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10 unique tips to help deal with panic attacks and anxiety

Mental Wellbeing

Suffering from anxiety and panic attacks can not only be intense and frightening, but they might actually make you feel like you could collapse.

Sometimes it is easy to figure out what is triggering these panic attacks- stress from work, school, or family life, the death of a loved one, or financial triggers. Other times they can seem like they come from nowhere.

Whether you have panic attacks often or have only had one in your life, learning how to deal with them could help lower the intensity, and hopefully even prevent them.

Are you having a panic attack?

It’s important to recognise when you are having a panic attack by knowing the symptoms:

“A panic attack is a feeling of sudden and intense anxiety. Panic attacks can also have physical symptoms, including shaking, feeling disorientated, nausea, rapid, irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, breathlessness, sweating and dizziness.” – NHS

How to Deal with Panic Attacks

1. Don’t let your fear of panic attacks control you. Remember that panic attacks are just symptoms and that you can ride it out.

2. Learn calm breathing. Practising calm breathing can help reduce physical symptoms of feeling dizzy and lightheaded from over breathing. A good technique to start with is to inhale through the nose slowly, for 4 seconds. Pause. Exhale slowly through your mouth for four seconds. Pause. Repeat.

3. Listen to calming music. When you start to feel anxious or worried, put some earbuds in and close your eyes, listening to some calming music. White noise, soft piano, waves, or rain sounds work best.

4. Exercise more often. If you are prone to panic attacks, try exercising more often. Whether that be a short walk in the mornings or evenings or finding a personal trainer. Not only is exercise good for mental health, but it produces endorphins that are vital for pain-relief and a feeling of well-being.

5. Talk to someone you trust. Don’t seclude yourself, anxiety and panic attacks are nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to your loved ones, friends, teacher, and especially your doctor. Not only will they probably have some great advice on hand but talking about it with someone could help you discover the underlying causes.

6. Occupy yourself. If you feel a panic attack coming on, try this counting exercise. Slowly try to count five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two that you can smell, and one that you can taste.

7. Talk yourself through it. Whether it be out loud or in your head, repeat to yourself an encouraging sentence. “I can do it” “I will be alright” “It’s just a panic attack”. “This will pass.” Coax the anxiety out of yourself.

8. Get some fresh air. Walking outside when you feel an attack coming on could turn it on its heels. Take a big breath of fresh air and exhale the stress through your mouth and out of your body.

9. Limit caffeine. Believe it or not, caffeine can make you more anxious. Limiting your caffeine is a simple way to limit the chances of having a panic attack.

10. Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about panic attacks, what they are, why they happen, and how you can treat it. Doing so may help you understand where yours are stemming from, and how to stop them.

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