Chaos to Calm: Panic Attack Insights & Coping Tips

Nowadays, a sizable percentage of people suffer from panic attacks. These attacks are distinct from anxiety attacks in their intensity and incapacitating character. Panic attacks can occur anytime, when walking, conversing, sleeping, or in an elevator. It is a dangerous disorder that affects both adults and children. However, if you have never encountered this type of problem before, there are a few indications to keep in mind to help you comprehend the condition.

What Are Panic Attacks

When your heart goes on a bender, it’s called a panic attack. It’s like you’re living in an action movie, and someone has just threatened your life. Your chest hurts and feels tight, you have trouble breathing, and you get dizzy and might have the urge to throw up. Sometimes, you feel a surge of adrenaline, which makes you think you can do anything. You might start pulling out your hair or punching walls because…well, why not?

The fact is panic attacks will feel slightly different for each person and each situation. These are just a few examples. When a panic attack hits, you may feel some, all, or any combination of the above feelings. 

A panic disorder is defined by symptoms such as recurrent attacks lasting over six months, chest pain, tremors, shortness of breath, stomach ache, numbness in the hands, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and sometimes chills. These symptoms may indicate the onset of panic disorder, necessitating panic disorder therapy. 

You are not the only one who suffers from panic attacks. Panic attacks are widespread and affect millions of Americans. It is the body’s natural response to stress or anxiety, which is most often brought on by specific triggers in life or thoughts. But do not worry. Many treatments and medications are available to help manage this problem with your doctor’s supervision. In most cases, people can eliminate their reactions to factors that cause their panic attacks and will no longer have them or only occasionally as a reaction to a particular set of circumstances. 

Anyone who has ever had a panic attack understands how frightening and debilitating it can be. Intense panic episodes impact your quality of life in numerous ways. Simple things like embracing the outdoors or unwinding with family members and friends can be challenging. Using the tips in this article, you can manage your panic attacks more effectively.

What Causes Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be triggered by prolonged stressful situations, activities that cause extreme physical responses (for instance, aerobic activity, too much coffee intake), and physiological changes due to disease or an unexpected lifestyle change. Regardless of the cause, they can strike suddenly and without warning.

Panic attacks are a severe form of anxiety disorder. They are much more than just a “bad day” or temporary feelings of stress or uneasiness. They can be very frightening and can interfere with your ability to function in everyday life. During a panic attack, your body is reacting like it is in danger when it isn’t.

Panic attacks should not be confused with other medical problems such as heart disease or hyperventilation syndrome. When someone has a panic attack, the symptoms are caused by the brain. People who have panic disorder may also experience physical symptoms before a panic attack occurs, including dizziness, nausea, hot flashes, chills, or tingling in their body parts.

The good news is that panic attacks can be successfully treated. The first step is understanding exactly what they are and how they affect you. Panic attacks cannot be “cured,” but they can be effectively treated so they don’t get in the way of enjoying life, performing daily activities, or work duties. Treatment for panic disorder usually includes some combination of medication and psychological therapy.

How to Treat Panic Attacks

This condition stems from subliminal, sometimes irrational fears that cannot always be explained. It’s one of the reasons why so many people suffer from them. The body overreacts to certain stimuli. This triggers the fight-or-flight response, producing a cascade of physical symptoms like rapid heart rate, sweating, trembling, and even nausea. These sensations are often described as unbearable or terrifying.

The sensations accompanying this condition are real and sometimes severe but rarely dangerous. They are unpleasant and frightening because they are unknown and unfamiliar. Some people experience these sensations frequently, whereas others experience them only once or twice in their lifetime. If you suffer from more frequent bouts of panic, seeking professional medical help is the best course of action. However, below are three of the most popular at-home treatments for panic attacks. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) emphasizes the critical role of behavioral and cognitive processes in comprehending and managing anxiety and panic episodes. Treatment focuses on ineffective, obstructive, and harmful behaviors, as well as irrational thoughts related to the persistence of symptoms. Regular sessions with a qualified practitioner are needed to implement this approach effectively. 

Breathing exercise

The technique of 4-7-8 breathing is based on yoga breathing techniques. Pranayama is an ancient yogic technique that involves the regulation of one’s breath. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial advantages of mindfulness breathing techniques for relieving stress, including relaxation. Dr. Andrew Weil invented the 4-7-8 breathing technique. He describes it as an “organic nervous system relaxant.” In addition to Weil’s method, there are dozens of additional breathing techniques to explore until you find the one that suits you best. 

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils to treat physical or mental ailments and promote overall wellness. Essential oils are extracted from various plant parts, such as flowers, twigs, leaflets, and fruits. There are countless varieties of natural ingredients, each with a distinct aroma and therapeutic properties. Additionally, these compounds can be mixed to generate new smells and homeopathic properties.

Lavender is just one famous example. Famous for its soothing properties, lavender oil is frequently used to aid relaxation and unwinding. Lavender is said to help raise one’s mood and alleviate anxiousness. This aroma can be applied at any time of day to promote relaxation. It is especially useful before bedtime to encourage deeper sleep. Additionally, lavender oil was shown to alleviate tension headaches, which are frequently co-occurring illnesses in patients with panic disorder. If you find these methods beneficial, you could also try combining aromatherapy with your breathing exercises for deeper relief.

Final Thoughts

You can do a variety of things to reduce and manage your panic attacks, but there is no magic cure to stop or eliminate them. Recognizing the signs of a panic attack as it starts is the first and most vital step. This will enable you to take steps immediately to stop the attack from getting worse. You can then experiment with taking other steps to reduce and eliminate panic attacks. Following these tips is just the beginning of finding lasting relief from panic attacks once and for all.