How to Control a Panic Attack

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A panic attack is a stress-related condition caused by excessive adrenaline in the bloodstream. When there is an excessive amount of adrenaline in the system, the body’s flight-or-fight response is triggered. When this response is triggered, the body’ senses are heightened to respond quickly to emergencies. And sometimes, these responses cause physical symptoms similar to a heart attack.

Signs of a panic attack include a racing heartbeat, dizziness, tingling sensation in the hands and fingers and chest pain. Other symptoms include difficulty in breathing, a sense of helplessness and dread, as well as hyperventilation and chills.

How to Control a Panic Attack

Controlled Breathing

One way to ease a panic attack is to perform breathing exercises regularly. Breathing exercises help calm the nerves, preventing hyperventilation. You want to gain control of your breathing by fighting the urge to breathe too full or too fast. Start slowly with deliberate breathing spaced out to several seconds. You want to breathe in, hold your breath for 2 to 3 seconds, and then breathe out for 7 seconds. Do this every time you feel a sense of panic coming on to stop the attack.

Seek Professional Help

Although panic attacks do not pose any danger to the health, it is still worth a doctor’s visit. Knowing that you are of sound health helps ease anxiety and stress too. When you know you are healthy, it is much easier to keep panic attacks in control.

Be Open about the Condition

Having panic attacks is a source of embarrassment for some, it shouldn’t be. Be open to the condition and let loved ones know what you are dealing with. Struggling with a stress-induced condition on your own puts pressure on yourself. It is okay to talk to a trusted friend or a family member about your condition to let them know what you are feeling.

Exercise Regularly

One of the best ways to de-stress is to exercise! Exercising alleviates anxiety, stress, and promotes better mental health! Our advice is to talk to your doctor about regular exercise and adding it to any anxiety reduction plan recommended by your physician.

Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

Keep anxiety down by leading a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet coupled with regular exercise is proven effective in minimizing panic attacks. Getting enough sleep is just as important! You want to get at least seven solid hours of sleep every night to reduce stress and anxiety. Sleep deprivation causes a range of discomforts including headaches, loss of focus, weak muscles and fatigue. All these symptoms contribute to a panic attack.

Trigger Desensitization

Instead of dreading triggers, consider dealing with the problem head on. Desensitization is a method that desensitizes a patient to a trigger. This way, the patient becomes used to the trigger, easing panic attacks. Desensitization is best done in the presence of a trained professional. The concept of desensitization is to stop fearing over a certain trigger to control a panic attack.

The fact is, one of the reasons why a panic attack occurs is that a patient actively avoids the trigger for fear of dealing with an attack. Avoidance may be good, but it won’t help deal with the condition. Facing the trigger head on and accepting the attacks is one way to overcome this condition.


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