Although a panic attack is not dangerous in most cases, it can be a very unpleasant experience. Have you ever had one?
These 6 tips teach you how to overcome a panic attack.
Reading time: 4 minutes
- Recognize the source of the tension.
A panic attack can occur in different situations, for example, when you are afraid. In addition, stress and fatigue are also triggers.
The culprits are cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones make us function in stressful situations, but if the dose in our body is too high, we can suffer a panic attack. That’s why it’s important to recognize symptoms of stress early!
You may suffer from headaches or stomachaches, worry a lot and be irritable. These are warning signs that should not be ignored.
- Don’t resist the feeling.
Accept that you have a panic attack. We cannot always control our feelings, but we can choose how to handle them. During a panic attack, we feel anxious and experience negative thoughts. Instead of resisting this feeling, focus on something else to take your mind off all the negativity. Being mindful of the here and now can help you achieve this. For example, try the following mindfulness exercise: How do your toes feel? Your ankles? Your calves? Go through your whole body. It’s a simple but effective exercise to become more mindful.
- Tell someone when you feel panic.
It is good not to be alone in case of a panic attack. The company of a loved one can make you feel safer.
- Focus on your body.
Get moving! Moving affects the number of stress hormones in your body. If you move, you will notice that you start to feel better. For example, take a walk or go up and down the stairs. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you move. Also, because your brain has to concentrate on something else, there is less room for anxiety.
Another thing that can help you is to practice breathing exercises. You can put one hand on your belly and feel it move up and down as you inhale and exhale. As you do this, you will notice that you become calmer.
- Look for distractions.
Be kind to yourself. What gives you energy? What helps you relax? Whether you’re curling up on the couch or taking a bike ride, it is important to distract your mind from negative thoughts.
- Do not avoid situations that trigger panic.
A panic attack is very unpleasant. If you’ve had one, you may be afraid of having another. It may be tempting to avoid the situation that triggered the panic attack, but this will not help you in the long run! Therefore, try to seek out these exact situations, preferably in the company of someone you trust. Once you have had several positive experiences, the anxiety and panic may subside.