How to Deal with Panic Attacks: Panic Attack Self-Help
Learning how to deal with panic attacks on your own should represent your primary goal for the long-term. This doesn't mean you shouldn't seek professional help first – because you should – just that in the long run, helping yourself will empower and free you from the bondage of this behavioral disorder. As always, talk with your therapist first before implementing any tips and strategies that focus on how to deal with panic attacks.
Self Help for Panic Attacks
For those interested in learning effective self help for panic attacks, first consider changing what goes into your body. Substances like alcohol, caffeine, and amphetamines can increase the frequency, severity, and duration of panic attacks. Try to avoid these things entirely. Many foods and beverages, such as sodas, teas, coffee, and chocolate contain caffeine and other stimulants, like nicotine. Cut these things out of your diet – drink mineral water and decaffeinated flavored teas instead. Many light-colored sodas are caffeine free, such as Sprite® and 7-up®, but it's always best to check the label first.
As you and your therapist examine the nature of your panic attacks, you can experiment with many of these complementary panic attack self help techniques:
- Biofeedback – Biofeedback can teach you how to deal with panic attacks by providing you with relaxation techniques to control them. Using sensors that measure things like heart and breathing rate, muscle tension, and other signs that change during the anxiety response, the biofeedback technician can help you apply relaxation tools to control your individual response to environmental triggers.
- Exercise – Whether you have panic attacks or not, regular exercise is always a great idea. It's proven that regular exercise works as a natural tool for stress and anxiety relief. You may want to try some of the meditative disciplines found in Yoga. Anecdotal and empirical data indicate that Yoga has a calming effect on the human psyche, even hours after completing the session. Brisk walking outdoors, or a jog, if you're up to it, can relieve anxieties and tension immensely – not to mention the physical health benefits you'll gain from it.
- Relaxation techniques – Mindfulness and meditation, along with controlled breathing, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation are great panic attack self help tools which can increase feelings of emotional health and wellness as well as reduce feelings of anxiety and panic. You'll need to practice these techniques regularly to gain the full benefit these tools offer.
- Reduce life stressors – Manage your time wisely, don't let bills pile up, and socialize with other supportive people. Cultivate relationships with people who make you feel comfortable in your own skin. Make time for fun, relaxing activities and just say no to additional responsibilities until you get better at using your panic attack self help techniques.
- Learn to love yourself – People with panic attacks frequently criticize themselves and put a yoke of perfectionism on themselves. No one is perfect and learning to properly cope with and address your flaws and imperfections in a healthy manner can go a long way toward helping you learn how to deal with panic attacks.
You can learn how to deal with panic attacks effectively and take a turn down the path toward a better, more fulfilling life – free of the fear and terror associated with this disorder. Work the plan set before you by your physician and therapist. Experiment with the various techniques for panic attack self help and find which ones work best for you. Take back control of your emotions, body, and life. Get help now.
Additional Panic Attack Information
- What Is a Panic Attack?
- Panic Attack Symptoms, Warning Signs of Panic Attacks
- Confusing Panic Attacks and Heart Attacks
- Panic Attack Causes: What Causes Panic Attacks?
- Panic Attack Treatment: Panic Attack Therapy and Medication
- How to Stop Panic Attacks and Prevent Panic Attacks
- How to Cure Panic Attacks: Is There a Panic Attack Cure?
Last Updated: 29 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD