Tips To Reduce Panic Attacks.

Here are a few steps you might like to take to manage your panic attacks.

Once panic sets in, some sufferers feel very isolated and often embarrassed by their condition, and therefore prefer to suffer alone. But one alternative you can do to alleviate anxiety is to force yourself to socialise in a tense situation and talk to people. Smile and seek out conversation. It may be hard at first, but you'll find that occupying yourself is much easier than worrying about the onset of panicky thoughts.

Distract your mind, and occupy your thoughts to distract your anxieties. The easiest way to do this is to identify some simple targets. For example, concentrate first on sitting comfortably, sigh away the anxiety. Now imagine what you would like for dinner or what you will watch on television this evening.  Read more about setting goals...

‘Protection Attacks’  can be scary, and dealing with them is certainly no laughing matter, but laughter is at the other end of the emotional scale of fear, panic and anxiety. So when you first begin to feel the onset of an attack, immediately summon up images of a time that you laughed uncontrollably with much clarity as you can or picture in your mind that comedy film that has you in fits of giggles. The positive feel-good endorphins could stop the attack entirely in its tracks.

Remind yourself that anxiety is not usually life-threatening, you know you will be okay as you have been okay before and have always come out of anxiety and ‘Protection Attacks’ in the past. Remind yourself that this is just a false alarm, a ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ reaction which many people experience in their lives.

Your mind is trying to protect you from a perceived danger, so you are really having a ‘Protection Attack’. What this actually means is that you are in protection mode and not panic mode, as being in protection mode means your body is functioning normally and is in control. Panic by definition means out of control. Knowing this should make you feel better. If you are under no threat you can reassure yourself by saying, “I am under no threat, feeling this way is a misunderstanding, because I am not in danger”.

It is likely to feel that the anxiety feeling rises from your stomach and up into your throat, almost as if in a circle motion. Once you can picture in your mind the movement of the feeling, imagine reversing it, and spinning it in the opposite direction.

Don't add to the adrenaline rush, find a place to sit down and gather your thoughts. Concentrate on your breathing, and imagine everything around you has gone into slow motion including your breathing. (For some counting backwards from 50 slowly with eyes closed is very beneficial). Find composure first, and then calmly move if necessary.

Grounding Techniques

A grounding technique is a coping strategy to help return your focus to the present moment and calm emotions of a panic attack, PTSD/trauma flashback, distressing memory or anxious thought.

What triggers your anxiety or panic?

Do you sometimes feel that you get anxious for no apparent reason? Well, the good news is we are always triggered so how do you find those triggers?

Ask yourself:

  1. What did you just see?
  2. What did you just hear?
  3. What did you just smell?
  4. What did you just taste?
  5. What did you just touch?
  6. And most importantly, what have you just thought about?

Keep a notepad and pen handy and document every time you feel anxious or panicky. Soon you will notice a pattern starting to appear. Now you will be able to identify your triggers and start working on how to manage and even overcome them.

Help and Support designed to break the habits

Trauma Research Uk’s Help & Support Programme is designed to help you break the anxiety-inducing habits you might have been carrying around for years, and to help you create new ways of thinking that we are confident will transform your life for the better.