When someone asks us how to prevent a panic attack, we first need to make sure they are dealing with panic attacks and not anxiety attacks. The two may have similar symptoms at times, but panic attacks are often much more troubling as they tend to make the person feel as though they have a heart attack. Your skin may become extra hot or freezing, and you sweat profusely. Breathing becomes shallow and quick, often resulting in hyperventilating. You may feel like you are separated from everything going on around you, as though everything is shrouded in a heavy fog. A feeling of terror may be prevalent. It can be difficult to learn how to prevent a panic attack because they often come upon you suddenly. There are things you can do, however, to get through it and lessen the impact until you do find a solution.
How to Prevent a Panic Attack: Acknowledge the Attack
This first step is one of the most important with regard to how to stop a panic attack. You must realize that you are not dying. You aren’t having a heart attack. By realizing that this is a panic attack, you give yourself the power to start working on controlling it.
When your breathing is coming fast and shallow, it can lead to further panic. The goal is to slow your breathing down. Start taking slow, deep breaths that originate from your abdomen. It helps if you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count to five on the inhale, hold for five, and then release slowly for a count of five. This will send the message to your brain that you can begin to calm. Keep this up until your breath returns to normal.
When looking for how to prevent a panic attack, you may need to bring yourself back to the current situation. This can be done in one of two ways. The first way involves finding one main object to focus on. Give that object all your attention and notice every little detail. A second method that is very popular is the 4-3-2-1 method. Look around you and identify four objects that you see. Next, find three objects that you can physically touch. Make a note of how each one feels. Now, listen. Try to identify two sounds that you hear. What is causing them? What do they sound like? Finally, name one thing you can smell or taste. Maybe there is chocolate on a nearby table. Slowly savor the flavor, concentrating totally on the sensation.
How to Prevent a Panic Attack: Get Active
When you are sweating, feel like your skin is on fire, and breathing heavily, exercise may seem out of the question. Getting active can be as simple as starting to walk, or even pace. You may find that you are doing this in an agitated manner, but as you continue, the endorphins in your brain will kick in, and your pace will gradually slow. As you notice yourself slowing, keep breathing deeply, and concentrate on slowing your mind as well as your body. Before long, this panic attack will have ended.
Now is the time to reach out for professional help to find what is causing these attacks and how to prevent a panic attack in the future.
Finding Help at Five Palms
There are several avenues of therapy that can teach you how to prevent a panic attack. By contacting Five Palms 1.844.675.1022, you will get an evaluation that will help you begin to understand what is causing the attacks. This is the first step to prevention. You may be given medication if nothing else works, but we like to explore healthier methods first. Don’t allow panic attacks to limit the quality of your life. Contact us today.