Around 10% of people suffer from panic attacks at some stage in their lives. Women are twice as likely to suffer from them as men, but one thing is for sure; nobody wants to go through such a thing if they can help it.
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Luckily, increasing interest in psychology has meant the tools we have for dealing with panic attacks are developing well.
Here we will try to deal with panic attacks at 3 different stages; before onset, during the attack itself, and when the attack subsides.
Happily, the mechanisms of panic attacks are now much better understood than they once were.
Stopping attacks before they happen is obviously the most desirable outcome, and while they may not be entirely avoided, reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake will reduce your susceptibility to panic attacks.
Exercise, particularly learning to control your breathing is also helpful for lessening the likelihood of an attack.
Exercise also reduces anxiety and depression while improving your overall health; the benefits really are incredible!
2. During An Attack
While having a panic attack, it can obviously be very difficult to arrange your thoughts and collect yourself; however, if you maintain a sharp focus, the experience can be over in minutes.
Panic attacks are reactions to certain stimuli triggering a process in your mind which leads to the attack.
If you are aware of what is causing the attack it is entirely possible to learn to talk yourself out of it through the power of positive thinking alone.
Repeating a comforting phrase to yourself can be particularly effective.
If you have been through this before, it might be a good idea to remind yourself that if you can do it once, you can make it through again.
3. After An Attack
As bad as having a panic attack is, once it subsides you may not start feeling great again immediately.
It’s a very draining experience and can leave you mentally and physically exhausted and often it can be hard to know what to do next.
To replenish your physical energy, it is recommended to keep your fluids up and have a healthy meal if possible.
Dealing with the aftereffects can be tricky, but finding something else to focus on and taking your mind off the ordeal can be an effective way of returning to normal as soon as possible.
Good company is never a bad thing either; just hanging out with someone you cherish can bring your mood back up wonderfully.
Bear all these things in mind if you are prone to panic attacks, and indeed, even if you aren’t.
Knowing how to deal with them will not only prove useful for yourself but will also help you keep a calm head if someone you know suffers from a panic attack in your presence.