If you’re like most folks, it’s likely that you’ve felt overwhelmed or worried about some issues in your life at one time or another. While it's normal to have concerns from time to time, if you’re unable to relax or if you overthink everything, you may be feeling the effects of extreme stress.
This stress can continue to build until you feel panic rising up. Panic attacks, like other forms of stress and worry, can result in negative consequences for your physical and emotional health, as well as your relationships!
Luckily, there are steps that you can take to feel calmer and keep yourself from progressing into a full blown panic attack.
Follow these steps to relax and stop a panic attack:
1. Admit that you’re starting to panic and assess your feelings. As soon as you start to panic, think about the sensations that you’re experiencing. Do you feel out of control? Does your chest feel tight? Do you feel breathless and dizzy? All of these are common symptoms that we experience as we begin to panic.
· It's important to be honest with yourself and openly admit that you’re starting to panic. You’ll likely discover that these sensations are the worst thing that will happen. You just have to be patient until the sensations subside.
· While these symptoms feel terrible, understand that you’re not in any real danger.
· Admitting and accepting the sensations of a panic attack are crucial first steps in calming down.
2. Learn how to relax during a panic attack. Regardless of where you might be, try to focus on your breathing and relaxing the tense and tight areas of your body during a panic attack.
· If you’re stationary and in a safe place, allow your eyelids to gently close as you inhale and exhale very slowly. Try to avoid thinking about anything other than using your diaphragm to fill and empty your lungs.
· If you happen to be driving in a car or operating machinery when the panic attack occurs, bring your vehicle or equipment to a safe stop. Then, acknowledge and release the stress that is pent up in your body.
· Continue to focus on your breathing until you feel that the sensations of the panic attack are completely gone. When you feel calm, centered, and in control, you’ll know the panic attack is over.
3. Reduce stress. Determine the causes of stress and worry in your life. Seek ways to reduce your stress levels by incorporating healthy strategies to deal with anxiety. By decreasing your overall stress levels, you can dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of your panic attacks.
· Healthy ways to deal with stress include adopting a balanced diet and getting adequate rest. Regular exercise, such as yoga and meditation, can also help release stress before, during, and after a panic attack occurs.
Experiencing the symptoms of a panic attack can be very upsetting and painful. These three steps can help you to learn to relax and regain your composure whenever panic strikes.