Panic Attacks: How to Prepare
If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, panic attacks may be a part of your life. Many people suffer from panic attacks, even people who have a full and in-depth grip on their lives personally and professionally. And despite what others might suggest, not every panic attack can be dealt with by taking medication. Even with consistent and proper medication, many patients suffer from panic attacks. Although predicting when a panic attack will happen may be a bit tricky, you can take steps to prepare for these panic attacks in order to take back control of your life.
In this quick guide, we will break down how to prepare for panic attacks so you can be more alert and prepared for the eventuality should it arise.
Your breathing is essential
When a panic attack begins in earnest, you will almost certainly feel stressed out. This is a natural reaction. However, if you want to make sure you can overcome the problem, the first thing you need to regulate is your breathing.
So, the first step to taking back that control is to learn to breathe.
When a person has a panic attack, often they feel so overwhelmed that they forget to simply breathe properly. The same goes for when we exercise; many of us inhibit our exercise output due to a lack of control on our breathing. Panic attacks can be similar.
Many doctors, therefore, advocate safe breathing practices in order to help calm anyone having a panic attack. In fact, if you’ve ever had a panic attack in public, someone may have tried to get you to breath into a paper bag. These commonly used techniques are a typical part of the plan when trying to stop someone from having a panic attack.
This may or may be a good method for you, but the fact is that you should know and practice your breathing exercise before you are panicking. Have a plan—learn calming breathing techniques and practice at least twice a day. Being able to control your breathing will make it easier to resume control over your mind-set during the panic attack itself.
Meditation can help you to overcome panic attacks, too
Other relaxing practices may also be able to help your panic attack. Of course, you might find it difficult to even consider meditation when you’re having a panic attack, but by learning this relaxing procedure, you can use some of the same calming techniques that help you to meditate to help you calm down.
Again, it is unlikely that you can actually meditate during a panic attack. By trying to come up with a similar response to the panic attack reaction, though, you do make it more likely that you can overcome these feelings. Meditation focuses the mind and gets us to stop thinking about the white noise that populates our mind. When we are in a panic attack, our brains seem to produce ideas and reactions en masse – even to things we have never really considered before.
With that in mind, meditation can be a tremendous tool for helping you to beat panic attacks. Even if it helps you to just calm the mind and regulate your thinking, it can be very helpful.
Getting to know the cause of your panic attacks
Another great way to prepare for a panic attack is to simply know your triggers. Do you have a specific phobia? Is excess stress your downfall? Do certain situations seem impossible for you? When you know what triggers panic reactions, you can do your best to avoid or minimize these situations.
This might take a bit of self-reflection, but it is absolutely going to be worth the time and the effort. You can take a bit of the pressure off yourself simply by learning what sets you off. Then, you can start slowly but surely understanding what sets you off and what you need to do to avoid setting off your triggers in the first place. If nothing else, you can at least begin to prepare yourself mentally for the beginning of a panic attack.
Make sure you have medical preparations in place
You should also be medically prepared for a panic attack. Being able to know that you have the supplies you need can actually do a lot to stop the panic attacking happening in the first place. If nothing else, having the medical tools you would normally use to calm yourself down can do a lot to help you get a bit of calm back in your mood and your mindset.
When you go outside of the home, take with you a list of emergency contacts. This list will be specific to each person, but it should include your doctor’s number, your local crisis hotline, and members of your personal support systems. You can use these phone numbers yourself if you feel a panic attack starting, or another person will easily find this information in your purse or wallet if you are not capable of helping yourself.
Also take with you a bag to help you feel comfortable and calm down during a panic attack. A crucial part of the bag is any medications you may be taking, along with instructions on taking it. You can also include any items from home that will help you feel more comfortable. This can include herbal tea, a stuffed animal, religious items, photos, rubber bands to snap on your wrist, mints, hand cream, money, a puzzle book, and anything else that may help you relax, stimulated your brain, or distract yourself. Remember, comfort is key!
Keep these factors in mind and you should find it much easier to overcome the stress that begins with your panic attacks. These can seem incredibly daunting and terrifying incidents to take place, but a little bit of preparation beforehand can remove all of the discomfort, doubt, and fear that often follows you during a panic attack. Good luck, and all the best!