If you have ever experienced seemingly random episodes of fear and anxiety that send you into a flight of panic — where your mind races, heart pounds, hands tremble, and body begins to sweat — you may have experienced a panic attack.
Panic attacks are a symptom of panic disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder. These attacks can happen at any time and often occur when there is not a threat or danger present. Although overwhelming and scary, panic disorder is something a therapist can help you navigate and heal from.
Experiencing panic attacks can leave you feeling powerless, but there are practices you can use to access your power in moments when it feels like the disorder has control over you.
Connecting With a Therapist
Receiving appropriate treatment for panic disorder is vital to gain lasting relief from panic attacks. Working with a therapist can help you become aware of common triggers for panic attacks and build essential coping skills for navigating your way through them.
Sometimes medication makes sense to integrate into treatment as well. This is also something you can talk about with your therapist to decide if it makes sense for you.
Using Your Breath as Your Anchor
In moments when panic attacks are unfolding, your nervous system becomes heightened in an attempt to fight off the potential threat or danger. Although this causes distress in your body, it is how your body works to protect you. This is the reason for many of the physical symptoms you may experience during moments of panic.
Regulating your breath during a panic attack can assist in regulating your nervous system back toward a state of homeostasis. Intentionally slowing down your breath — by focusing on taking deep, slow breaths — can remind your nervous system that you are safe.
Remind Yourself You Are Safe
Since panic attacks often happen when there is not a potential threat or danger, it is important to remind yourself that you are safe when you are on the brink of panic. While the symptoms of panic disorder are uncomfortable, you can remind yourself that you are not in danger. Repeating nourishing self-talk statements such as “I am safe,” rather than focusing on how distressing your symptoms are, can ease the discomfort of the panic.
Panic attacks can be rather unexpected and are exhausting when they come about. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize how frustrating, uncomfortable, and defeating it can feel to be living with panic disorder. Our therapists are ready to guide you toward recovery, whether this is through teaching you stress management techniques, relaxation strategies, or utilizing other treatment services. You will be among professionals and peers that support you in a safe and secure environment. To learn more, call us today at (844) 857-5992.