By Dr.Stephen Antony , MD (Psychiatry)
If you are suffering from panic attacks and want to know how to stop panic attacks, then follow the steps outlined here, they will help you overcome panic attacks:
Steps on how to stop panic attacks:-
Step 1: Realize the truth behind panic attacks:
Panic attacks are caused by an excess rush of adrenaline into the blood stream, this rush provokes the fight or flight response and manifests with physical symptoms. You need to understand that the adrenaline which causes this reaction is produced in limited quantities by the body and your system will eventually run out of adrenaline and the symptoms will stop when the adrenaline burns out.
So next time you have a panic attack, don’t fight it. Let it come and take its course and assure yourself that you will live through it, it is just a chemical rush and it will eventually stop when the chemicals burn out.
Step 2: Breathe:
The moment you find yourself experiencing the symptoms of panic attacks, slow down and take slow, deep and complete breaths.
Whenever we feel anxious or stressed, our breathing tends to become shallow and rapid. This type of breathing further complicates the situation and sends danger signals to the brain resulting in an increase in anxiety.
Whenever you feel anxious or stressed or worried, take a moment, and breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Feel the breath fill your lungs as it gently expands the chest and abdomen. You’re your breath for some time and then exhale slowly through your mouth. If you practice this method you will notice a deep relaxation in your body. Whenever you feel tense or anxious, take time to slow your breathing. Breathe deeply and gently to calm your body and mind.
Step 3 : Focus towards what you want:
Stop thinking about negative events and wrongdoings of others and instead start thinking about the things you want in your life. Negative Thinking is known to provoke panic attacks.
Read positive books and think about the things you want to attract in to your life. The book/movie “The Secret” is an excellent place to start. Make a commitment to yourself to think only about the things you want in your life for the next one month and you will see the difference.
Step 4: Use affirmations:
Say calming statements to your self.
Use statements such as “ I can handle this ”, “ This will be over soon”, “ This will pass”, “ I can stay calm even with my symptoms”. These statements will help you get better control over the situation.
Step 5: Re-affirm:
After the panic attack has passed, re-affirm to yourself that the panic attack is a temporary rush of chemicals and it will eventually pass away and you can stay calm throughout the situation.
Long term strategy to stop panic attacks:
Whenever you feel anxious or depressed, exercise may seem like a difficult thing to do but it provides the quickest form of emotional and physical rejuvenation. You need to consistently motivate yourself get some exercise and with time you will find a big difference in your mood and your overall sense of well-being.
Research on anxiety and depression shows that exercise:
- Releases feel-good brain chemicals such as encephalins, endorphins and other neurotransmitters that can act as natural anti-depressants and natural anti-anxiety agents.
- Reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen the mood
- Increasing body temperature, which may have soothing and calming effects
Exercise also helps you get a better physique and makes you feel better about your appearance and promotes your confidence.
A quick burst of exercise can provide you with a much-needed break from work and worry and takes your mind off negative thoughts. Exercise helps you wash away the negative and stressful chemicals from your body.
Exercise is one of the most healthy steps to coping with panic attacks and anxiety.
Your exercise doesn’t have to be intense. Even something as simple as a brisk walk or a few push ups and sit-ups (squats) for at least 15-20 minutes a day can help immensely by clearing up your thoughts and lifting your spirits. Better yet, listen to your favorite music or watch a video program while you work out. Follow up with a warm bath and fresh clothes. You will feel rejuvenated after the routine!
Get rid of your negative habits:
Alcohol and substance abuse are known to worsen anxiety symptoms. Some people take up to negative habits such as drinking alcohol or substance abuse just to get away from their fears and problems but this is a short-term strategy and spells doom in the long-term
In contrast, a healthy life style and exercise provide an excellent alternative to coping, it helps you think clearly and eventually overcome your problems in life. It can make you stronger and give you the mental toughness to handle and survive difficult situations in the future.
Avoid bad foods:
Caffeine is known to trigger panic attacks and variety of panic symptoms. Caffeine is found in coffee, energy drinks, tea, some soft drinks, cold medicines and pain relievers. caffeine in low amounts doesn’t cause much problem but when taken in high quantities, it can trigger anxiety, if you’ve already been consuming caffeine on a regular basis, you need to taper down your consumption slowly and not stop abruptly. Abrupt stoppage of caffeine intake can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability and anxiety and this can be avoided by following Linden method of treatment which will help you to stop panic attacks.
Avoid Junk foods:
Junk foods are loaded with sugar, carbs & fats, so they taste good and give you an instant spike of glucose levels, but there’s also a flip side to it…
Sudden increases in blood sugar, triggers the body to release insulin into the blood. Junk food typically have a very low fiber content so insulin has nothing to work on and it starts feeding on the stable level of glucose in the blood and further reduces the glucose levels , this leaves you feeling dull, exhausted and anxious within a short period of consuming the fast food.
Choose a balanced diet that has plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as whole grains and lean meat.
It’s been shown that foods rich in B vitamins can be helpful at reducing panic attacks and anxiety. Some B vitamin-rich foods include, tuna, bananas, potatoes, legumes, turkey and oats. These should be eaten as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet.Also you can refer to the various famous and critical treatments which can help you stop panic attacks with ease.
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