Practical Tips for Successfully Treating a Panic Attack

Do you know what to do if you suddenly experience a panic attack? What if it happened to a family member or friend? Here are several tips for treating a panic attack.

If You Experience a Panic Attack

The first tip in treating a panic attack involves engaging the mind. A panic attack often assaults a person with an intense fear. If you are able to steer your thoughts away from these negative emotions, you will be very successful in handling the attack. Tell yourself that you are in no real danger of dying, and there is nothing to be afraid of. Speaking out loud is often a good tip in treating a panic attack. The sound of your own voice telling your mind that everything will be fine is a tremendous source of comfort.

The next tip in treating a panic attack is to slow down your breathing. When the attack starts, there is often an urge to take shallow breaths, which leads to hyperventilation. To treat yourself during a panic attack, a good tip is to place your hand on your stomach to become more aware of your breathing. Take slow, deliberate breaths until you feel yourself relax.

Another tip in treating a panic attack involves "letting go". Sometimes a person who is experiencing an attack will concentrate on their symptoms until they are magnified. Granted, chest pains and shortness of breath are very real symptoms, but if you focus on them, they tend to seem worse. Instead, cause your mind to think beyond your physical symptoms. In most cases, panic attacks last a very brief time. Remind yourself of this fact.

Long Term Tips for Treating Panic Attacks

While the tips already mentioned are good, proper treatment can eliminate panic attacks. Keep in mind that the most effective tips to treating panic attacks do not involve taking addictive medication. One method of treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, in which a person's triggers for an attack are determined. By recognizing the thoughts or situations that precede an attack, a person can learn coping mechanisms. Relaxation techniques, like yoga or tai chi are excellent ways to curb anxiety and decrease stress. Many people have success using natural remedies like lavender and lemon balm. Regularly taking St. John's Wort is often cited as an effective tip for treating panic attacks. Good health habits, like getting proper nutrition, sleep and exercise are additional ways to manage this disorder.