Have you ever had a panic attack before? If you have, then you are aware that it is an overwhelming feeling. Although there are many descriptions for it, the best one would be that it feels like you are at war with your mind and you are the only soldier fighting against it. You have a feeling of impending doom, your body goes into fight or flight mode and it feels like you are going to die. However, there is a solution. Training yourself is the key to holding any type of panic attack at bay.
With that thought, here are some steps you should keep in mind for guarding against an anxiety attack:
Education is the first step
Educating yourself about your anxiety attacks can help you a great deal. Simply put, you need to figure out what triggers you and how to avoid it. Some out-of-the-box thinking could possibly be required. For example, if you are in a committed relationship, there is some research that co-sleeping with your spouse or significant other can make a huge difference on your emotional well-being. Furthermore, you should utilize education to help you understand the nature of your panic attacks, what to expect regarding your panic attacks and how to combat them when they occur.
Identify the signs of a panic attack and practice self-talk
Although anxiety can happen at any time of day, one of the keys is to know what to do when you are having one. The signs are generally the same: you have heart palpitations, chest pains or sweaty Palms. Sometimes when you realize you’re actually having one, many people exacerbated by going into full panic mode. However, you can utilize your realization of a panic attack to your own advantage. You can practice self talk, saying something to the effect of, “these are just signs that I’m having a panic attack. Nothing bad is going to happen to me.”
Take deep breaths
Although this can seem really hard, one of the most powerful techniques for overcoming anxiety attack would be to simply breathe deeply. Since this is easier said than done, many medical professionals recommend that you practice, starting with this little as 10 minutes before bed, in the shower or while you’re doing some other type of household activities. The main endeavor is to breathe for 4 minutes, hold for 4 minutes and let out for another 2 to 4 minutes. Focus on the breathing in and breathing out and imagine all of your anxieties and fears going away with it. Increase the time on this technique every time you practice.
Practice grounding yourself
When you are having a panic attack, one way to counter balance it would be through grounding. This is an excellent form of natural treatment because it helps you rationalize your brain and helps you to avoid fighting with it. Moreover, it can be a great distraction tool. Some of these grounding strategies would include focusing on your feet on the ground, placing your hands on the steering wheel, or examining the texture of a wall. This helps you decrease focus on your stressful thoughts and decrease your anxiety.
Use affirmative phrases
Using affirmative phrases is all about replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones. Simply put, do you need to convince yourself of the positive. That means you say such things as, “This is just a panic attack. I’ve been through worse.” if you are not sure what to say, simply Google something to the effect of, “mantras for anxiety” and this will help you promote positive self-talk.
Get some fresh air
Another great way for overcoming your anxiety attacks will be to simply just get a breath of fresh air. If you are out with friends, all you have to say is something like, “excuse me, I’m going to get a little bit of fresh air.” no one will judge you for it, because everyone, at times, needs exactly the same.
Utilize the “Aware” technique
If you have a considerably serious case of anxiety, this might be the way to go. First of all, be aware that the “aware” technique is simply a literary device (see what I did there?) for conquering an anxiety attack that is made up of the following steps:
A – Accept your anxiety attack symptoms.
W – “Watch over” your attack, playing like you are someone else observing you.
A – Act as if nothing has happened at all.
R – Repeat these steps until you relax.
E – Eliminate negative thinking and expect the best.
Having an anxiety attack is no fun, but diligence is the key to avoiding your panic attacks. Educate yourself on the various techniques and there is no question in my mind that you will find a strategy that will work for you. Above all else, don’t judge yourself; anxiety attacks happen to the best of us.