Panic attacks can be all consuming and downright frightening (and do I also need to say stressful?). That is, if you allow them to be…
They frighten you because you aren’t sure what’s happening to your body. Fear of the unknown is generally the most frightening part of a panic attack. The mind is the most powerful instrument that humankind was given. You can use this to your advantage by mastering your mind. Remember, you control what you think. So therefore, you have the ability to control the intensity of your emotions! Only you can determine what you believe to be true, and most importantly, you have the ability to control your panic attacks!If you refuse to have a panic attack, your mind will have no choice but to oblige.
While this is easier said than done, here are 10 strategies you can use to help you overcome your panic attacks. Note: Consult with your physician or health care provider before initiating any drastic changes to your life.
1. Just say no. Panic attacks are like an annoying little brother; they’ll keep coming back if you grant them the attention they so desperately seek. When you feel a panic attack coming on, focus your attention on something else.
2. Face your fears. During each panic attack, are you convinced that you’re experiencing a heart attack? If so, head to the doctor and have him evaluate your heart-health – that way you can have a professional do the diagnosing and treatment. P.S.: Once a medical professional eliminates heart attacks from your list of fears, the intensity of your panic attacks will likely lessen.
3. Breathe. Deep breathing will help calm your overall state of mind. Visualize the air filling your lungs and then slowly release the air. Repeat until your feelings of panic have diminished.
4. Recall past episodes. You’ve had panic attacks before and felt as if the world was coming to a screeching halt. However, just a few minutes after the attack, you went about your day normally and experienced no injuries or health problems. P.S.: Remind yourself that you’ve lived through panic attacks before and, if necessary, you can certainly endure them again.
5. Drink a glass of water. Recite to yourself, “In the time it takes me to drink this glass of water, my panic will have subsided.” Think of each drop of water as your tonic for the day. P.S.: Each drop of water washes your panic away and allows you to go about your day with a fresh perspective.
6. Take control. You’re the authority of your mind and body! You alone control your thoughts. When you feel the symptoms of a panic attack creeping up, take control. Firmly shake away the fear. P.S.: Deep down inside, you know that you have nothing to be afraid of. Panic attacks are just an annoyance, a minor disturbance, and not a health risk.
7. Seek support from others with panic disorder. If your community offers a support group for panic disorder, join. Alternatively, you can join an online forum specific to panic attacks or panic disorder. P.S.: Speaking to others who can identify with what you’re going through can make a world of difference.
8. Purchase oriental therapeutic balls. Though panic attacks aren’t directly correlated with stress, the stress sure does mount throughout the course of a panic attack. Slide two oriental therapeutic balls around the palm of your hand until you’ve calmed down.
9. Educate yourself on panic attacks and panic disorder. Do your due diligence when it comes to informing yourself about panic disorder. Research what happens during a panic attack, the normal reactions, the health effects of a panic attack, and available treatments. P.S.: You’ll soon begin to see that panic attacks pose no threat to your health or wellbeing.
10. Record positive statements. Carry a recorder with you at all times. Record positive statements, such as, “I am the master of my mind,” and “fear is no match for my unlimited spirit.” Play this recording when you feel as if a panic attack may strike.
Use these simple tips to help you rise above panic attacks. When used one at a time, these tips may seem simple and relatively ineffective. However, when implemented collectively, the tips above just may help you ward off an impending panic attack that is headed your way.
An interesting subject that many of us do we pay attention to is breathing. If you don’t breathe, you don’t live. Period. And it highlights the importance of breathing.
Let’s see from another angle: what are the problems of breathing badly?
– Behavior Problems. “According to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York, between behavior disorders linked to breathing problems are hyperactivity and aggressiveness, along with other emotional problems.”
– High Blood Pressure. 26-48% of hypertensive patients have OSA – Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome Obstructive Sleep and 40-81% with OSA have hypertension.
– Myocardial Infarction. 16% of patients with myocardial infarction presented OSA.
– Insulin resistance, decreased growth hormone, daytime sleepiness, 4 times more traffic accidents, depression, irritability, decreased memory and concentration, muscle pain, snoring, sleep apnea, among other risks.
All these problems reduce our quality of life and have great potential to stress us out. And lets face it: many situations of daily life, work pressures, family and everything else do not contribute much to our inner well-being.
So, what can we do? What’s necessary for us to breathe better?
– Find a position where your column is erect. When you sit, an upright posture improves airflow.
– If possible, close your eyes (if you do at work, it is best to leave them open or even your boss will think you are sleeping … 😉 ).
– Breathe in through your nose as deeply as you can. Then hold your breath. Count to 10 and release the breath through your mouth. Repeat 3 more times.
If for some reason you can not hold your breath for 10 seconds, count to 5, then. The important thing is to do this technique because it helps a lot to relieve that “extra load”. You can do this technique as many times as necessary, but I recommend at least once a day and also after a particularly stressful event.
Don’t you already feel less stressed? 😀
Professionals agree that it’s perfectly normal to experience a few panic attacks throughout your lifetime. However, if you experience panic attacks on a regular basis and it becomes more than a nuisance, it’s time to take action.
A panic disorder may make you feel as if you’re going to die or your health is in jeopardy. But before we get into the details of what a panic attack is, let’s discuss what it is not.
A panic attack is not a physical reaction to emotional stress or trauma. Rather, a volatile physical reaction due to emotional stress is actually an anxiety attack.
Anxiety attacks are caused by emotional stress and excessive worry and generally intensify over time. On the other hand, panic attacks usually occur without notice and peak within 10 minutes, then subside.
For instance, if you’re experiencing a panic attack, you may think: “I’m having difficulty breathing, my body is becoming tense, and my chest is tightening. I think I’m having a stroke or I may be dying!” You will then experience shortness of breath, an increased heart rate, a sense of impending doom, pain and other physical reactions, such as shaking, sweating, and dizziness. Essentially, your fear of looming death will cause your body to go into panic mode; hence the name, panic attack.
In reality, all of these symptoms and bodily responses can be medically explained. Because your fear has caused your mind to go into panic mode, it will generate symptoms and sensations (such as the tightening of your chest) that aren’t actually present. This, in turn, causes your body to produce adjacent reactions, such as sweating or trembling.
Put simply, the difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks are as follows:
๏ Panic attacks: Your attention is centered on your mind and body.
๏ Anxiety attacks: Your attention is centered on emotional stress and worry.