activity can help balance your mental state. You can also spend time on hobbies, meditation, or journaling to help you relax. It can be hard to carve out the time from your busy day, but it is very important.  Mummy Fever, a UK blog about parenting, talks about how hard it is for moms to find time for themselves. The demands on your time and energy are never-ending, so write some “me time” into your calendar and stick to it. 

Author bio: Marina Turea works as content manager at Digital Authority Partners and a huge fan of everything CBD. 

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