- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Tips on Controlling Panic Attacks
What is a panic attack
How to bring a sense of calm back into your life
I have only ever had two panic attack's in my lifetime. One came out of the blue and was after being told something devastating and that was going to affect me for the rest of my life and the other was prior to attending an interview after being on a career break for a long period of time.
Panic attacks can be brought on by a whole host of situations. Lack of money, stress and being unable to pay the bills can all lead to states of anxiety.
I can only say that the symptoms in my case were a combination of not being able to catch my breath, sweating, chest pain and nausea.
After talking about the subject even further with my doctor I have found out that depending on the case some other symptoms include dizziness, trembling, hot or cold flushes, palpitations and tingling or numbness in the extremities.
It is quite evident from talking to my doctor that a panic attack is not just a case of being nervous it has been noted that it can resemble a heart attack in some cases.
How to bring back a sense of calm to your life
It would be best to get the symptoms confirmed by your GP to prove that you are in fact experiencing panic attacks. Once this has been confirmed then these few suggestions that I have used myself may help you:-
- Talk to yourself, telling yourself that your ok and that the attack will be over shortly, this has worked for me previously and can bring a sense of calm back quite quickly.
- Practising talking to yourself can take the edge away when a panic attack appears.
- Relaxing a muscle at a time within your body, starting from the facial muscles until you reach your feet, and slowly breathing in and out is another way that I have got over a panic attack.
- Progressive relaxation is also another way of dealing with a panic attack. Clench your right fist, keep it tightly clenched for about ten seconds and then release and let it go limp. Do the same with your left hand and then both hands simultaneously. Then bend both your elbows and tense your arms. Relax them, then let them hang at your sides. Then tense and relax your shoulders and your neck, then tense and relax your forehead and brows; squeeze your eyes shut and clench your jaw, then relax.
- You can then move on to tense and relax your stomach, lower back, thighs and buttocks, then your calves and both feet.
From start to finish the whole exercise should take about ten minutes and I would suggest at first doing these at least twice a day.
Your be amazed at how calm you will feel once you get into a routine of doing the exercises regularly.
When I would suggest you see your doctor
If your not 100% sure whether you are actually having panic attacks maybe it is time to see a doctor, some medical conditions or medications can cause similar symptoms.
If you are experiencing panic and anxiety health experts suggest that you seek immediate professional attention as treatment gets more difficult the more that the problem raises it's head.
And finally I would reflect
I found that once I had dealt with my panic attack I needed to think about the situation that was in and what had made it occur in the first place.
On reflection both of my scenarios suggest a very high level of stress which from experience I feel did have some bearing on the reason I had the panic attack in the first place.
© 2012 Trudy Cooper