Anxiety and panic attacks are so widespread these days that nearly everyone experiences them. However, some people believe that anxiety attacks and panic attacks are the same things. That is not accurate; yet, they are very similar in character, with the primary distinction being that anxiety attacks are usually triggered by intense stress, whereas panic attacks can arise spontaneously and suddenly.
How to deal with anxiety and panic attacks?
01. Concentrate on your breathing.
- The first thing everyone says is to pay attention to your breathing patterns. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Some people find it beneficial to count from one to five between each inhale and exhale.
- For example, inhale… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, … Exhale… and repeat the process.
- Focusing on your breathing is one of the best strategies to control these attacks since it helps you move your attention away from the attack.
02. 333 rules
- The 333 rule is another method for controlling anxiety and panic episodes that most people find useful.
- The first guideline is to look around you and name the first three things you notice. It could be anything, for example, an animal, a person, a shop, an object, etc. Whatever you see, attempt to name it while taking long steady breaths.
- The second rule is to concentrate on your hearing and try to identify the noises you hear around you. It might be the birds chirping or road noise.
- The final rule is to touch three items you see. It could be your limbs, a bike, a book, or anything else you notice.
The most crucial thing to remember when attempting the 333 rule is to take deep, calm breaths.
03. Find a quiet place.
- If at all feasible, attempt to find a more calm location. This could imply exiting a crowded area or shifting to lean against a neighboring wall.
- Sitting in a peaceful environment will allow you to establish some mental space, making it easier to focus on breathing and other recovery tactics.
04. Focus on an object
- When a person is overwhelmed by distressing thoughts, sentiments, or flashbacks, focusing on something physical in the setting might help them feel centered.
- Concentrating on one stimulus can lessen the impact of other stimuli. As the person examines the item, they may consider how it feels, who manufactured it, and what form it is. This method can help alleviate the symptoms of a panic attack.
- If the individual suffers from frequent panic attacks, they can carry a certain familiar object to help them ground themselves. This could be a smooth stone, a seashell, a little toy, or a hair clip.
- Grounding strategies like this one can help people who are suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, or trauma.
05. Recite a mantra
- A mantra is a word, phrase, or sound that aids concentration and provides strength. Internally repeating a mantra can assist a person in overcoming a panic attack.
- The phrase can be reassuring and can be as simple as “This, too, shall pass.” It may have a higher spiritual significance for individuals.
- The person’s physical reflexes will slow as they focus on slowly repeating a mantra, enabling them to control their breathing and calm their limbs.
06. Visualize your happy place
- A person’s happy place should be a place where they feel most at ease. Everyone will have their own specific location. It will be a place where people feel relaxed, safe, and at ease.
- When an attack starts, it can help to close your eyes and envision yourself in this spot. Consider how peaceful it is there. People can also see their bare feet contacting the cool ground, hot gravel, or plush carpet.
- If you are unable to visualize a happy place for any reason, you can focus on your happiest memories, focus on that experience, and attempt to remember why you were the happiest in that particular vague memory. What had occurred that day to make you so happy?
Symptoms of a panic attack
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Hot flushes
- Ringing in the ears
Symptoms of an anxiety attack
- Feeling claustrophobic
- Increased heartbeat
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
Although it is impossible to foresee when a panic or anxiety attack will occur, having a strategy in place for when it does occur can aid the individual feel more secure.
Finding a calm place and practicing deep breathing and grounding exercises can assist people in regaining control after a panic or anxiety episode.
Long-term techniques can also minimize the occurrence or frequency of panic and anxiety attacks. Making healthy lifestyle choices, seeking counseling, taking prescription medications on time, and learning how to manage anxiety in daily life are some examples.