Under the Hood

Effective Strategies To Beating Panic Attacks Amid Pandemic

You feel like your body is short-circuiting then all of a sudden you’re either unable to move or breathe properly? You’re having a panic attack. Thankfully, there are strategies to help you overcome it.

Strategies To Overcome Panic Attacks

Panic attack is, for reasons more than one, an awful feeling. Statistics show that one in every four Americans who are unfortunate enough to experience it often go for months (even years) without knowing what to do about it. And when you’re in the moment, it may seem like you can’t do anything since it consists of you getting hit with a tidal wave of fear, with your body short-circuiting and your brain convinced that this is the end.

Fortunately, they are actually pretty straightforward to overcome. Here are strategies that might work for you:

Strategy #1: Reverse psychology

This may sound counterproductive, but when you get a panic attack, sometimes the best strategy is a little reverse psychology. It means meeting the panic attack head-on. This is because being “willing” to feel the symptoms of a panic attack can help stop the escalation cycle since you’re giving your body no reason to flee at all.

Strategy #2: Practice the symptoms yourself

Sometimes, recreating the feelings you feel during panic attacks is the last thing you want to do. The beauty in this, however, is you are interpreting them outside an actual panic attack, letting you stop seeing them as threatening. This helps you better prepare for your next panic attack.

Strategy #3: It’s just anxiety

Of course, anxiety itself isn’t just “anxiety” itself. But we’re not downplaying feelings here, but rather simply interpreting them in a different way. And remembering that panic attacks are simply anxiety and not death coming for you will help you handle them better.

Strategy #4: New thoughts

The thoughts that go in your head during panic attacks are scary, so why not work on changing them? Ease yourself into it, but the next time you get hit with an attack, just take your thoughts to a new place, possibly somewhere relaxing and calmer.

Take A Deep Breath: The Science Behind How Certain Breathing Techniques Can Quell A Panic Attack Many of us have experienced the stomach pain, nausea, and dizziness of a panic attack, capable of hitting us at the most inconvenient and out-of-the-blue moments. If you’ve had panic attacks for a while, you’re probably well aware of their warning signs – and probably looking for new ways to handle them and take control of your life. To start, reducing anxiety can be as simple as focusing on your breathing, and this video from Anxiety in Order can help with that.Breathing has always been a technique to bring people to a state of calm and meditation, and it’s employed during yoga to help people focus on the moment. But what exactly goes on in the body when we take deep breaths that helps our mental health? When we’re anxious, we experience a stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and our fight-or-flight response, which is responsible for shallow breathing and an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol. But when we take deep breaths, our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) -- which controls our body’s functions when we’re at rest – is activated, and this counters the stress response.By controlling our breath, we can indirectly impact the other functions of our body that we can’t voluntarily control – like our cardiovascular, digestive, hormonal, and even immune systems. The video suggests that people should inhale through their nose and breathe in for 4-5 seconds, then exhale slowly through their mouth for 4-5 seconds.There are other benefits to learning how to breathe well, including making eating more enjoyable, helping you fall asleep in under 60 seconds, and calming any type of stress response. And while consistent exercise, a healthy diet, social interactions, sleep hygiene, and cognitive behavioral therapy are all necessary to maintain mental health and fight off stress and anxiety, next time you’re on the train and experience a panic attack, start first with your breath. The rest can follow later. Youtube

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