Each of us feels anxious from time to time. It's completely normal to experience heart palpitations and “butterflies” in the belly before exams or speaking in public.
In stressful situation your body releases hormone adrenaline. When fearful event is over, adrenaline levels drop down to the normal numbers in a short period of time.
However this mechanism can fail that leads to prolonged elevation of adrenaline and panic attack development.
In this disorder, people feel rapid heartbeats, chest pain, breathlessness and troubles swallowing. These symptoms are often accompanied by profuse sweating, nausea, sense of detachment, fainting and hands shakiness.
Panic attack starts suddenly, when you don't wait, and lasts on the average 10-20 minutes.
Medical specialists say that those, who suffer from panic attacks, have increased sensitivity of the fear center (amygdala), situated in the brain.
Though panic attacks aren't dangerous, they can sometimes mimic really life-threatening conditions like heart attack.
Once you have had panic attack, you need to make an appointment with healthcare professional to know exactly, whether or not any health issue (hyperthyroidism, heart problem or respiratory disease) cause these unpleasant symptoms.
Learn to cope with your panic attacks effectively:
#1. Recognize the attack – when fear of dying, choking, shortness of breath and other signs of panic attack become apparent, remind yourself that it's only a temporary trouble, which will pass soon. This will help you reduce anxiety and concentrate on other techniques to get rid of panic attack.
#2. Breathe deeply – hyperventilation usually occurs during the panic attack, as a result of fast breathing. Use calm and deep breathing method. Inhale slowly and gently through the nose, filling your chest and tummy with air. Hold for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth slowly.
#3. Perform mindfulness – accept your thoughts and focus on the real feelings like keeping the cloth in your hands. This would help overcome sense of detachment and unreality during the panic attack.
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#4. Use muscle relaxation – this technique was designed to get rid of muscle tension and improve the body's response to stress. Strain and relax consciously all body muscles one by one. Perform this strategy regularly to control your body entirely.
#5. Make a conversation – even if it appears difficult to breath, try to speak with someone. Being engaged in conversation helps you improve your breath and keep your mind in present moment.
#6. Count backwards – if there is nobody, to talk with, counting backwards from 100 or 200 by threes may help to struggle with panic attack efficiently.
#7. Sniff lavender – it was found that smelling scented oils like lavender may help relieve stress and relax.
#8. Sip water – some people complain of unusual taste, when going through the panic attack. Drinking cool water is a good way to escape funky taste and alleviate breathlessness.
#9. Take benzodiazepines – your doctor may prescribe you these medications, if you have panic disorder. Be aware that benzodiazepines may cause addiction, that's why they should be consumed sparingly, only to treat panic attack, but not to prevent it.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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