A key step in anxiety treatment is learning how to stop and prevent a panic attack. Once you recognize the panic attack symptoms discussed in the first part of this guide, you can feel more in control of the situation.
In this part, we will focus on preventing panic attacks and treating anxiety attacks when they occur.
Panic Attack Prevention – Analyze an Unfamiliar Space
A simple trick you can use to avoid a panic attack is to familiarize yourself with any room that you are in. This is especially true when you enter a new environment. Take a moment to scan the room. Know where the exits and restrooms are, and assess the number of people in the room. You do not have to know the space completely. A quick scan will provide enough information to make you feel more comfortable.
How to Stop a Panic Attack
Your heart is racing, you feel dizzy, and it’s difficult to breathe. What can you do? Try these tricks to stop a panic attack:
- Breathing Techniques: Breathe in for four seconds, slowly inhaling through your nose. Hold your breath for another four seconds. Then exhale through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat this until your symptoms start to dissipate.
- Grounding Techniques: Identify sights, smells, and sounds throughout the room that you recognize. This helps you feel safer in the space because you notice familiar elements around you. Remind yourself where you are, who you are with, and that you are in control.
- Fresh Air: If you feel claustrophobic or stifled by the room around you, move to a larger space. If possible, step outside to breathe in fresh air. If not, move to a larger room in the building, or a quieter space with fewer people.
- Acknowledging the Panic Attack: Tell yourself that you are having a panic attack. Say this over and over again, “It’s just a panic attack.” You may start to worry that something more is going on, which will worsen your symptoms. Acknowledging the circumstances helps to prevent that.
Long-Term Solutions for Preventing Panic Attacks
The best panic attack treatment is prevention. The ideal path to prevention is anxiety counseling. In this process, you will identify the core sources of your anxiety so you can treat them head-on. Your therapist will provide personalized solutions for your unique situation. You can also find effective ways to control your panic attack symptoms.
Family Counseling Associates provides anxiety counseling and psychiatry services. Our therapists and psychiatrists are fully licensed. We will match you with the best anxiety treatment specialist for you. Give us a call at 978-222-3121 to start your journey to better mental health.