Symptoms of Panic Attacks Include:
- Racing Heart
- Chest Pain
- Feeling like you’re losing control or about to die
- Feeling like you’re choking
- Trembling or Shaking
- Shortness of Breath
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, about 5% of the adult American population experiences panic attacks. Panic attacks can be caused by factors to include stress, genetics, negative emotions, and unhealthy habits. Symptoms can mimic a heart attack and if you’ve ever experienced one before, you’ll know it’s no fun! If you would like to find ways to manage your panic attacks, keep scrolling! I have some tips for you to make your experience a little more tolerable.
When experiencing a panic attack, the last thing you want to do is panic even more. During a panic attack, your adrenaline levels are at an all time high which is why it is imperative that you try to remain calm. If you start feeling breathless, remember YOU ARE OK AND NOT IN DANGER. I know it’s a scary experience but I promise you that everything will be fine once it’s over. Keep cool, calm and collected and try practicing breathing exercises. Regulating your breathing help with that scary breathless feeling that you experience with panic attacks and can help you feel better. If you would like to learn more about breathing techniques, YouTube has an abundance of videos that you can view to teach you how to do them.
Did you know that being dehydrated can actually trigger a panic attack? If you didn’t, that’s ok because I didn’t either. In 2012 there was a study done at the University of Connecticut to test whether or not dehydration could have an impact on your mental health. Apparently it was proven that even mild dehydration can have a negative impact on your mental health. Crazy right?! When you drink water during a panic attack, you may notice that you feel a slightly better afterwards. That calm feeling comes from water stimulating what’s called the parasympathetic system which causes the heart rate to slow down during a panic attack. This is why it important to drink as much water as you can and limit the sugary drinks.
From personal experience, anytime I’m going through a panic attack I find that it helps to find ways to distract myself and keep my mind entertained. Panic attacks can be quite debilitating at times and I try to do what I can to keep myself from going crazy. Distraction is a coping mechanism that can help lessening the intensity of panic attacks. It allows you to focus your attention on something else which can making things a little less scary. Listed below are somethings that you can do to distract yourself from your panic attack symptoms.
- read your favorite book
- write down your thoughts in a journal or blog
- put your headphones on and go for a walk
- play your favorite video game
- play with your pet if you have one
In conclusion, take control over your panic attacks before they take control over you with the tips listed above. Panic attacks are often triggered by something causing you emotional distress and can be contolled through both patience and seeking professional help if necessary.
**As a challenge, trying saying parasympathetic 5 times fast. If you are able to do it without messing up, leave a comment below! Now that’s what I call a tongue twister!**