No one likes to suffer through a panic attack; they can be debilitating and quite scary. The symptoms come on suddenly and people feel as though they are no longer in control of their body. Rather than going for conventional medical approaches to treat panic attacks, many individuals are looking into different methods they can use on their own to get relief from panic attacks.
Why Do People Look For Self Help For Panic Attacks?
Why is this? First of all, therapy is very expensive. While a good therapist will aid individuals in confronting the source of the panic attack and provide the necessary tools to prevent further attacks, therapy can be quite a costly endeavor.
Second of all, prescription based medications are good for the short term as they can mask the symptoms associated with panic attacks, but they do not provide a viable long term solution. Medication does not attack the root cause of the panic disorder. Self help for panic attacks, on the other hand, while it does require a bit of work on the part of the individual, it is possible.
Look Up Online Resources for Panic Attacks
One of the first self help for panic attacks methods to do is look up online resources. Since the advent of the Internet, it now offers loads of information about panic attacks – what they are, what causes them, symptoms, and how to combat them. Many websites offer focus groups where those suffering from panic attacks can share the techniques they use to deal with the onset of a panic attack. Support groups are one of the best things for individuals look for self help with panic attacks. Individuals can discuss their triggers and how to alleviate stress and anxiety, as well as share stories.
Balanced Diet and Regular Exercise
The benefits of exercise can never be stated enough. Exercise causes the release of endorphins to the brain, decreasing anxiety, increasing happiness while at the same time making individuals feel and look their best. The same can be said about maintaining a healthy diet. Eating right and staying away from foods that are high in fats and sugars, as well as processed foods, will make the body healthier, fending off the oncoming effects of anxiety.
One of the latest methods used for self help for panic attacks is alternative medicines. There are a number of vitamins and herbs that have been proven to relieve symptoms associated with stress and anxiety, thereby reducing the possibility of the onset of a panic attack. These include vitamin B-Complex, St. Johns Wort, and Valerian root. As well, aromatherapy, meditation, acupuncture and yoga have significant positive effects in lowering stress levels and combating anxiety.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
A great self help for panic attack technique is progressive muscle relaxation. Those who experience panic attacks due to anxiety disorders may often feel a lot of tension within their muscles. For those who suffer from continual panic attacks, the muscles are always in a state of tension, that having relaxed muscles is a foreign concept. By utilizing progressive muscle relaxation, muscles become a lot less tense and the body becomes relaxed. These exercises consist of constricting and then relaxing various muscles, starting with the feet and working up to the head.
While most people are not conscious about how they are breathing, those suffering from a panic attack experience rapid, shallow breaths coming from the chest. When individuals breathe from the chest, it upsets the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body, causing an individual to become dizzy and their heart rate to increase. Deep, abdominal breathing comes from the diaphragm. When feeling anxious people should take a deep breath in through their nose while keeping their shoulders relaxed, allowing the abdomen to expand. Then, exhale very slowly through the mouth, keeping the lips pursed slightly and the jaw relaxed. Do this for a few minutes to bring back a sense of calm.
Keep A Panic Diary
A panic diary is a good way to identify the triggers that cause panic attacks as well as the body’s response to these people, places, things or situations that provoke the onset of a panic attack. Things that should be written down include:
• Physical symptoms during the panic attack, such as dizziness, trembling, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
• What the individual was thinking about just before the panic attack occurred, during the panic attack itself, and then right after the panic attack ended.
• All current emotions experienced, such as anger, fear, confusion, inadequacy, shame, sadness, loneliness, and embarrassment.
• What are the behaviors associated with the panic attack – what the person was doing just before the panic attack occurred. This can shed a lot of light onto the associated triggers.
• How did the individual cope with the panic attack, such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.