If you suffer from anxiety attacks, you know just how terrifying that they can be.
Luckily, it’s actually possible to stop an anxiety attack even if it has already begun, and there also are many ways that you can prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Why Do We Get Anxiety/Panic Attacks?
In order to prevent or stop an anxiety attack, you’ll need to understand what they are and their triggers.
An anxiety attack typically starts with an increase in your heart rate and respiration along with a feeling of unease, and it typically escalates quickly.
Often, the increase in anxiety is accompanied by a fear of dying or losing control. However, other anxieties can emerge during a panic attack as well.
How Long Do Anxiety Attacks Last?
Often, anxiety attacks are relatively brief, and they often subside in around 10-15 minutes. However, they can be much more long-lasting. Many individuals will occasionally suffer from several panic attacks over the course of a few hours or days.
What Drives the Anxiety That Causes Panic Attacks?
Often, they begin when one experiences ordinary anxiety, which progressively spirals out of control.
As the anxious thoughts and feelings escalate, you may feel that you are losing control or even having a heart attack. However, anxiety attacks can center around other anxieties, but it’s often health-related anxiety that induces panic attacks.
How Can You Put a Stop to Anxiety Attack?
In some cases, it’s difficult to identify the cause of anxiety when an individual is suffering from a panic attack, but there will still be ways for you to put a stop to these anxiety attacks.
Deep breathing, meditation, and other anxiety relief techniques are still likely to be effective. However, there often are indirect causes of panic attacks, which can be difficult to identify.
Though, it’s usually best to see a professional counselor or psychotherapist to address these concerns.
Here are a few examples of potential indirect causes of anxiety attacks:
- Stress-related to your job or career
- Problems with interpersonal relationships
- Difficulties with achieving goals in other areas of your life
- Stressful and/or traumatic memories from the past
What Do You Need to Avoid if You’re Suffering From Anxiety Attacks?
If you are suffering from anxiety attacks, there are a few things that you’ll need to cut back on or avoid altogether.
Caffeine often exacerbates anxiety attacks, and it can even act as a trigger of anxiety attacks for people who are struggling with chronic panic disorder.
However, caffeine is not the only trigger to avoid. Here are a few others that you should be familiar with:
- Situations that trigger social anxiety
- Situations that trigger anxiety surrounding your finances and career
- Situations that trigger existential anxiety
Physical Exercise For Panic Attacks
If you suffer from panic attacks, there are several different types of exercises that you might want to consider.
While conventional exercises can provide relief for many individuals, yoga is especially effective for many individuals.
Here are a few of the best exercises to try if you’re suffering from panic attacks:
- Stretching exercises tend to be especially effective, and it’s especially important to do plenty of stretches after you perform strength training exercises.
- Make sure that you perform at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio every day. That’s because cardio causes the release of endorphins, which can help to lower your overall level of anxiety.
- Strength training can improve your overall level of confidence, which can help to prevent anxiety attacks.
How to Stop a Panic Attack
Yes! There are lots of ways that you can put a stop to a panic attack and prevent future panic attacks. While there are lots of tips and tricks that you can implement, these are a few of the best ways to put a stop to a panic attack fast:
1. Count Backwards From 100
If you are suffering from a panic attack, it’s important to take your attention off of your anxiety and physical symptoms. Counting backwards from 100 keeps your mind occupied on this task, which can put a stop to a panic attack. However, what should you do if you lose count?
First, simply take a few deep breaths. Even if you’re still not able to remember where you were, simply approximate and keep going. It isn’t about the act of counting backwards from 100 in and of itself. It’s about focusing your mind on something other than your anxiety and physical manifestations of it, such as a racing heart, nausea, and other physical signs of panic.
2. Close Your Eyes
In many cases, panic attacks are triggered by the external environment, and this means that closing your eyes can be a highly effective way to put a stop to your panic. Not only can closing your eyes distract you from stressors in the environment, but it can allow you to reconnect with body sensations in a healthier way. This can help to alleviate health anxiety, which drives many panic attacks.
3. Find Something to Focus On
If you’re having a panic attack, simply focusing on something can make a huge difference. In fact, focusing on a certain calming thought, image, or phrase could make it possible to effectively talk yourself out of a panic attack quickly. While it’s entirely up to you to determine what works best for you, these are a few ideas to consider if you’re unsure what to focus on:
- Spending time with a close friend or family member can often help to distract you from the cause of your anxiety.
- Telling and/or hearing jokes can often distract you from the source of your anxiety for a time.
- Reading a book can be a great way to relax, which can often prevent panic attacks.
4. Practice Mindfulness in Your Day to Day Life
In order to put a stop to panic attacks, it’s important to be mindful as much as possible. Mindfulness refers to the practice of being aware of your thoughts and actions. Meditation can make it easier to stick to a practice of mindfulness. However, there are other ways that you can become more mindful in your day to day life, such as by becoming more aware of your thoughts and actions in day to day life.
5. Use Lavender Scented Products
Lavender is an especially calming floral scent, which means that it can be great for anyone who suffers from chronic anxiety attacks. However, there are several ways that you can use it. Here are some ways that you can use lavender in your home to calm down and prevent panic attacks:
- Lavender scented candles are a great way to give your entire house a pleasant, calming scent.
- An essential oil diffuser can also spread the calming floral scent throughout your home.
- Using lavender sprays and perfumes can be a great way to stay calm when you’re away from home.
6. Perform Low to Moderate Intensity Exercise
One great way to calm down from a panic attack is to get up and move around.
While there are many exercises that can reduce anxiety, these are a few of the best exercises to perform if you suffer from anxiety attacks:
- Simply getting up and taking a walk is a good way to calm down if you’re starting to feel panic attack symptoms coming on.
- If you’re feeling more intense panic attack symptoms, going for a brief jog can be a great way to find relief.
- Don’t push yourself too hard if you’re exercising to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Do You Need to Take Medications For Panic Disorder?
While the answer to this question is different for everyone, many people who suffer from panic attacks do take medication.
However, this is something that you’ll need to discuss with your physician if you’re suffering from anxiety or panic attacks.
Medications to treat panic disorder can be highly effective, but their effectiveness varies considerably from one individual to another. In most cases, individuals who suffer from panic attacks will be given benzodiazepines. However, the specific medications that are prescribed will vary considerably from one individual to another.
This is especially true if you’re struggling with depression or other mental health issues in addition to anxiety. Here are a few examples of medications that may be prescribed if you’re dealing with anxiety attacks:
- SSRIs: SSRI antidepressants are commonly prescribed to individuals suffering from both panic disorder and depression.
- Sleep Aids: Many individuals with an underlying anxiety disorder frequently suffer from insomnia, which can worsen daytime anxiety. Sleep aids can make it easier to get quality sleep at night, and this can lead to lower anxiety levels during the day.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants: If you’re suffering from panic disorder along with depression, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. Prozac, Tofranil, and others) may be prescribed for your depressive symptoms.
- Natural Anxiety Relief Supplements: You can also try natural supplements if you do not want to take medications. L-theanine, GABA, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium are all great natural anxiety relief supplements.