By Dana Brown, HealthConditions.Info
If you deal with panic attacks, you are not alone. Approximately 11% of people in the US will experience a panic attack each year, and for many, it’s a regular occurrence. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your risks of having a panic attack, as well as ways to make any panic attacks you do have easier to handle:
Create a Calming Environment
If we feel a lot of anxiety all in the same place (say, while isolating at home amidst a pandemic) we tend to start associating that place with our anxiety. We need to break those patterns in order to experience a different set of emotions within that environment.
Fortunately, you can reverse-engineer this to work in your favor. Redecorating, organizing, or just cleaning up your home can go a long way toward resetting its energy, turning it into an environment that facilitates calm.
Sustain Your Body
When we’re taking proper care of ourselves, our minds have a much easier time with emotion regulation. The simplest evidence of this is the existence of the word “hangry.” We’ve all experienced the terrible mood that can come hand in hand with having basic needs unmet.
In order to give your mind the best shot at good emotion regulation, focus on getting a varied diet and plenty of exercise. It’s also important to make sure you’re drinking enough water. If you have trouble keeping track, there are all sorts of water goal apps you can download on your phone to make it easier!
Give Yourself Permission to Feel Bad
Often, panic attacks are the mind’s response to hitting an overflow point. Many of us tend to bottle up negative feelings, either because we’re scared to feel them or worried about what others will think of us if we do. However, it’s important to remember that feelings are normal, and even the difficult ones serve a purpose.
For example, if you’re constantly suppressing feeling bad about your job, that stress might come out in the form of panic attacks. In addition to putting yourself in an emotionally precarious position, however, you’re also ignoring something your mind is trying to tell you. Maybe you don’t like what you’re doing, or maybe you want a new job or even a new career. Until you sit with your feelings, however, you won’t be able to identify what’s causing them and take appropriate action.
Release Excess Energy
Panic attacks can also happen because you’ve got too much energy or you’re downright bored. Finding ways to get rid of that physical or creative energy can be a game-changer. Consider picking up a hobby, such as art or music. This will give your brain something to do rather than mull over anxiety-inducing topics.
Coping When Panic Attacks Happen
Let us be frank: the advice above can significantly reduce your chance of having panic attacks, but it doesn’t mean they’ll never happen. Learning how to handle a panic attack without increasing the intensity is just as important as developing tools to prevent them. To that end, here are some tips for how to get through a panic attack:
- Reduce the intensity of your panic attack by focusing the anxious energy into vigorous physical movement. For example, you might try doing jumping jacks for a minute or two. Only do exercises you know you’re physically well enough to do without risking injury.
- Remind yourself that panic attacks are not physically dangerous and usually pass in 20 to 30 minutes. The mantra “This will pass,” can be a very powerful tool during this time.
- Use a five senses mindfulness exercise to bring yourself into the present moment. Say out loud, five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you can smell, and one you can touch.
These are just a few of the ways you can cope during a panic attack. Look around for other coping tools, or turn to a mental health professional for ideas suited to your needs. Panic attacks can be extremely challenging, and you don’t have to go it alone. If you need meditation guidance and mental health help, Metta Human has your back. Visit often for healthy insights.
Check out more of Dana Brown’s writing at HealthConditions.Info !
Have you experienced anxiety or panic attacks? Let us know in the comments below!
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