For those of us who suffer from panic attacks and other anxiety disorders, it is easy for us to become discouraged and think there is no panic attack relief in our future. While there are probably not any over-night solutions (contrary to some of the articles and sales pitches I've seen), there are reliably easy steps you can take to help get you life back in control.
First, get to your family doctor as soon as you can for a check-up to make sure there are not any underlying medical issues that are contributing to your anxiety and panic.
Second, come to an understanding of what anxiety and panic attacks are all about. Believe it or not, most anxiety related symptoms are totally under your control. You can control what you think about and how you respond to those thoughts. It may take some time to bring your thoughts under control to get some relief, but it can be done. Just do not get frustrated if progress is slow.
Third, try to understand that there are people, events and things in your life you can not control. Try to not dwell on these issues. For example, you can not change what you did or what happened to you yesterday or last month. Try your best to forget about the past and focus on the future. Some parts of your future can be controlled, but your past is gone forever. Do not dwell on your past mistakes or think too much about what you could have done differently. Obviously, we need to learn from our mistakes so we do not repeat them in the future, but we do not need to be preoccupied with how things turned out – we need to spend more time improving our processes so our results will be Better next time. Just working with this simple idea can provide some panic attack relief.
Fourth, try to find ways to calm yourself in situations where you feel panic and anxiety coming on. One of the most important things I can do is to mentally give in to my anxiety. Sometimes the act of giving in to my attacks can actually bring relief. I used to tense up and make matters worse when I felt panic was going to be an issue. Now when I do not try to fight off an attack I find it easier to start to calm myself down and avoid a full blown attack.
There are many different methods you can use to help calm yourself down. It's important to use some of these methods every day and not just when you feel extra stress or anxiety.
One thing to try is some breathing exercises. Many of us never fully exhale in any given day, so take three very deep breaths and then exhale just as deeply. Make sure each breath is taken in a measured and deliberate fashion and protract the exhaling as well. You should do this breathing exercise several times each day.
You can also try meditation. You can find some programs that teach meditation or you can just try sitting calmly several times each day and focus your thoughts on pleasant sensations or times in your life. I went on a 10 day cruise on a 30 foot sailboat through the Bahamas several years ago and enjoyed some of the most relaxing times of my life. I particularly remember sleeping on deck one night and waking up the next morning to the sound of waves slapping the side of the boat and a fantastic panoramic view of the ocean. I can remember being very calm and relaxed. When I'm feeling stressed I still can think of my sailboat trip and get some much needed relief.
Try some of these tips and see if they will help you like they've helped me.