Panic attacks can be overwhelming experiences characterized by sudden bouts of extreme anxiety and fear. Symptoms such as body tingling, excessive sweating, irrational thoughts, and intense fear often accompany these episodes. Anxiety is a common trigger for panic attacks. However, with proper care and attention to both the body and mind, it is possible to effectively manage and cope with these episodes. Therapist Alison Seponara has shared valuable tips on how to deal with panic attacks and bring a sense of calm to both the body and mind.
The first step in handling a panic attack is to recognize and label it as such. It is important to understand that these intense emotions are temporary and will not last forever, despite the feeling of permanence and impending doom they may initially evoke.
Deep breathing techniques play a crucial role in calming the nervous system during a panic attack. Taking slow, deliberate breaths for approximately four seconds through the nose, pausing briefly, and then exhaling through the mouth can help restore a sense of calm.
When external stimuli act as triggers for a panic attack, it is advisable to avert the gaze and close one’s eyes. By doing so, attention can be redirected inward, focusing on the breath and promoting a sense of relaxation.
In situations where distraction is needed, visualizing a peaceful and calming image can be beneficial. Concentrating solely on the details of the mental picture, such as its shape and color, can help shift attention away from the panic-inducing thoughts.
Seeking support from a trusted friend or family member can provide significant comfort during a panic attack. If alone, it is helpful to reach out to someone who can provide reassurance and guidance over the phone while going through the episode.
Engaging the senses can also be an effective strategy. Pleasant scents or enjoying a warm drink can have a calming effect on the senses, helping to alleviate the intensity of the panic attack.
In busy environments, it is advisable to find a safe and quiet space to retreat to. Removing oneself from the stimulating surroundings and seeking solace in a serene location can greatly assist in calming the nervous system.
By implementing these techniques and approaches, individuals can gain a better understanding of panic attacks and acquire practical tools to manage them effectively. With time and practice, it becomes possible to navigate through panic attacks and regain a sense of control over one’s emotional well-being.