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Believe it or not, you can quickly control your panic attacks at home. The first ones I experienced were so intense it seemed almost impossible to stop them. Therefore, I always used to have my husband help me relax and calm down. After exploring new ways to stop them, I learned the importance of learning how to control panic attacks before they become unmanageable.
So, how do you fight them?
It is important to know that a positive attitude is needed to face and beat your panic attacks, whether you are medicated or not. No matter how intense they can be the good news is that they can be overcome, not only without drugs but also faster than you can imagine.
One of the best ways to fight them is to distract your mind. For example, try to watch a funny video on the onset of your symptoms. Yep, laughing is an effective way to control your panic attacks. However, you can also go for a walk to clear your head or call someone to talk to.
Keeping yourself busy can also help you cope. Adopting positive changes to improve your lifestyle can make them go away.
Panic attacks are not hard to deal with if you have the proper tools to deal with them. Staying focused, remaining optimistic, and learning how to relax is a great path towards fighting the panic disorder.
For those who don’t want to use prescription drugs, we will explain why stopping your panic attacks naturally is important and also, why they happen. In addition, we will share powerful tips to help control them whether you are using medications or not.
Why do panic attacks happen?
Anything that happens with your health is for a reason. From colds to any symptoms your body is trying to tell you something is not right. Panic disorder is not an exception. When you are very stressed you will feel many mental and physical symptoms, such as palpitations, irritability, body aches, Insomnia, stiffness, and many others. How we manage it will make a big difference and will not affect your health as much in short term situations.
On the other hand, when tension builds up over a prolonged time, your health can be affected with, not only conditions such as high blood pressure, endocrine problems, depression but also anxiety and panic attacks.
When you are experiencing a panic attack you are in a ‘flight or fight’ response in which the adrenaline hormone is released into your blood, increasing your blood pressure and causing hyperventilation. This happens to prepare you to defend yourself or get out of imminent danger. However, in reality, you are not in any danger. However, that’s how your body reacts when your stress levels are very high.
Many people like me have suffered from anxiety first before suffering one. In my case, I was constantly worrying about something before long before I had my first panic attack. However, at that time nobody spoke about anxiety, let alone panic disorder. Although I did not know what was happening to me I kept myself active and used to drink herbal teas.
How important is stopping panic attacks without a prescription
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, only 36.9% of people who suffer from an anxiety disorder are receiving treatment. If you have decided not to treat your panic disorder with any medications the good news is that you can fight them naturally.
Although medications may help relieve the symptoms, it is only temporary and can cause side effects such as nervousness, nausea, and increased heartbeats. Also, they can be habit-forming.
Keep in mind that even if you are taking prescription drugs, learning how to control them is crucial for an effective and long-lasting recovery. Drug-free treatments include psychological therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation techniques, exercises.
Handling them without taking any medication will help you to confront your own fears and worries. And you will become more focused on your mental wellbeing. Also, you will be able to manage them without depending on prescription drugs.
The extra cost, adverse effects, and the concerns about becoming dependent are some of the reasons why many individuals prefer to treat panic attacks naturally and without any medication.
We have successfully confronted our panic attacks naturally and have been the best decision we have ever made. It has helped us identify the triggers to prevent symptoms from becoming worse. After several years we are free from them. Now, we will share great suggestions on how to deal with them.
Please note that we don’t encourage anyone to stop taking their prescription medications. If you wish to explore a drug-free panic disorder treatment it is best to speak to your mental health professional.
13 simple but effective tips to control your panic attacks
Ever since I knew what was going on with me, I learned many ways to control the symptoms before they get worse. However, the more intense panic attacks are, the more time it will take you to control them. And facing them is the first step.
It is a bit scary at the beginning but once you learn how to stop your panic attacks you will gain control and the improvement will be gradual. No matter how horrible they are, you can do it!
It is best you do not wait until your symptoms become worse to do something about it. However, in the event that you are experiencing a full-blown panic attack do not fight it. Here are 13 ways to help you fight your intense fears:
Have your fan ready
On the onset of your symptoms turn on the AC or fan to find some relief. It will help you breathe better and it will help you distract your mind. Also, a ceiling fan can help you sleep better. During wintertime turn on your fan and position it away from you to prevent chills. You just want the air to circulate better which helps improve your breathing.
Stay indoors if it is humid
When the air is very moist and hot, breathing can be more difficult, let alone if you suffer from panic attacks or any breathing issues. Therefore, always check the weather before going out especially if it is summertime.
This is an easy relaxation technique to overcome your panic attack. Just put three drops of lavender oil on a napkin, cloth or handkerchief. Inhale and feel the relaxing aroma.
Lavender, my all-time favorite, is used for insomnia, stress, depression, muscle stiffness, and many more medicinal uses. Also, you can use it as a seasoning. Other essentials oils you can use to relax your body and calm your mind are ylang-ylang, bergamot, spearmint, rose, lemon, and frankincense.
Count until 100
Although it is very hard to concentrate in the middle of a panic attack, try only to focus on the numbers while you count. Breathe deeply and let it go. It is not easy at first but with practice, you can do it.
To help distract yourself, even more, count backward. Close your eyes and try to picture the numbers. You may not get to 100 before your panic attack goes away.
Use relaxing colors
Do you know that the color white can have calming effects? That’s why we painted our walls pristine bright white which makes us feel relaxed. I used to sit in front of the wall and think about nothing to relieve my symptoms. It would help lower my heart rate and make me feel better. However, staying focused was challenging to me at first until I adopted a more positive attitude.
Besides white, there are other relaxing colors such as pale green (I love jade green), yellow, lavender, blue, and even grey. The lighter the better.
Massage your arms
During the onset of my panic attack symptoms, I massaged my arms as my husband suggested. At first, I was a bit skeptic but it worked! As you may know, a massage stimulates your circulatory system which helps relieve your stress. Also, try to use your thumb or even a massager. You will feel better and will be able to stop your panic attack.
In addition, I massaged my sternum very gently and it worked. The bottom line is that massaging is an effective way to relieve your stress. Less tension in your life equals fewer panic attacks/anxiety!
Text or call a friend
There was a time I was suffering a panic attack and I decided to call a friend. I did not tell her that I was having one. Instead, we spoke about different topics which helped me distract my mind from them. It worked wonders for me because I focused on the conversation instead. We laughed and my panic attack disappeared before I knew it.
Also, text messaging is effective which helps your mind focus on something else rather than the symptoms.
According to Psych Central, research from the Baylor University found that praying to God “are less likely to experience anxiety-related disorders… compared to people who pray but don’t really expect to receive any comfort or protection from God.”
Laugh at your panic attack
We all know that they are no joke. However, I decided to change my attitude so I can face them. Do you know that laughing is a medicine that helps you relieve stress? However, keep in mind that you should not laugh or joke about anyone’s panic attack.
You can watch a funny movie or a comedy when you feel the onset of the symptoms. Funny stuff is a great way of calming myself.
Practice breathing exercises
Correcting your breathing is also part of stoping your panic attacks. In fact, we breathe heavily when stress levels are high. To avoid hyperventilation and keep your intense fears at bay. Make sure you breathe deeply as if you are filling your lungs like a balloon. Once you do this you will feel your stomach rising.
My favorite breathing technique is the one that my husband taught me. He guided me to inhale until my belly rise, holding for 3 seconds and exhaling slowly. I repeated it as much as I needed.
Another technique, the 4-7-8, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil is also useful. Inhale through your nose to count of 4. Make sure your belly is filling in with air. Hold it to the count of 7 and exhale to the count of 8 through your mouth. However, I prefer to use my nose. This technique worked for me and helped correct my breathing.
This is one of the best ways to stop a panic attack symptoms before they worsen.
At the onset of your symptoms, singing may work for some of you. Why? Because you can focus on anything else rather than the panic attack. For example, sing a song that makes you feel happy.
Self-talk to fight your fears
This technique helped me become more optimistic. Affirmations or mantras will help your mind. They can turn negative thoughts or worries into a positive idea that will help you relieve your symptoms before they turn into a full-blown panic attack.
Phrases like “I have no time for a panic attack right now” or “Panic attack, I am not afraid of you, get out of here!” may sound kind of weird but they have worked for me. They help you prepare to face them. Also, “I will be fine tomorrow ” or “I am fine” can help you stay positive mindset.
Pretend you do not have it
Yep, just like that. If you feel the symptoms keep doing what you are doing or keep focused. At first, it will be hard but it will work because you will be able to confront your intense fears.
For example, if you experiencing a panic attack when you are reading, watching TV or cleaning just concentrate on what you are doing and block it out of your mind.
Bonus: Visualize your intense fears going away
Not only affirmations will help you cope with them but thinking positive is also effective. Imagine yourself on an isolated island surrounded by the breeze, sea, and sand feeling great and relaxed. I used to visualize myself in a zen garden. Also, you can see videos or pictures of any place you want to help your visualization.
Some reminders to help stop your panic attacks
You have learned how to deal with them but might wondering what to expect. These tips will help you with what you need to keep in mind to make your recovery an effective one:
It will take some time to control them
This is normal especially if you have been suffering from panic attacks for a long time. The first time will be hardest but this is part of your recovery. I remember those days when I felt frustrated but remaining motivated helped me a lot. The importance is not to give up. It may take you a couple of weeks before you feel any significant improvement assuming you have followed our suggestions regularly and how committed you are.
The more you try our tips the sooner you will see the desired results
Trying our tips can help you figure out which ones work better. You will relax more and learn how to cope. As a suggestion, keep following them even if you are feeling much better. Adopt positive changes in your lifestyle such as learning to relax, exercise, and eat healthier.
You will be more familiar with panic attacks
Knowledge is the key. The more you know about panic disorder the less scared you will feel about them. Learning how to control them will definitely change your life.
Have some time to relax
It is essential to have time to chill to help reduce stress levels and prevent full-blown panic attacks. Our above-referenced tips will help you focus on relaxation which helps you stay positive and focused on beating your most intense and uncontrollable fears.
Keep a diary to fight your fears
Writing down any thoughts, signs, or any fears will help find any triggers and manage your stress. You can add any positive outcomes or what you would do about them.
Keep in mind that panic attacks are manageable and can be beaten without prescription medications as in our case. The more you practice the techniques we shared the easier it will be to confront them successfully. It is very important to stay positive to fight negative thoughts. Also, learning to identify your symptoms will definitely help you face them.
As we stated previously if you are taking medications, speak to your mental health practitioner if you prefer to follow a panic attack treatment without medication.
Are your panic attacks affecting your career? Our article “How to handle severe work anxiety? Yes, you can do it!” is a great source of information that will help you stop a panic attack in your workplace.
B.L.A. is a web developer/designer and writer who enjoys country life in western Pennsylvania, USA along with her husband C.C.A, who is also a contributor, co-author, and editor.
Check out their other blog SmartAroundyourWrist.com.