Every fifth inhabitant of the Earth at least once experienced a panic attack. Over the past year, only in the US, the number of those who are subjected to bouts of uncontrollable fear, anxiety, and depression has increased by 10-30%. If this happens regularly, doctors advise undergoing therapy and starting a psycho-emotional diary.
But what to do if right now the legs do not obey, the knees are trembling, the hands are treacherously shaking, and the heart is trying to do somersaults right in the chest? Remember these simple and effective ways to help you quickly calm down and bring yourself to your senses.
How To Deal With A Panic Attack?
When you feel that everything is a mess and cannot control your nerves, the following tips can help you calm down.
Look Your Fear In The Eye
Anxiety appears when you do not have confidence in a positive outcome. Whether it’s a driving test, important negotiations, or something more serious, you must have faith in your abilities. Look the danger in the eye and mentally play the situation.
What happens if your anxious thoughts become a reality? What is the worst outcome of this? Write down on a piece of paper what exactly scares you and why. This technique will help protect against unnecessary risks and reduce the degree of excitement.
Many people experience panic attacks after consuming alcoholic beverages. It happens because this toxic drink triggers panic attacks and worsens your current mental health state. People addicted to alcohol are at higher risk of experiencing severe panic attacks.
Alcohol essentially impairs a person’s mental as well as physical health. But its consumption is still widespread in the US, including in Colorado. This state ranks in the top ten states of the US with the highest consumption of alcohol per capita. Therefore, it is essential for people residing there to get help and quit alcohol immediately.
It happens very often that the appetite disappears at the most exciting moments. But you need to force yourself to eat something healthy at such moments too. Instincts explain the effect of calming food. While eating, the body relaxes, the hormonal background changes, and the problem seems not so terrible.
When you are hungry, the panic attack gets even worse. With the proper nutrients and vitamins in the body, it becomes much easier to fight panic attacks. As per research, raw cacao has many health benefits in curing panic attacks because it is high in nutrients and contains antioxidants. Moreover, eating also distracts your mind from negative and worrying thoughts, especially if it’s something you like.
Wash Your Face And Hands With Cold Water
Psychotherapist Sheri Heller recommends that her patients wash their hands and faces with icy water during times of panic. She explains her choice: “During panic attacks, personality dissociation is observed.
It means a person separates himself from his feelings, completely losing control over them. Ice water, in this case, works like an electric shock, forcing the body and mind to connect and work again as a single mechanism. So if you also experience a panic attack, wash your face immediately.
Physical activity is an easy and healthy way to get rid of anxiety. During movements, the nervous system switches to other tasks, and you let go of the situation. In addition, sport contributes to the release of serotonin (the hormone of joy) into the blood.
The mood improves, breathing gets restored, and you feel that you can safely conquer new heights. Suppose squatting is not possible; clench and unclench your fists. And do this with synchronous inhalations and exhalations (clench your fists on inhalation and unclench them on exhalation).
Think Of A Soothing Phrase
Psychotherapist Carol Howe advises deep breathing to those who experience panic attacks and keep repeating to themselves: “I’m safe, I’m loved.” But if this phrase does not help you, perhaps a song that comforted you as a child may help. Use any mantra or song to help you calm down and keep repeating it until you feel relaxed.
Do Breathing Exercises
This way is as old as the world, yet it still works. There are many psychotherapeutic breathing techniques that you can easily find on the net. But some of them are best done in the presence of a specialist.
The most straightforward technique is to inhale air through the nostrils and exhale through the mouth with noise. Release air with a sound, feeling how the air passes through the airways. Mentally imagine how excitement and fear leave with the air. Everything will work out in a few seconds!
Write Down Your Thoughts On Paper
Fear is a reflection of our thoughts. The more you think about what you’re afraid of, the more this sticky, all-consuming feeling takes over. Psychologist Karen Whitehead advises abandoning internal dialogues.
Write your fears on paper, and then ask yourself: “Why am I fearing it so much”? Live it and then let go. You will realize that you are just worrying too much while there is nothing to worry about.
Psychologists suggest doing the following: close your eyes tightly, and then count all the objects that fell into your field of vision. The process may be accompanied by the question: “What does this or that object look like?”.
This technique will help restore the psycho-emotional background, suppressing the excitement. You can even combine this with breathing techniques. For example, every time you inhale, count your breath, and while exhaling do the same.
Now you know how to calm yourself down during a panic attack. We are hopeful that these tips will help you fight stress and anxiety.