A panic attack is indescribable to anyone who has never had one before. It seems as though for a few minutes or even hours that anxiety is so intense it causes your body to have reactions that are frightening. Sensations of pressure, anxiety and stress are all character of these attacks and when you have one suddenly, it can feel like you are dying or that you need help immediately. In fact, you are not in any harm; it just is your body's natural reaction to protect itself from danger. Unfortunately the negative feelings and excessive worry that accompany attacks can often hinder a person's life and it is imperative to talk to a health professional immediately to seek treatment.
Alternately, if you decide to simply put up with panic attacks or panic disorder, you can try to reorganize your thoughts into a positive response and learn self-help methods that can help you to talk your way out of panic attacks. Numerous health professionals and others who have had panic attacks have a few tricks that can help alleviate panic attack symptoms, and perhaps cease them all together. Utilizing these techniques will be quite helpful when stopping a panic attack in its tracks.
Typically when a person is in the moment of having a panic attack, their breathing becomes gaspy. Though they feel they are having a shortness of breath, in actuality, they are hyperventilating. Additionally, the shallow breaths that one is taking can interrupt the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of the body. One way to control that feeling is to try to maintain a steady breathing pattern. Sometimes this can be difficult but it will come with practice. A person can practice deep breathing, trying to breathe directly from their diaphragm. It helps to inhale slowly and count to ten and then exhale and slowly count to ten. Doing this for a short period should help get a person's breathing back on track and into a more normal pattern. Remember to practice this method any time you have an attack.
Another symptom of these attacks are muscles that just freeze up and tighten, creating tension throughout the body. It can hurt and perhaps worsen the attack. One thing that works as a source of self-help for panic attacks is progressive muscle relaxation. Sometimes in the midst of an attack, it is hard to remember this but instead of focusing on your attack, try to focus on this technique. Progressive muscle relaxation involves isolating a certain muscle in the body, typically working from the toes up, flexing the muscle for a few counts and then releasing the flex. Increasing the tension and then causing self-inflicted relaxation of those muscles can result in relaxing the entire body.
Another method of helping to fight off panic attacks is writing. When you are feeling the sensations of the racing heart, shallow breathing, and numbness and tingling in your limbs, think instead of writing it down. Write down your thoughts, feelings and sensations. This allows you to get your feelings out on paper and distraction is a wonderful way to also combat an attack as your mind is focusing on a task rather than on panicking. One thing about this diary too is that you can share it with your healthcare professionals. It is a good method of self therapy so that you can recognize the symptoms and stressors that may trigger a panic attack and work to cease them before they work into a full blown panic attack.
Jeff Staniforth dedicates his time to helping others get the info that they need to gain ultimate freedom from anxiety. Find out more by clicking the following link: panic attacks self help
Also, Jeff is a frequent blogger on psychology and personal empowerment who practices what he preaches. Check out his site at www.AffirmationsForTheMind.com