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A panic attack is an experience of sudden and intense anxiety. Panic attacks can have physical symptoms, including shaking, feeling confused or disorientated, rapid heartbeats, dry mouth, sweating, dizziness and chest pain. The symptoms of a panic attack normally peak within 10 minutes. Most episodes (attacks) will last for between five minutes and half an hour.

 

 

Here are 5 steps to overcoming panic attacks and removing the worry of another one:

  1. “Me” time
  • Take a time-out.
    • Practice yoga
    • Listen to music
    • Meditate
    • Get a massage
    • Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
    • Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
  1. Daily health & fitness
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
  • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
  • Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health.
  1. Make a joyful noise
  • Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  1. Learn what your triggers are
  • Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
  1. Talk it out
  • Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
  • Get help online. Online programs guided by professional coaches to help you turn healthy anxiety management into a habit.

BONUS tip: AWARE technique

  • A: Accept the anxiety. Don’t try to fight it.
  • W: Watch the anxiety. Imagine it is outside of you and you are just observing it.
  • A: ‘Act normal’. Carry on as if nothing is happening. Panic will soon ‘get bored’.
  • R: Repeat the above steps until you start to relax again.
  • E: Expect the best – it will pass quicker and quicker the more times you do this.

If you would like to consult with one of our psychiatrists about panic attacks or help with any of these techniques, please give us a call at 919-636-5240 or email office@cognitive-psychiatry.com.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne