Specialists say that the majority of people experience panic attacks, at least once in their lifetime, so we thought an article on how to minimize them would come in handy.
Panic attacks are actually very common. They are experienced by all ages and both sexes. They are periods of intense fear, without a specific trigger, during which the person has a series of symptoms:
• Sense of limited air intake
• Raised heart beat
• Sweaty palms
• Fear of dying
• Fear of losing contact with reality
• An overall feeling of “unreal”
Of all the symptoms, the feeling of all being not real and loosely connected is the one triggering a vicious circle. The symptoms are caused by the fear, that intensifies when observing the symptoms and so on.
Another bad part about the experience is that you have the feeling it will never end. The first panic attack is usually the most severe. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours, though the specialists have noted cases lasting days in a row. The length of the panic episode depends on the person’s ability to diminish the stress factors at both external and internal level.
Here are some ways to diminish the panic attacks, in both duration and cyclicity:
1. Learn how to breathe. You don’t have to breathe deeply. The perfect way to breathe is this: inhale while counting to four, then hold the air in your lungs, counting again to four, exhale while counting to four and then count to four before you inhale again. It’s four easy steps. Do this until you feel the attack has passed. There is no limit to it.
2. Take a nap break. If you have the possibility, lie down and allow yourself to fall asleep. Don’t make an effort to relax, just let your body find its rest in its own rhythm.
3. Get a massage. Even if you are tense, the role of the massage is to relax the muscles, which will send positive messages to the brain and will ‘trick” it into relaxing.
4. Empty your mind. If you are in a place you can’t take break from the daily routine, try to just “pretend to be there”, while your brain takes five. Emptying your mind is actually really hard, because thoughts can’t just stop popping in. Fighting them will only maintain the tension state we are already in. So the first step would be to choose a point to fixate with our eyes, and don’t lose it, while we let thoughts come and go, without giving a special importance to any of them.