How to Stop a Panic Attack in Its Tracks: 5 New Ways

How to Stop a Panic Attack in Its Tracks: 5 New Ways

Struggling with panic attacks? Want to get your life back on track and feel like yourself again? From yoga and meditation to natural remedies, there are plenty of ways to manage your condition and relieve its symptoms.

Also known as panic disorder, this type of anxiety attack causes intense fear, trembling, and palpitations. Chest pain and gastrointestinal symptoms may occur too. 

This condition affects people of all ages, from teens to seniors. It's also common among postmenopausal women

Prescription drugs only offer temporary relief. The good news is, there are a couple of safe, natural ways to get rid of fear and feel like yourself again. 

Read on if you're wondering how to stop a panic attack in its tracks.

What Is a Panic Attack?

Panic attacks are characterised by a sudden onset of intense fear. Your heart beats faster, you can barely breathe, and you feel like you're going to faint or lose your consciousness.

These symptoms, though, are not the same for everyone.

Most sufferers experience rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, nausea, and excessive sweating. Some also report a choking sensation or feel like they're having a heart attack.

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A typical episode lasts five to twenty minutes and typically occurs without warning. Some people only experience panic attacks in stressful situations, such as before making a speech or during job interviews. Others are dealing with this issue on a daily basis.

Panic attacks are not a medical emergency although they often feel like one. They do, however, require adequate treatment and lifestyle changes. Follow these tips to stop a panic attack before things get really bad.

1. Acknowledge Your Fear

The first step to gaining control over your body and feelings is to acknowledge your fear. Accept it instead of ignoring it.

Let's say you're getting ready to make a speech. You're starting to sweat, your heart is pounding, and everything is spinning around you. These feelings of fear and anxiety are perfectly normal to some extent. 

Acknowledge your fear so you predict the attack and take the steps needed to relieve your symptoms. 

2. Narrow Your Focus

A simple technique to stop panic attacks is to focus your attention on a particular object. It can be anything - a wall, a lamp, a glass, and so on.

Choose one object in your proximity and focus on it. Notice its colour, patterns, size, shape, and other characteristics. This will distract your thoughts from whatever you were worried about and help induce a mindful state. 

3. Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing

You've probably heard that breathing slowly and deeply may help relieve anxiety and fear. Also known as diaphragmatic breathing, this technique can reduce the severity and intensity of panic attacks too.

When you're feeling afraid or nervous, your breathing becomes accelerated. This can make your symptoms worse and increase panic sensations.

Use your diaphragm to breathe in slowly. Place your hand on the abdomen to make sure it's being pushed up and out. Contract your abdomen when you exhale and expand it as you inhale.

Focus on the breathing process. Observe how your abdomen expands and contracts with each breath you take. Close your eyes and relax your body.

Practice this exercise a few times a day, especially before stressful events that are likely to trigger panic attacks.

4. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) has emerged as one of the best ways to relieve panic and anxiety attacks. Even though this technique isn't new, healthcare professionals worldwide recommend it to those struggling with panic disorders.

When you're stressed or anxious, your body enters the fight-or-flight mode, which is a normal survival mechanism.

Sometimes, the flight-or-flight response lasts longer than it should or becomes a common reaction to everyday stressors. Its symptoms can take a toll on your life and keep you from doing the things you enjoy.

As its name suggests, PMR allows your muscles to fully relax, which in turn, helps reduce tension and lowers your heart rate. It also reduces anxiety and may provide relief for pain, headaches, digestive distress, and other conditions.

This process involves contracting each muscle group for five to 10 seconds while inhaling deeply. Relax your muscles as you exhale. Focus on one muscle group at a time.

5. How to Stop a Panic Attack with Natural Remedies

As we've mentioned earlier, medication works to a certain extent. The problem is that most drugs only address your symptoms and not the root cause of your condition. Plus, they carry potential side effects that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Natural remedies, on the other hand, are safer and have lasting effects. Lavender oil, for example, has been shown to relieve moderate to severe anxiety. In clinical trials, it has been show to be effective in the treatment of depressive symptoms, restlessness, and sleep problems.

Another potent remedy is chamomile. According to a 2018 trial, this plant lowers the stress hormone cortisol levels, reducing anxiety.

Dietary supplements, such as magnesium, L-lysine, and omega-3s, can also help. In a study, subjects who took lysine and arginine supplements experienced a major reduction in anxiety and mental stress levels.

Don't Let Panic Attacks Take over Your Life

Now that you know how to stop a panic attack, try these strategies and see how your body reacts. Meditation, guided imagery, and regular exercise can help as well. Practice is the key.

If your symptoms persist, reach out to a professional. A skilled psychotherapist can assess your condition and recommend the best course of action.

Our team of experts provides individual therapy for panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and other conditions. We use the latest techniques to help our patients regain their energy and enjoy optimum mental health. Contact us however you feel most comfortable, for example Whatsapp message us, or feel free to call us on +971 56 895 2347. You can also email or simply send us a query via our online form. Instagram message, Facebook chat… whatever works best for you! Our goal is to make you comfortable.

Sarah Rasmi