In the U.S., an estimated 2.7% of people have panic disorder. And one of the worst things about panic is that often you can feel it coming on. But you feel helpless to stop it. The great news is you can learn how to prevent a panic attack in real-time.
1. How to Prevent a Panic Attack: Practice Deep Breathing
When you feel panic coming on, start taking slow, deep breaths. Expand your belly to allow your lungs to fill fully.
As a result, your brain tells your body everything is okay. Then a chain reaction ensues, causing:
- Slower heartbeats
- Reduced blood pressure
- Less head tension
- Fewer racing thoughts
This is how to prevent a panic attack or quickly bring one to an end.
2. See Yourself
This technique involves allowing yourself to see what’s happening as if you were a third party watching what’s happening. Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, calls this technique being an “observer.”
Doing this can free you from painful thoughts. So you begin looking at a situation more objectively. As an observer, you never shame or blame yourself.
Instead, seek to understand what’s happening. So how did this start? What triggered this event? What emotions am I experiencing now?
Because understanding your feelings as they happen, asking these kinds of questions is one way how to prevent a panic attack.
3. Know It’s Temporary
So many thoughts are going through your mind. It feels like it will never end.
You might even be beating yourself up, blaming yourself for how you feel.
So remind yourself that this too shall pass.
4. Close Your Eyes
Something in your line of sight may be triggering anxiety. Thus closing your eye, when safe to do so, can take the offending thing out of your vision. Then you can collect your thoughts.
Of course, the thing doesn’t go away. However, give yourself those few seconds of tranquility. Then apply some other tips on this list. That’s how to prevent a panic attack.
5. How to Prevent a Panic Attack: Have a Focus Object
You can find a focus object on the spot. If your chest is starting to tighten and your mind race, try focusing on an inanimate object like a chair. Note its pattern. Consider what the texture feels like. Evaluate its design, imperfections, and other features.
Also, some people carry a focus object with them in their pockets. Often called worry stones, these usually a rock unique shape or texture.
6. Go for a Walk
If you are able, going for a walk is a great way to clear the head. But if you can’t go outside, any light exercise will do. For instance, some quick yoga poses or push-ups.
But avoid pacing back and forth. Sometimes that has the opposite effect.
Exercise, like deep breathing, has the incredible power to lower blood pressure and eliminate stress hormones from the body.
7. Learn Stress Management Techniques
This isn’t something you do in real-time. But you do practice these techniques in real-time to prevent panic attacks. Often, anxiety disorders develop because our bodies and minds don’t respond well to stress. You have a heightened fight or flight response. However, most people don’t. Therefore, things that other people might brush off may cause you to, such as:
- Become unable to speak clearly
- Feel overwhelming muscle tension or headaches
While some of this is genetic, childhood trauma, current abusive relationships, environment, and even diet and lifestyle factors can contribute. So, learning effective stress management is how to prevent panic attacks from even starting.
How to Prevent a Panic Attack
Panic disorder is a miserable, joy-killing condition. But you don’t have to live with it. The Recovery Ranch helps people like you overcome panic through anxiety disorder treatment.
In our healing retreat setting, you’ll practice many of the techniques listed above. Together, we’ll get to the bottom of what’s causing your attacks. Our fully personalized treatment programs include therapies like:
- Individual/Group therapy
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Art and music therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Is anxiety stealing your joy? Are panic attacks keeping you from doing what you love? Join us at the Recovery Ranch and begin reclaiming your life. So call us at 1.844.876.7680 or Contact us to learn more.