11 tricks to get rid of Panic Attacks
Before talking about anxiety, panic disorder or panic attacks, first we need to have a comprehensive know-how of what panic attacks actually are.
· A feeling of being in danger or excessive worry when actually there is no real danger and the one experiencing it knows this fact very well but cannot actually get out of this “state” because it is so unexpected and abrupt and kind of intense.
· A feeling like one’s heart is pounding and it will get out of their chest. Chest pain like it is myocardial infarction (MI)/ heart attack (but it is not actually a heart attack, don’t worry!)
· Their hands are sweaty and body is shaking and trembling.
· Stomach trouble and nauseatic feeling.
· A feeling of impending doom.
· Fear that you are going to die.
· Fear of losing control.
· Feeling depersonalization or derealization.
Well you might be experiencing a panic attack.
For the criteria for diagnosing any mental disorders, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is being used worldwide. So DSM V says a panic attack at least is followed by one month or more to have a diagnosis of panic disorder.
Diagnostic interview data from National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) demonstrates that approximately 2.7% of US population of adults suffered from panic disorder in the last year and it was twice as common in females than in males.
This data also shows that approximately 4.7% of US adult population suffered from panic disorder at some point in their lives.
(If it is not due to some medical condition)
Before self-diagnosing yourself with anxiety or panic disorder, make sure by contacting your physician or health professional that it is not due to some medical condition or substance/drug abuse.
Here are some of the useful and fruitful tricks you can imply to get yourself out of this.
- Deep Breathing
You can use a formula for this “6–2–4”:
Inhale- count to 6, Hold your breath and count to 2 and then Exhale while count to 4.
Note: It is only beneficial when you deep breath on daily and regular basis even when you are not having panic attacks.
2. Muscle Relaxation Technique
You can use muscle relaxation techniques. The mostly used technique for muscle relaxation is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)Technique in which you relax your certain group of body muscles separately and step by step from your head to toe or vice versa. This technique has so many other health benefits as well.
3. Coping Statement(s)
The time you are going through a panic attack, you can provide yourself a coping statement like “It will be okay”, “This shall pass”, “It’s just a false alarm, I don’t need to pay my mind to this” and similar to these, what works best for you at that time.
4. Grounding Technique(s)
Grounding technique is a well-known technique for coping up with anxiety or panic attack. It is used to distract yourself.
While you are having a panic attack, you can count 5 objects you can see, name them. 4 things you can touch and name them also while doing it. 3 sounds you can hear to….and so on.
Basically you just have to engage your senses, your thoughts and try not to pay attention to that “situation” going on.
There are plenty other grounding techniques you can use. Here’s the link https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding-techniques
Check them out. They’re pretty cool.
5. Focus on the features of one object
You can also pick up one object and put all your focus onto it. For instance, a shampoo bottle. You can read its name, ingredients, what color is it, what it smells like, what is its design, what is its price. I mean, you can pick up anything from your surroundings. Just distract yourself.
You can also use mindfulness which is a clinically proven technique for treating multiple neurotic problems. Its fundamental principle is based on focusing on the “Present-The Now”.
As depression comes from past and anxiety and panic like feeling from thing about future like what is going to happen what will happen. It teaches you to focus on the NOW.
7. Visualize a happy place in your mind
Picture in your mind a happy place where you would like to spend your time, what kind of place nourishes your mind, soul and heart.
It could be a little house in meadows with flowers around and birds chirping and your favorite food is being prepared in that little house. Doesn’t that seem so peaceful and relaxing? I mean it might be different for you like beach or a lake near mountains. It’s about you.
8. Use essential oils
There are various essential oils that can help us though our problematic conditions and soothes us.
Lavender Oil is proved to be the calmer in anxiety and panic like states. It reduces anxiety, calms you and also helps you to sleep. You can apply it to your body. Its fragrance makes you calm and keep you relaxed.
Note: If you are using lavender oil and taking any benzodiazepines simultaneously, it can make you highly drowsy for the next whole day. So do not use them at the same time.
TIP: Chamomile tea is also very helpful in letting you fall asleep as if you are having trouble falling asleep, suffering from insomnia.
9. A little exercise
Engage yourself in some physical activity, some exercise just to keep your body active during panic attack.
I am not talking about hardcore cardio exercises here. May be just a little stretching. The purpose is to just move your body. Don’t just sit.
10. Alone Time
Spend some time alone with yourself; it prevents you from hyperstimulation you might be feeling at that time and positively talk to yourself in that personal time.
ALSO Try to write these self affirming statements in a diary or journal. It would have magical effects.
You can also take medication only if it is prescribed by the psychiatrist. You can take benzodiazepines for treating panic attacks as these are most prescribed medication.
Alprazolam is the best to treat panic attack but it comes with the major side effect that it is highly addictive and there might come a time you cannot function without having them. So better be it your last option if all other methods do not work for you.
At the end, I will sum up by quoting this beautiful saying:
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” ~Dan Millman