What are the Strategies for Managing those Panic Attacks? Learn what a Panic Attack actually is and how to control or eliminate them.

It is crucial you understand what is happening in your body when you feel anxious and start to enter into a panic. These panic attacks commence due to a feeling of anxiety.

Anxiety is a normal feeling within all humans as it helps us focus on a specific task or prepare us for danger. Therefore, the goal is to learn to manage anxiety, not eliminate it.

A panic attack is a natural physiological occurring experience based on the perception of fear or threat. It is what our body is designed to do to help protect us. No doubt you have heard of fight or flight, well this is what is happening to you during a panic attack.

When you perceive fear or threat, (it doesn’t need to be real) your adrenaline gland spews out adrenaline into your bloodstream to help protect and prepare you. When adrenaline is released, almost immediately –

  • your heart rate increases
  • blood pressure rises
  • blood goes to your extremities from your torso to fill your arm and leg muscles to flee or fight
  • your breathing becomes shallow
  • you often pant and breathe very fast
  • your chest can feel tight – like a heart attack
  • you feel twitchy and hot
  • you may sweat

These symptoms are normal responses to protect you from real or perceived threats and prepare your body to respond from the pending threat. Learning to lower your anxiety level certainly aids to lower or eliminate those panic attacks. Our mind creates these thoughts, fears and emotions. Therefore, know your mind can change them, once you know how.

 Facts about panic attacks

1: Panic attacks are the body’s ‘fight-flight’ response launching. This response gets your body ready to defend itself, fight off danger or run away fast.

2: Panic attacks feel very uncomfortable and frightening, especially when we don’t know what is happening to us.

3: Panic attacks are the body’s alarm system and are not designed to harm you. You would have the same feelings in your body if you were facing a real threat.

4: Panic attacks are brief typically lasting only 4 to 8 minutes at peak intensity, although they sometimes feel like they go on forever. Because panic attacks take up a lot of energy in the body, they quickly run out of gas. They don’t last very long and most people find themself feeling exhausted afterwards.

5: Panic attacks are private experiences. Others cannot usually tell that you are having a panic attack. Panic attacks result from misinterpreting bodily sensations and some people live in fear of panic attacks and start to avoid things that may trigger a panic attack. You may be on the “lookout” for the next attack. This can result in people constantly scanning their body for panic-like sensations which draws our attention to the unwanted feeling.

So how do you eliminate or control panic attacks? 

Take 5-10 Breaths!

  • Take 10 slow, deep breaths. Focus on breathing in and out as slowly as possible.
  • Notice the sensations of your breathing. Notice your rib cage rising and falling and the gentle rise and fall of your shoulders.
  • Let your thoughts come and go.
  • Notice your breathing and your body, look around the room and notice what you can see, hear, smell, touch and feel.

 Develop Mindfulness

  • Push your feet down on the floor – notice the floor beneath you
  • Notice the muscle tension in your legs as you push your feet down
  • Observe your entire body and the feeling flowing down through your spine, legs and into your feet
  • Notice where you are and what you are doing

 Notice 5 things

  • Pause for a moment and observe five things that you can see
  • Listen carefully and notice five things that you can hear
  • Notice five things that you can feel such as your watch on your wrist, pants against your legs, shoes on your feet, your feet on the floor, your back against a chair

If you find yourself suffering from anxiety and panic and would like some assistance to deal with this challenging but curable situation, please contact me to make an appointment today and start improving your life. We can chat either in face-to-face or via Phone, WhatsApp or Zoom. Its time to retake your control over those infuriating Panic Attacks, and you can.

Read more from Dr Karen



Share this: