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Coping with Panic Attacks

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By: Dr. Amit Mehta

Panic attacks are something you may face, but do you know how to cope with panic attacks? Most people do not and that is where the problem lies. A panic attack is a condition in which severe symptoms of anxiety occur in the body and will last any place from a few minutes to several hours. These fears are usually unfounded, too.

In addition, coping with panic attacks means facing reality. If you live with panic disorder, you know that the fear of an attack can sometimes stand in your way. It may make you reluctant to be alone or to venture to any locale that is not familiar or thought to be safe.

How To Cope

To learn to cope with the panic attack, consider these things. They can help you to keep your fears from getting worse, if nothing else.

When you notice symptoms of an attack coming on, stop. Stop and engage your mind in helping you objectively assess the extent to which they have progressed. If you notice slight trembling of your hands, or are beginning to sweat, do what you can to find a resting place and take a seat. This is particularly important if you are experiencing dizziness or light-headedness.

Breathe better. Take notice of how your breathing patterns move. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose and let a long, slow breath out through your mouth. This action alone will introduce increased levels of oxygen into your bloodstream and begin to relax you naturally.

Realize that you are in complete control. Before you begin to get into a bad situation, look around you. You have the advantage of being the only one knowing that you are about to panic. If possible, locate and move to an area that is calm and free from distraction or interaction with others. Give yourself the ability to take some time and to come to grips in an environment that is quiet and neutral.

Be yourself. Remind yourself that you have no obligation to formally excuse or explain yourself to anyone. An attack is something you experience discretely. The fear and discomfort that cause or accompany it are certainly intense. But the symptoms you are experiencing will, for the most part, go largely unnoticed by those around you.

If your condition does get worse, take the time to visit a restroom. In most cases, panic attacks will likely climax at it's worst within ten minutes of time. You can also take note of places that you can go if you feel that you need to in your everyday life. Where can you go to relax at work? Where can you go when you visit your favorite restaurant? Having a safe place to go to, and knowing where it is, can help you to keep the panic attack at bay.

When you have the ability to cope with a panic attack in this manner, you are one step better for your own personal experience. Take the time to understand just what happened and what brought on the panic attack. Addressing this in your mind will help you to resolve the problem so that you do not have the same fears and worries again. To cope with panic attacks, simply take the time necessary to focus on your body's needs.

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About the Contributor

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