Panic attack what to do immediately

Panic attack, what to do: immediate remedies

The panic attacks they are sudden episodes of fear and anxiety in which we seem to lose control. At the moment of the panic attack the body is highly activated and our thoughts become intense and catastrophic, to the point of thinking of dying or going crazy. There are some practical exercises and useful strategies to manage the panic attack when it occurs.

To know more:
Why do panic attacks come and what to do?

Panic attack: immediate remedy

Recognize the panic attack

To manage a panic attack the first step is recognize it. Anxiety aim for the “surprise effect”: during a panic attack not
we can always think clearly, but once we learn how anxiety works and identify its signs, we can identify panic symptoms in order not to confuse it with other diseases and, therefore, not to scare us further. Only after recognizing the signs of anxiety, we will be able to apply some strategies to learn how to manage the panic attack.

Things to remember during a panic attack

During a panic attack we want to erase the anxiety symptoms immediately. But the more we try to stop having anxiety, the more panic takes on an increasingly uncontrolled reach on our body. When we recognize the symptoms of a panic attack, let’s try to stop and say these sentences: “This is just a symptom of anxiety”, “I know it lasts a few minutes and then passes”, “It’s normal for me to have anxiety right now”.

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Slow down and relax

It’s important during a panic attack restore balance and gradually return to a state of stillness. Some exercises of
breathing and muscle relaxation they can be useful for restoring the compromised physiological balance.

Controlling Breath: Breathing 7-11

If we are experiencing a panic attack we will definitely notice one change in our breathing. We may run out of breath, until
feeling suffocated: this is a consequence ofhyperventilation, a typical symptom of anxiety. Through breath control yes
It can also slow down the heart rate. There breathing sequence 7-11 allows the body to switch between states of
activation to one of rest, easing the symptoms of anxiety.

  1. Inhale and count to 7.
  2. Exhale and count to 11.
  3. Repeat the sequence for a few minutes.

In case of difficulty, you can try other numerical sequences, making sure that the exhalation is longer and longer
of inspiration. With this exercise the respiratory rhythm will be re-established in a few minutes.

Relax your muscles to release tension

When we are in a panic, even the muscles could be more tense: lo stretching o to handling are good strategies to slow down the body in the moment of a panic attack. Stop and take a break for relax your muscles, will loosen
the tension gradually.

Return to the present

When we experience a panic attack, the activation of the body caused by anxiety monopolizes our attention. We focus on
shortness of breath, chest pain, trembling in hands or legs. It seems to us that the body is totally invaded by panic and this further increases our catastrophic thoughts about the consequences that we could then have in the future. For this reason, it is very important during a panic attack use strategies to “anchore” to the present and gradually manage anxiety symptoms.

The anchoring technique

During a panic attack, we can activate our body to bring attention to the present, focusing on its parts not directly involved. Let’s try to press the palm of one hand, move the fingers, fix the soles of the feet on the ground. These movements help us listen to all the sensations and restore control: by voluntarily activating certain parts of the body we remind ourselves that we are still able to be present to ourselves.

Distract yourself using the 5 senses

During a panic attack, the stimuli around us can be excellent allies to temporarily distract us and weaken the internal, mental and physical sensations that monopolize our attention. Touching the fabric of our clothes, smelling a reassuring perfume, recognizing the colors of the objects around us are just some of the different ways to shift focus and reduce anxiety through contact with reality and the outside world. The sensory strategies they serve to shift attention from internal symptoms to the external world. Stopping focus only on panic helps restore calm and to guide us in the here and now.

Panic attacks: phrases to say to those who suffer from it

Listen without prejudice

During a panic attack it is important to listen to the needs of the person who suffers from it, showing oneself present, but, at the same time, paying attention not to invade the spaces. “I’m here”, “You are not alone”, “Try to breathe” are just some of the phrases we can say to a person during a panic attack. Let’s try to put ourselves listening to your needs and, when they are not communicated to us, we offer our support with concrete gestures of help. We can get some water, open the window, welcome his movements and propose to breathe together. It is important to tune into the needs of those who suffer from it, without taking anything for granted.

Be careful not to invalidate

“Don’t do that”, “Think of who’s worse off”, “You do it to get attention” are some Phrases not to say during a panic attack. Even if we are motivated by good intentions, when we try to minimize the emotions of others, we actually contribute to further increase the discomfort, making the person suffering from panic attacks feel inadequate for his own condition. The motivations and needs that trigger panic attacks are different from person to person: it is important to take them into account to avoid falling into simplistic remedies or incorrect attributions of meaning. If a person next to us is having a panic attackwe can be with her and with her emotions, offer you our support and, subsequently, encourage her to seek professional help.

The strategies outlined in this article can help during the onset of a panic attack, but it is always advisable to consult a psychologist to specifically evaluate the symptoms and develop an individual clinical programme.

In therapy work is done psychoeducation on the functioning of anxiety and this helps to significantly reduce the intensity of its manifestations. Furthermore, with the specialist it will be possible to develop tailor-made strategies to manage panic attacks, addressing the individual psychological experience underlying them

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