A panic attack can come on at the strangest times and it is usually a product of a person being stressed or overwhelmed. The symptoms of a panic attack vary per person but usually a person will experience a racing heart, sweating, numbness in the extremities, lightheadedness or dizziness. Because of the surge of adrenaline that is in the body as the body’s natural reaction to fear, a person may also feel a fight-or-flight feeling that may give them the urge to run or to get out of a situation. In a person’s mind they start to have racing thoughts about impending doom or some other negative concept that will only intensify the feeling though these are irrational thoughts.
The typical panic attack lasts about 10 minutes though it can seem like an eternity and the adrenaline rush in the body can cause the body to take a while to come down from this heightened sensation of fear. According to statistics, one in every 75 people will experience panic attacks at some point in their life.
Of these people, it is most common to occur to people that are in their young teens or in early adulthood although they can come out of nowhere at any age. Some people may experience a panic attack once in their life, but it is more typical to have repeat episodes triggered by specific situations, which is why those with PTSD can also be prone to panic attacks. Women are twice as likely as men to experience panic attacks, but men are in no means immune.
Quick Tips to Help Panic Attacks
- When a panic attack occurs, the body needs to practice slow diaphragmatic breathing, the person’s breathing will slow down and eventually return to normal. One tip is to inhale while counting to ten slowly and then to exhale, again counting to ten. A person should repeat this exercise until they start to feel better.
- Try to cool down a person’s body temperature. If the person starts to feel sweaty, try a cool towel on the back of their neck to try to get the body temperature under control.
- Use distraction. If someone else is around, it can be easy to start engaging in conversation about absolutely anything so that the person who is having a panic attack can start to ignore the worry and the symptoms going on in their body and focus instead on the conversation.
- Start singing. They will focus on the words of the song rather than think about their body’s reaction to a panic attack.
- Meditate and slip into a trance-like state to try to overcome the anxiety and only think about what is going on in the “now” rather than to focus on the “what ifs” that will likely not occur.
Panic Away is a system that has proven effective for many. It teaches a variety of techniques that help the body heal naturally using techniques to move the mind out of the way to allow the parasympathetic nervous system to activate. It’s based in part to studies Dr. Victor Frankl and Dr.Claire Weekes. It’s a fast and easy system to learn and can help you regain your life from worrying about whether a panic attack is going to hit at the worst possible time.