During an Attack
You have to admit that this is a panic attack. It's not a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot in your lungs that prevents you from breathing. It's unpleasant, but relatively safe.
Panic attacks don't kill you, and even severe chest pain and shortness of breath won't cause your heart to stop. When a person realizes that it's a panic attack that has happened to them, it becomes easier to deal with the attack.
In a panic attack, there is no real danger. But the body reacts as if there is a danger: it increases the release of adrenaline, makes the heart beat faster, raises the blood pressure, and speeds up the metabolism.
An attack can be provoked by a conflict situation, unpleasant surroundings, overwork, abuse of alcohol, coffee or other stimulants. Sometimes even when you try something new, like when you try this Bitcoin casino Canada or a new workout with harder exercises, you can face such a problem.
Panic attacks can be one of the manifestations of an anxiety disorder. It's often combined with other conditions, such as depression.
With an anxiety disorder, there is danger, but the person tends to exaggerate it. He is sure that something terrible is bound to happen to him or his loved ones because of some unpleasant event.
It may be difficult to identify stress if the process has been prolonged and the body is trying to adapt. Then it seems that everything is fine, just accumulated fatigue.
Warmed air and monotonous activities equalize breathing, slow your heart rate, and reduce anxiety.
A simple exercise can help:
- Fold your hands in a boat shape.
- Bring your hands to your face.
- On the count of 1-2-3-4 take slow breaths.
- On the count of 1-2-3-4, slowly exhale.
- Repeat until panic recedes.
You can also cope with a panic attack by simply breathing slowly with your stomach. You can hold your breath for 2-3 seconds on the inhale. This will increase the flow of oxygen to the lungs and relieve the condition.
Drinking Some Water
Water should be warm or cool without gas. It is better to drink in small sips: it will be easier to calm down and concentrate on your breathing and body sensations.
Wash Your Face
It's better to wash your face with cool water. If possible, wash not only the face but also the hands up to the elbows. It is possible to take a shower, if you have enough strength and do not feel dizzy.
This slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and distracts from feelings of anxiety and fear.
Fear is especially severe if the attack occurs in the street, in transportation, or among strangers.
You can't actually faint during a panic attack, because doing so triggers the body's ancient "fight or flight" program. Although there is actually no danger, a person feels as if he or she has encountered a wild animal and must save his or her life.
The blood pressure rises, and the breathing and pulse quicken. The person feels dizzy and heavy breathing and feels as if he is about to faint, but he isn't.
The purpose of distraction is to switch to other sensations in the body. Anything you have the strength to do will do:
- Clenching and unclenching your fists.
- Shifting from foot to foot.
- Rubbing your face and earlobes.
- Massaging hands, fingers, and feet.
- Run on the spot.
- Pinch yourself.
- Touch something rough - stones, earth, clothes, change in your pocket.
- Count anything - buttons on clothes, birds on trees, floors in a house.
If panic strikes at home, you can do the usual things: wipe the dust, wash the dishes, make the bed. It's important that it be an activity that works the muscles.
Once you have managed to even out your breathing, you can close your eyes and mentally transport yourself to a safe place. This could be a house by a lake, the seashore, a clearing in the woods or a favorite cafe. The main thing is not the place itself, but the emotions associated with it.
Tranquil memories slow the production of adrenaline, reduce breathing and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and free you from anxious thoughts.
After the Attack
When a panic attack is over, it's advisable not to leave things as they are. Some panic attack symptoms are similar to the signs of heart, lung and nervous system diseases. Therefore, you need to go to a general practitioner and have an examination. The doctor may prescribe tests and an ECG to rule out serious health problems.
After the examination, it will be easier to deal with repeated attacks. When a person knows he or she is healthy, panic attack symptoms are not as frightening.
People who are in good physical shape tolerate attacks more easily and deal with them more quickly. You can start exercising in the morning, run around the house, swim in the pool or go to yoga, but without fanaticism. Overexertion, particularly at a workout, can provoke another attack.
A health check after a panic attack can be combined with a general body check-up before exercising.
Doing Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises give you strength and help you relax. You can learn several techniques to relieve tension.
Deep and calmly inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Try to make each subsequent inhalation and exhalation slightly longer than the previous ones.
Breathe slowly on the count 1-2-3-4, hold your breath for 3 seconds, slowly exhale. Repeat, gradually increasing the length of the inhale, exhale and breath retention.
Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Direct the air into your belly so that it inflates a little.
Breathing exercises can be combined with yoga, pilates and other exercises.
Following a Daily Routine
A person who sleeps little and works a lot is more likely to have a panic attack. You can reduce your risk by following these rules:
- Sleep at least 8 hours a night.
- Go to bed before 11:00 p.m.
- If you don't get enough sleep at night, rest 1-2 hours during the day.
- Keep the workload in moderation.
- Do your homework so that you have enough time to rest.
Getting Rid of Bad Habits
Alcohol, strong coffee and nicotine can provoke a panic attack. There are things you can do to help yourself:
- Limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- Drink no more than 2-3 cups of coffee a day.
- Avoid strong tea and other stimulants;
- Give up smoking.
Work With a Therapist
Panic attacks often accompany anxiety-depressive disorders. In this case, medication treatment may be required. Medications are prescribed by the doctor after examination.
The aim of such treatment is not only to prevent repeated attacks, but also to reduce general anxiety and increase quality of life. Drug treatment is necessarily combined with psychotherapy.