A panic attack comes without warning and can often disrupt your life. I know you want some answers, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for panic attacks.
You need patience and mastery to gain control over a panic attack. I had anxiety when I reached menopause and it took me some time to manage it. Overcoming a panic attack doesn’t happen overnight, it’s more of a transformational and healing process.
To help you heal from your panic attacks, I’m sharing with you great information that you can practice in your life!
The 4-Step Technique to Relieve a Panic Attack
- Breathe. Whether you’re in the grocery, standing in line or out in the park for a walk, panic attacks will spring out of nowhere. One thing that you can do to calm down is to deep breathe. Concentrate and focus on slow, deep breaths. Inhale with your nose, expand your diaphragm, hold for a few seconds and breathe out with your mouth. Let go of the tension and relax your body.
- Use positive self-talk. Coping statements is one of the best ways to ease panic attacks. Tell yourself that “I’m doing a good job right now, I’ll be fine” and “I’ve been here before and I was safe”. You can also say “Everything is alright, this will pass.”
- Acknowledge your panic attack. Sometimes, it’s best not to fight a panic attack. Instead of resisting the feelings of dread, acknowledge your feelings and let it pass. For example, if you have a panic attack before a speech, tell yourself that your fear is valid, but that it will soon pass. If you’re driving and feel a sense of worry, stop by the side of the road and take a deep breath. Accept that you’re afraid, but don’t let your worries get to you. Follow the first two steps (relax) and let panic attack take its full course. When you do this, you deprive the panic attack on what it feeds on – fear!
- Think of the end. Experts say a panic attack will only last for 3 minutes. Use this knowledge and look forward to the end of your panic attack. Knowing that there’s an end to how you’re feeling reassures you that everything will turn out fine.
Rebekah Borucki suffers from panic attacks. In this video, she shares her personal solution to calm herself. Listen to her four-minute remedy, hope it works for you too (4:00)!
9 Natural Ways to Prevent a Panic Attack during Menopause
Besides the technique I shared with you, small daily changes can also curb panic attacks. Here are 10 tips to reduce your stress and anxiety! These tips can balance hormones too, so that’s a bonus point!
- Eat hormone balancing foods. Hormone imbalances contribute to your panic attacks. To balance your hormones, have more adaptogenic herbs and phytoestrogenic herbs in your diet. Load up on superfoods such as broccoli, berries, quinoa and more! Eat foods rich in healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds.
- Boost GABA! Gama Aminobutyric-acid (GABA) is an amino acid which calms your mind and body. Boost GABA by eating more vitamin B6 and magnesium -rich foods. These nutrients synthesize GABA so they’re good for you! Foods like wild-caught fish, grass-fed meat and leafy veggies are rich sources of these nutrients. In addition, whole grains, berries and citrus fruits are good sources too! And oh, don’t forget green and black tea – they can also help with GABA production.
- Use herbs. Herbs such as Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Passion Flower and Valerian Root are good for panic attacks. These herbs have anti-stress effects and relaxes your mind. They can also increase GABA and decrease adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone that can trigger a panic attack.
- Supplement with Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid like GABA. It helps in the production of serotonin, a happy hormone that controls mood. Serotonin has anti-anxiety and calming effects which eases a panic attack.
- Exercise every day. Moving more boosts the production of happy hormones such as serotonin and endorphins. These two hormones have calming and relaxing effects.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep makes you feel restless and agitated during the day. If you have panic attacks, it can make the situation worse. For this reason, try to get 8 hours of sleep a day and you’re good to go!
- Avoid smoking, excessive coffee and alcohol. Chemicals such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol trigger panic attacks. These three are stimulants that rile up your central nervous system. As a result, your body becomes hyperactive, stimulating a panic attack.
- Bring an essential oil with you! Essential oils such as lavender, bergamot, sandalwood, chamomile and rose geranium are best for panic attacks. They have soothing and muscle-relaxing effects that can calm your nerves. Carry a small bottle of your favorite essential oil, apply some on your hands and breathe in!
- Meditate. Sometimes, you have to take some time for yourself. Meditation is a simple way to free your mind from all the worries and stress of life. Not to mention, you can do it anywhere. Get comfortable, bring your attention to yourself and focus on your breathing. Meditating even for 10 minutes can make a huge difference. Sometimes, your mind may wander as you go through the process, be sure to bring it back. If you find it challenging, try counting.
Rebekah finds comfort in meditation for her anxiety and panic attacks. She knows it will work for you too. Watch her again as she shows you how to do meditation (15:36):
Support Your Adrenal Glands to Prevent a Panic Attack!
The adrenal glands are tiny organs that sit on top of your kidneys. Despite their small size, they are one of the most helpful organs in the body.
Your adrenal glands regulate stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and epinephrine. These hormones tell your body when and how to react to stress. They also send out signals that your stressor has been resolved so it’s time to calm down and relax.
Today, we live in such a fast-paced world, full of stress and worries. This actually overworks our adrenal glands. As a result, we react to stressors poorly and develop mood conditions such as anxiety and panic attacks.
The good thing is, we can always support our adrenals. By following our 9 tips above you can maintain the health of these tiny glands! Here are more things you can do:
- Do light exercises to increase blood flow going to your adrenals.
- Go slow and learn to delegate!
- Eat more selenium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 rich foods. These nutrients are great antioxidants!
- Reduce sugar!
- Do something relaxing every day
Emotional Freedom Technique for Panic Attacks
The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is another great way to relax and calm your mind! It makes use of tapping which helps keep panic attacks under control.
There’s no ideal way how to do EFT. Some start with positive self-talk before tapping into their energy points. Others tap their energy points without any affirmations. We have 9 different energy points in the body. Follow the link for their exact locations!
Whatever way or order, many of those who have a panic attack find EFT pretty useful. EFT calms your central nervous system. It also regulates the system’s reaction to stressors, helping you manage a panic attack. Psych Central shares how you can use EFT during a panic attack.
Jessica Ortner’s video shows the nine tapping points and some positive affirmations you can use while doing EFT. You’ll also learn the techniques to control stress and panic attacks better (4:09):
Also, fear and anxiety thrive when you isolate yourself. The support of your loved ones can make a huge difference in your journey. Sometimes, love is all we need!
Conventional Methods to Ease Panic Attacks
Conventional medicine uses a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medications for panic attacks. CBT helps identify thinking patterns and behaviors which trigger your panic attacks.
There are three components to CBT, called the three Rs! The first one is relabeling, which teaches you how to accept frightening situations. The second is relaxation, which makes use of proper diaphragmatic breathing. The third one is repeat exposure, where a therapist gradually exposes you to panic triggers until you are able to cope with them.
CBT, in combination with certain medications, can help ease a panic attack. Medications such as serotonin boosters, antidepressants, anticonvulsants and mild tranquilizers are examples.
The use of medications come with side effects. For this reason, you have to take precaution when taking them. They do help, but they can’t address the underlying causes of your panic attack.
One good you can do for yourself is to gain control of your life. Self-evaluation is a good way to start. Look into your life and find out what’s causing your panic attacks.
If you have panic attacks, or someone you care about has, don’t suffer. Beat panic before panic has you!
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