You can't always get rid of panic attacks completely, but you can learn to live with them.
You will need
- Deep breathing
- Muscle-relaxation exercises
- A support group
- A cognitive-behavior therapist
- Anti-anxiety medication
- A paper bag
Step 1 Accept it Accept the fact that you are having an attack. Facing panic head on reduces its intensity.
Step 2 Be realistic Be realistic. Remind yourself that you are not in any real danger.
Step 3 Rate it Rate your level of panic on a scale of one to ten. Sufferers find that this simple exercise somehow makes an attack more tolerable.
When you have a calm, quiet moment, think about what triggers your attacks. If you understand what causes them, you might be able to reduce them.
Step 4 Breathe Take a few deep breaths. Place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach as you inhale deeply and then exhale slowly. The hand on your chest should barely move; the other should rise up and down.
Step 5 Visualize Now picture yourself in a favorite, peaceful place, like in the mountains or on the beach.
Step 6 Release tension Release tension by tightening each muscle in your body for approximately five seconds before moving on to the next.
If you begin to hyperventilate, breathe into a paper bag for about ten minutes. This will diminish your symptoms by raising your carbon dioxide levels.
Step 7 Join a support group Join a support group, where other sufferers can share their tips and techniques for coping with and conquering panic attacks.
Step 8 Consider therapy Consider getting therapy. Cognitive-behavior therapy is especially useful in helping panic attack sufferers learn to cope with their fears.
Step 9 Ask about medication Ask your doctor or therapist if you are a good candidate for anti-anxiety medication.
Did You Know:
For unknown reasons, women have twice as many panic attacks as men.