Panic Attacks, What To Do? 6 Tips For Self-Help

Published on 08/22/2022

The fear comes out of the blue – that’s how those affected feel who are struggling with panic attacks. But the signs of this are announced well in advance: It is therefore important to observe yourself and to pull the “emergency brake” beforehand. Here we explain what can help you with panic attacks immediately and in the long term.

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Panic Attacks, What To Do? 6 Tips For Self-Help

Recognition And Acceptance Of Panic Attacks

The first thing you have to do is learn to accept the feelings of panic and that it may develop into an actual panic attack. So don’t try to ignore or suppress the feelings. This usually has the opposite effect: the more your resistance to the panic grows, the worse the extent of the panic attack. Instead, it helps to acknowledge that the feelings of fear and panic are there. Reminding yourself that you’ve been in this situation before and that you’ll be fine once the anxiety subsides is very comforting during a panic attack.

Running Away Is Not A Solution

During an attack, one often has the feeling that it would help if one escaped as quickly as possible: home, to a place where one feels safe. That’s easier said than done. Sometimes it is better to endure the panic attack on the spot and go to a quiet place nearby. For example, if you are on a crowded shopping street, try to find a quieter side street with fewer people. Running away from a panic attack can even cause the brain to make a connection between the location and the attack. This is problematic in that it can create a fear of having panic attacks again in the same place.

Deep Breathing From The Abdomen

This is the single most important method for overcoming anxiety. Done properly, this breathing technique can reduce the physical symptoms of panic attacks such as hyperventilating, tightness in the chest and throat, racing heart, sweating, tremors, dry mouth and dizziness.

Soothing Music

Music can be very soothing. So if you always have your relaxation music to hand on your cell phone or laptop, you can access the music that helps you when you need it. Musician Moby has suffered from panic attacks for many years and has therefore recorded an album that gives him a sense of calm and relaxation. The album is free to download and has helped me calm down more quickly during panic attacks on a number of occasions. It also helps me before bed to relax and fall asleep. Mindfulness can free the mind from panic.

Say No To Coffee

Drinking coffee is like pouring gas on fear and watching it all burst into flames. This clear picture is also supported by numerous studies. Therefore, caffeine intake should be avoided completely or consumption should at least be reduced to a minimum. Remember: Tea, caffeinated soft drinks, and chocolate also contain caffeine and must be avoided. The American Psychiatric Association also recognizes caffeine intoxication as a diagnosable condition, along with caffeine-induced anxiety and sleep disorders.

Goodbye To Alcohol

There is also a strong connection between alcohol and anxiety. Alcohol abuse can lead to anxiety disorders or attacks. Sometimes it’s a vicious circle that needs to be broken: If you try to numb your fears with alcohol, you won’t find a lasting solution.