Anxiety and panic episodes can have a devastating effect on your life if they are not well handled. It’s common for people to remember every detail of their first anxiety attack since it’s so frightening.
A person who experiences anxiety attacks may question if there is anything they can do to prevent further episodes. The more tactics you learn to prevent panic attacks, the more you will be able to manage them rather than letting them control you.
The victim of a panic attack experiences a sudden and severe terror, even if there is no obvious risk or apparent reason. Once your body’s emergency system is triggered by this unwarranted fear, the fight-or-flight response takes over. It has the effect of making your body struggle for its survival, as if it were under attack.
No one is immune to the unpredictability of anxiety or panic attacks. People start to worry about when and where they will have another panic attack as a result of this. Their daily activities are drastically restricted because they no longer feel in control of their bodies. As long as you let this cycle continue, your world will become so limited that you won’t want to leave your house at all!
A panic attack’s symptoms usually peak within a few minutes. Anxiety, while usually brief, can continue for several hours in some people, even if they aren’t severe. Feeling fatigued after a panic attack can be likened to having completed a marathon or scaling the highest peak in the world. The best thing you can do is learn how to prevent panic attacks from starting in the first place.
Here are five tried-and-true methods for breaking the vicious cycle of anxiety episodes.
Take a Second to Breathe
When dealing with anxiety or stress, learning proper breathing techniques is the single most helpful skill you can acquire. In a state of terror, our breathing patterns shift automatically. Unfortunately, the inefficiency of your breathing exacerbates your dread, and the resulting panic can leave you feeling absolutely helpless.
If only your shoulders and chest rise as you breathe in, you are likely breathing in a way that considerably increases stress. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on breathing so that your stomach expands with each inhale. Anxiety might make this feel forced and even like you’re making things worse. No matter how uneasy you may feel, you must press on with the activity. Within minutes of practicing diaphragmatic breathing, the sympathetic nervous system will begin to switch off.
One other crucial point to keep in mind is to exhale for a longer period of time than you do to breathe in.
Be sure to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth when you breathe. You may feel uneasy and have trouble controlling your breathing during an anxiety attack, but it is crucial that you keep trying. Making a soft “shh” sound while exhaling has been recommended by some medical professionals as a way to slow down breathing.
Be in Charge of Your Mindset
How often do you make phone calls just to be put on hold? The waiting, the music, and the lack of human interaction in the elevator all add up to a frustrating experience. The encounter has the potential to significantly dampen one’s enthusiasm. In the midst of a panic attack, this is the mental state you should strive to achieve. You should strive to put your nervous and panicky thoughts on hold.
Anxious thoughts can be calmed in the same way by practicing any number of meditation styles or other anxiety-reduction approaches. If your panic attacks are brought on by excessive worrying or pondering, the best thing you can do is to quit doing those things. Give up trying to figure things out. Quit having an inner dialogue and start thinking out loud.
Many more intrusive thoughts may arise when you try to exert control over your thoughts, leaving you with the impression that you are currently too panicked to exert any control over your thoughts anyhow. However, the secret lies in maintaining consistency. When your mind wanders during meditation, it is important to gently bring it back to the void. When undergoing a panic attack, this method might be used as well. You can stop the panic attack in its tracks if you can pull your thoughts back to the present from the past or the future.
So, the next time you’re feeling the beginnings of an anxiety attack, recall the last time you were put on hold. Think of yourself as the phone operator, and yourself as the customer who refuses to be put on hold; now do what so many businesses force us to do; put your fear on hold.
Put Your Body at Ease
Muscle and bodily tension are strongly related to the levels of stress and anxiety that we experience. The best thing to do when a panic attack begins is to find a position that allows you to get as much rest as possible, regardless of where you happen to be. It could mean several things depending on your preferred position, such as a chair, the floor, or even standing. Do what makes you feel most at ease. You should avoid any vigorous exercise that raises your heart rate, as doing so can exacerbate a panic attack.
Start the progressive muscle relaxation approach as you relax in whatever position is most pleasant to you (PMR). PMR is a deep relaxation method that has been shown to effectively alleviate insomnia and chronic pain symptoms in addition to reducing stress and anxiety. First, try shrugging your shoulders to release some of the tension in those muscles. Next, tense up a certain group of muscles while inhaling for five to ten seconds, then let go all at once as you exhale. Before moving on to the next muscle group, take 10-20 seconds to unwind.
Relax each muscle group individually, paying attention to how it feels when the tension is gone. It may be helpful to use imagery in conjunction with stress reduction. For instance, while you consciously relax each muscle area, attempt to see the tension leaving your body. Start with your feet and move your way up, flexing and relaxing your muscles as you go. After you’ve worked all your muscle groups, take a few minutes to stretch them out to further enhance that fluid and relaxed sensation.
Aim for Physical Activity
Consistent exercise has many positive effects on one’s health. Those who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorders may find that engaging in regular exercise is an effective approach to alleviate stress and lessen anxious thoughts and feelings.
Consistent physical activity has been linked to a reduction in the negative effects of stress and uneasiness. Those who suffer from anxiety often carry stress and tension all over their bodies, but regular exercise can help release some of that tension. Second, frequent exercise can lessen the severity and frequency of panic episodes by increasing the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkilling and mood-boosting hormone. Finally, regular exercise can help lower stress levels and boost mood.
Regular exercise is one kind of self-care that can help you quickly overcome anxiety and panic episodes and get you back on track. In addition to the many other positive effects on mind and body that regular exercise has, you’ll also feel more confident in yourself. This, in turn, can help alleviate stress and boost your energy levels.
Adjust Your Diet
While it’s highly unlikely that what you eat can cause you to acquire an anxiety condition, if you already have one, you may find that some foods exacerbate your symptoms and could benefit from a dietary overhaul. There is mounting evidence that the food you eat might affect your mental state. Some foods have been demonstrated to fuel the body and alleviate distress, while others can produce alterations that could lead to an increase in anxiety.
The way you eat might have a major impact on your anxiety levels. If anxiety and panic attacks are a persistent problem for you, it may be time to take a closer look at your nutrition. First, you can try to reduce your anxiety by eliminating foods that may exacerbate it. Avoiding these meals altogether is a good idea.
- Fried food is difficult to digest, lacks nutritional value, and contributes to heart problems. The strain they place on your digestive system as it tries to process them may heighten your sense of unease.
- Alcohol is a diuretic and can disrupt your body’s natural hormone balance. As a result of the poisons involved, it can also create physical symptoms that mimic anxiety.
- Caffeine, found in beverages like coffee, tea, and energy drinks, is known to raise heart rate and cause symptoms that can be confused with, or even mistaken for, a panic attack.
- Milk and other dairy products aren’t inherently unhealthy, but too much of a good thing might make you anxious.
- Added sugars, such as those found in juice and cookies, are refined sugars. When consumed in large quantities, these sugars can stimulate the body, leading to feelings of agitation and heightened anxiety.
- Pickles, yogurt, sour cream, eggs, wine, and liver are all examples of acid-producing foods. There is some evidence that eating acidic meals can lower your magnesium levels. Insufficiency of magnesium has been linked to an increase in nervousness and stress.
If you suffer from anxiety, avoiding these foods may help alleviate some of your symptoms. If these items make up the bulk of your diet, you should expect to see positive changes in your anxiety by reducing your intake.
Take Control of Your Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal human emotion, and it affects everyone at some point. Fear, tension, wrath, and doubt are all typical human emotions that we all feel at times. However, when these feelings become excessive and disruptive to daily life, it may be a sign of a more serious disease. If nervous and negative thoughts have taken over your life, you are not alone; millions of individuals suffer from anxiety disorders.
If you’re sick and tired of feeling afraid all the time and having anxious thoughts that won’t go away, then you need to take charge of your life and figure out how to put an end to your anxiety and the panic attacks that come with it. You can learn to stop worrying and experiencing panic attacks with the help of these straightforward approaches. In little time at all, you will be master of your own mind and your life.