For those who have suffered a panic attack, you know they can be a horribly uncomfortable experience. Many sufferers develop residual anxiety about if/when they will have another attack, creating a downward spiral of anxiety and overwhelm. Thankfully, most people are able to reduce the frequency and severity of their panic attacks through anxiety counseling in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl. They learn how to control their anxiety symptoms and often eliminate the attacks altogether.
The guide below will help you stop a panic attack after it starts so you can get the relief you need.
Recognize Potential Anxiety Triggers
You may be able to stop a panic attack before it ever happens. To do this, you need to know what usually triggers your panic attacks. Is there a certain sight or sound that causes your heart to start racing? Do you experience anxiety during a specific time of day? Some panic attacks occur at random, but most have an identifiable trigger.
Once you know what causes your panic attacks, you can work on how you react to that trigger. This is one of the most important elements of anxiety counseling. During our anxiety treatment programs, we help clients determine what is causing their anxiety, whether it be past trauma, low self-esteem, or any other experience. Then we teach them how to manage their anxiety so those triggers have little to no effect.
Control Your Breathing
Controlling your breathing will slow your rapid heart rate. This is one of the most concerning aspects of a panic attack because it feels unnatural. Take a deep breath over the course of 5 seconds, and then exhale for 5 seconds. Repeat this process until you feel your body relax. Breath control takes care of the physical element of a panic attack, freeing you to work on the mental side of it.
Acknowledge The Panic Attack
You’re having a panic attack – not a heart attack, not a stroke, not a mental breakdown. It’s just a panic attack. Acknowledging this will not eliminate the symptoms altogether, but it will reduce your instinctual fear. You know what’s going on and you know you have to do something to control it. Reassure yourself of what you’re experiencing so you can focus on relief.
One of the most trusted ways to stop a panic attack is with the grounding method. This involves pinpointing specific objects, smells and sounds around you to reacquaint your mind with its environment. During a panic attack, you may feel out of place and overwhelmed by the world around you. Grounding makes that world seem smaller and more manageable.
Many anxiety counselors recommend the 5-4-3-2-1 method of grounding. Identify:
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can touch
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste (even if it is a leftover crumb stuck between your teeth)
Doing this provides a complete sensory experience, which calms your anxiety quickly. If you do not have time or cannot remember to identify each of these senses, at least try to look for five things that feel familiar to you. The color of the wall, a picture by the bed, a coat hanging in the closet – anything can become an element of comfort during a panic attack.
Find What Works For You Through Counseling
Every person with anxiety has a unique way of coping. What triggers your anxiety will be different than the triggers for someone else. An anxiety counselor can help you create a personalized coping method specifically for your concerns, lifestyle and overall experiences. With that plan in place, you should see a significant improvement in your panic attacks and anxiety symptoms.
Contact Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa Fl. & Brandon Fl at 813-244-1251