Updated: Jan 20
Panic attacks can be sudden overpowering and feel very scary.
There are some tools and techniques you can use to manage and cope with living with anxiety or panic disorder.
Symptoms may include:
Intense or repetitive worrying
Thoughts of extreme fear or death
Feeling out of control
Light headed, faint
Tingling hands feet, tongue, lips
What is the difference between a panic or anxiety attack? “A panic attack is just that—an acute attack, usually lasting between 10-40 minutes. Occasionally they can last longer, perhaps 90 minutes, but that is rare. An anxiety attack is more of a prolonged offensive, pangs of acute intensity, but more often a steady progression of worry or tension that wears down the body, leading to additional symptoms that last for days to months. Usually anxiety attacks are more subacute, rather than oppressively debilitating and acute like a panic attack.”
–Dr. Karl Benzio, Co-Founder and Chancellor, Honey Lake Clinic and Director of Excellence in Christian Psychiatry, Honey Lake Clinic
How to calm anxiety and stop a panic attack?
_Name 5 things you can see
Think about each object for a few seconds
_Name 4 things you can touch
Think about the texture temperature and how it feels
_Name 3 things you can hear
Think about where each sound is coming from.
_Name 2 things you can smell
You can smell a flower, essential oil, favourite scent to calm
_Name 1 thing you can taste
Sip water or notice the taste in your mouth
Stay with this exercise as you start it maybe that the objects bring you fear but just keep moving onto the next item and as you do you will start to ground into the body out of the mind.
Focus on Breath and Count Backwards
Breath in gently and out gently don't try to get more oxygen in, simply focus on relaxing the breath, softly in and softly out.
Now try counting back from 100....
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Start with the feet and work your way through the body tensing the muscles in isolation. Breathe in then tense the muscle for a few seconds, hold. Then release, relaxing the muscle, notice the muscle relaxed for a few seconds then move onto the next muscle.
Managing stress and triggers in your environment can have a big impact in anxiety or panic disorder. Nutrition, staying properly hydrated, exercise and supplement also need to be in balance for a healthy stress response. Creating daily relaxation rituals including meditation, breath-work and talking/expressing feelings will help reduce anxiety.
Ask for help
Let others know how you are feeling. Talk to a friend or family member and reach out. Speak with a healthcare professional or therapist to help you with coping methods that will help you learn to manage your panic or anxiety.
Progression of Stress Response
🜁 Brain experiences or thinks of something stressful. Adrenal medulla and sympathetic nervous system (part of the autonomic nervous system not under voluntary control, originating in the brain and spine and branching out to all organ systems) immediately release norepinephrine and epinephrine.
🜁 This raises heart rate, blood pressure, respirations, and shunts blood from the digestive tract to the muscles. If stress not resolved immediately, the brain secretes CRH (corticotrophin releasing hormone).
🜁 CRH causes release of ACTH within fifteen seconds and subsequent release of cortisol from the adrenal glands.
🜁 Pancreas releases glucagon, which raises circulating levels of glucose for use by the brain and muscles for energy during the stress.
🜁The Pituitary releases prolactin to suppress reproductive activity and reduce testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
🜁 Growth hormone is inhibited. Endorphins, enkephalins, and vasopressin are secreted to suppress pain and improve cardiac function.
🜁 If stress continues, many of these effects become chronic and cause continued alterations in physiology.
🜁 Chronic stress leads to elevated blood glucose, insulin resistance, depressed sexual function, weight gain, suppressed immunity, and elevated blood pressure and heart rate.
Power of Five Elements Charles A Moss