This post is about how do you stop a panic attack mentally.
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Panic attacks can strike when you least expect them, leaving you with an overwhelming rush of fear and anxiety. I know this all too well because I’ve personally experienced panic attacks, triggered by medical trauma, during hospital visits.
In this blog post, I’ll combine my own experiences with expert advice to help you understand how to stop a panic attack mentally.
How Do You Stop A Panic Attack Mentally?
1: What Causes Panic Attacks?
The exact causes of panic attacks and panic disorder are unknown, but several factors may contribute, including:
- Genetic predisposition
- High levels of stress
- A disposition that is particularly sensitive to stress or inclined towards negative emotions
- Alterations in the functioning of certain parts of the brain
- Panic attacks often start suddenly and unexpectedly, but with time, they tend to be triggered by specific situations.
- Some studies suggest that the body’s natural fight-or-flight response, designed for reacting to imminent danger, plays a role in panic attacks. For instance, when faced with a grizzly bear, your body instinctively prepares for a life-threatening situation, leading to increased heart rate and rapid breathing.
Many of these same reactions occur during a panic attack, even when there’s no apparent danger present. However, the precise reason for a panic attack in the absence of an obvious threat remains uncertain.
As someone who has undergone 3 heart operations, panic attacks for me have had various triggers, and medical trauma is a common one. I’ve explored this topic in detail in another blog post (you can read it here).
Understanding the root causes of panic attacks is the first step to managing them.
2: Recognising the Signs
Unmistakable signs, both physical and emotional:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- A sense of impending doom
In the midst of a panic attack, recognising these signs can be challenging. I’ll share my own experiences with recognising these symptoms to help you identify them in yourself.
My signs that I am having a panic attack:
- Heavy chest
- Sweaty hands and feet
- Shaking uncontrollably
3: The Power of Breathing
One of the most effective techniques for stopping a panic attack is controlled breathing. I find this so hard to do when I am having a panic attack but when I have been able to achieve deep slow breathing not definitely has helped!
Deep, slow breaths can help calm your nervous system and regain control.
Here is a step-by-step guide to deep breathing exercises and share how controlled breathing has personally helped me:
NHS a Inform
- Breathe in as slowly, deeply and gently as you can, through your nose
- Breathe out slowly, deeply and gently through your mouth
- Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5 on each in-breath and each out-breath
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
4: Grounding Techniques
Grounding yourself can be vital during a panic attack. When everything seems off kilter and you can’t find any sense of calm, try the grounding techniques.
- Put a cold cloth on your head
- Think about what you can see around you and try and explain it
- Focus on what you can feel such as the chair you are sitting on or the ground beneath your feet
- Think about what you can hear and say them out loud
6: Seeking Professional Help
Seeking help for panic attacks will help you feel in control and educated on the topic. When we know more, we can do more about it.
The scary thing about panic attacks is having no knowledge of what it is or how to deal with it. Seeing professional help, will help manage that and give you a sense of calm and comcalm and comfort.
For more help on panic attacks go here:
This post was about how do you stop a panic attack mentally.