How to stop panic attacks forever and get your life back
Whenever something bad happens to us, we automatically start imagining the worst. We don’t think about how severe the problem is and we certainly don’t think of solutions easily. Does that sound like you?
I remember having a panic attack for the first time. It was because someone who emotionally abused me sent a very normal message on Facebook. But the trauma associated with them triggered me and I thought I would be severely harmed.
But it’s been years since that and I have come a long way. From having panic attacks in the middle of the night without a reason to learning to deal with the things that stress me out.
And I want to teach you the same so you can stop being afraid of panic attacks and live a more beautiful life.
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What is a panic attack exactly?
A panic attack is a feeling of intense fear that reaches its peak in seconds. You feel like the world is going to end or you are going to die; you can’t breathe, you get dark flashes, your head keeps spinning and aching, you start shivering, and you just can’t seem to control what is going on. It usually subsides in a few minutes but leaves you exhausted. Panic attacks may occur frequently or occasionally, depending on severity.
what panic attacks feel like
- You feel intense stomach pain
- You feel chills or hot flashes
- Numbness or tingling sensation in body
- You feel nauseated
- Feeling like the world is going out
- Heavy heart rate. You feel like you’re heart is going to burst
- You zone out from reality
Panic attack vs anxiety attack
At first, I thought they are same, but they are not entirely. I noticed that my panic attacks were more severe than an anxiety attack, and an anxiety attack took lesser time to subside than a panic attack. Some panic attacks were provoked by a trigger, some happened unexpectedly, without any provocation.
So, we need to note that
- Anxiety is an irrational fear that arises from certain stressful situations or phobias.
- Like panic attacks, you may tremble or be short of breath, sweat profusely, or in some cases may have to rush to the bathroom really quickly.
- Panic attacks usually last longer and are more intense
- Anxiety can be triggered in situations such as an exam, before and during a presentation, or in public. When the stressor goes away, so does our anxiety.
- Panic attacks can also happen without any reasons because of all the build of stress, anxiety, fears and phobias
Having more than one instances of anxiety or panic attack may become panic disorder or anxiety disorder and that is a serious issue, my friend because it starts interfering with your everyday life. And we don’t want that.
What causes panic attacks?
- Prolonged stress or trauma can cause panic attacks.
We can’t judge the intensity of traumas or stressors; no matter how low or high they were, they affect everyone differently. For example, some people may not get triggered by just a message from someone who did them wrong, but for me it was extremely stressful.
- Our coping mechanisms
Some people cope quickly from very serious traumas, like death of a loved ones, others can’t cope with comparatively less serious traumas, like failing a test in school. Your sufferings and feelings are valid!
- Normal Routine Stressors
Things like paying our bills, stressful work hours and responsibilities, having a fight with a friend, family or financial conflicts can all lead to panic attacks
- Having mental health issues
Mental disorders such as Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Impulse Control Disorders or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can all be comorbid with panic attacks
- Personality Traits
Having an anxious or angry personality, lack of patience, the need to be dominant or controlling. If you think you are not in control of something and are going to assume the worst, you might get panic attacks.
- Negative thinking patterns
Thinking negatively makes us less patient in times of stress, enable us towards impulsivity, and allow us to always have a bleak outlook towards life, hence causing mental health issues.
- Alcohol, Drugs, and Medication
Withdrawal from alcohol, drugs, or medication may be reasons for panic attacks. Also, avoid too much consumption of caffeine or energy drinks because they prepare our brain for heightened responses which might lead to panic attacks
- Certain chronic diseases
Illnesses like asthma, diabetes, High Blood Pressure or heart disease can enable panic attacks
How to stop panic attacks forever
Remind yourself that your panic attacks are temporary, your response to it is temporary. It will pass, and that you will be fine. It will not control you forever; you can take necessary steps to fight it so you can avoid them forever.
It is possible to stop panic attacks forever. I did. And you can too.
1. Setting intention
You need to put your foot down and say, ‘I’m done with these panic attacks and I want to get better’. Mindset has a lot of power, trust me!
2. Managing your everyday stress
You really need to manage your everyday stress and anxiety. They are the reason why you’re having panic attacks. Especially if they’re happening after a breakup or at work.
Managing stress can be different to everybody. Here are some things you can try. But you need to do these things consistently to help you and it will take time.
- use an essential oil – A mixture of lavender and peppermint oil works great. You can spray them on your pillow every night or put make a diffuser blend. This is a diffuser I suggest. You can set it to turn off automatically to prevent over heating plus it’s eco-friendly.
- Practice journaling either in the morning or every night to get your thoughts out. You will feel much lighter because you will be taking about your issues. If you don’t know what to journal about everyday, you should definitely try this journal.
- Once you have journaled, and realised what the issues are, you need to take action and try to eliminate the issues.
3. Manage your phobias and fears
Panic attacks may often be triggered by phobias, such as enclosed spaces, crowds, or heights. Or maybe certain places like hospital waiting rooms because they remind of you recent trauma or bad experience.
By learning to manage or avoid triggers, we may be able to reduce the frequency and intensity of attacks.
4. See a Therapist
If things are getting way out of control. Like you’re having panic attacks everyday like I was. Or while at work and driving. That can be really dangerous and really affect your daily life.
There is no shame in going to a therapist and letting them help you. A therapist will help you identify the issues we talked about earlier and help you solve them.
5. Medicines are important
You may need medication for treating the chemical imbalances in your brain that might be adding to your anxieties and panic attacks. And don’t worry; you will not be addicted to them. Your psychiatrist will help you gradually tapper off your dosage as you get better
6. Supplements for panic attacks
I haven’t tried any supplements for anxiety or panic attacks. But I’ve heard great reviews. You can read more about supplements for anxiety.
You can also try chamomile or ginger tea. I used to have ginger tea every night and it really helped calm me down before bed because I usually got panic attacks at night.
Remember, supplements are only meant to aid your recovery and healing and cannot be counted upon solely.
7. Practice breathing exercises and meditation
Breathing exercises and mediation are great natural remedies for panic attacks!
You need to practice breathing everyday so when you have a panic attack, the breathing exercise comes naturally to you. This a great resource on breathing exercises. Plus it’s really cheap and a lot of value!
Mediation is also something that has really helped me. It can be difficult when you start, especially when you’re following a free resource. Trust me, I’ve been there!
I suggest getting a program online. You can get this program to help you with meditation and help you learn to rest. It can really help make sense of meditation when you’re starting out.
8. Stick to your plan
With all forms of recovery, you need to do a few things consistently for at least 2-4 months and see if they’re working for you. If they are, that’s great! If not, you should try something else. Because recovery and healing can be different processes for everybody.
You should stick to your treatment plan and be dedicated to your recovery from panic attacks. Your commitment IS going to fix this thing! I can promise you that.
Final thoughts on recovery from panic attacks
You can completely get rid of panic or anxiety attacks by practicing healthy coping mechanisms, trigger/s management and mental wellbeing. You must decide to get better, you must decide to take a step towards wellness because just like the rest of us, you deserve to live a happy, peaceful life. You can’t take care of the things that bother you unless you take care of yourself first. Make yourself your first priority.
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