You know the feeling. You are suddenly overcome by overwhelming fear. It paralyzes you. Takes your breath away. You break into a sweat. You can’t control it. The fear is so real that your body seizes as the panic takes over. You are having a panic attack. The Mayo Clinic defines a panic attack as “a sudden episode of intense fear or anxiety and physical symptoms, based on a perceived threat rather than imminent danger.” Panic attacks can happen anywhere at any time. They tend to leave the person overcome with fear. They might feel dazed and confused. Many of us have suffered from them in some form or another.
Panic attacks are generally triggered by several different things, including stress, substance abuse, caffeine, social events, reminders of traumatic experiences, finances, and arguments with others. Underlying mental health issues may trigger attacks as well. The physical symptoms may include sweating, trembling, nausea, chest pain, hot flashes, and headaches. Together with the fear of impending doom or loss of control, the sensation of a panic attack can be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help manage these panic attacks.
Managing Panic Attacks
If you suffer from panic attacks, you must understand the triggers that may set them off. Topping the list of causes for a panic attack is stress, which we all know is hard to avoid in our day-to-day lives. Finding ways to deal with stress is essential. Exercising, healthy habits, and meditating are a few things you can do daily to keep the stress levels in check.
Using deep breathing can also help manage a panic attack. Hyperventilating is often a symptom of an attack. The focus should be on taking deep breaths in and out through your mouth, slowly filling your lungs with air and then slowly releasing it. Breathe in counting to four, hold for a second, then release counting to four. And repeat. The ability to control breathing will help lessen the likelihood that you will hyperventilate.
If the environment you’re in is partly to blame for your panic attack, try closing your eyes (if it’s safe). This allows you to reduce the stimuli around you to focus on your breathing and find calm and control again.
Mindfulness is a word that is used a lot these days. It involves being present in the moment, recognizing your emotional state, and practicing stress reduction. Meditation is a strategy that can be practiced daily and might help manage anxiety symptoms that can trigger an attack.
Panic attacks are also felt physically through muscle tension. Practicing muscle relaxation techniques can help reduce tension and improve relaxation. These techniques allow you to control your body’s response. Attending a muscle relaxation therapy session can teach you the necessary steps. On your own, you can practice by consciously relaxing one muscle at a time and working your way through your body. It’s always best to practice before rather than wait until you actually have a panic attack to learn to release the tension.
There are many medications available through prescriptions from your medical provider. However, CBD is legal and can be purchased without a prescription. CBD (cannabidiol) calming gummies generally contain ingredients that support healthy brain function. A calm CBD chew is a convenient way to decrease your stress and help balance your emotions, improve your mood, and calm you.
Keep On Going
Recognizing that you suffer from panic attacks is the first step in managing them. Whether you suffer regularly or have the occasional episode, it is essential to realize that you can take steps to mitigate the severity of these attacks. Using the tools provided and practicing them is crucial in helping to get through an attack the next time it happens. And it is never a bad thing to include exercise, relaxation, and mindfulness in our daily lives anyway. If they help reduce or even eliminate the severity of a panic attack, you have managed well.