These can be characterised by sudden, debilitating sensations of anxiety that overwhelm the individual. We experience panic attacks when we are highly anxious or cannot handle a specific stressful situation anymore.
Why do we Experience Panic Attacks?
We experience panic attacks due to various disorders involving panic and anxiety, as well as PTSD and depression. They can be triggered or occur unexpectedly, but they are usually caused by a situation or feeling of heightened stress or a sense of a lack of control of your surroundings. This can be debilitating.
Other causes of panic attacks include specific phobias or situational fears that may be based on previously stressful or traumatic. Those who abuse substances are also more likely to experience panic attacks.
When amid a panic attack, you may experience heart palpitations, a seeming inability to breathe, shaking, numbness and perspiration. You may also experience trembling, feeling like you are choking, chest pain, nausea, fear of insanity and chills or hot flashes.
To diagnose a panic attack, you must experience at least four of the above symptoms, which develop abruptly and quickly peak in discomfort. These may not be the only symptoms you experience, but they are the ones that are certain in diagnosing a panic attack.
Panic attacks typically last for half an hour but can vary drastically in length. Often, panic attacks are mistaken for other health problems based on their symptoms. It often helps people know that what they are experiencing is only a panic attack rather than a cardiac or raspatory ailment. Panic attacks alone are not physically dangerous.
How to Stop Panic Attacks
If you experience frequent panic attacks, you recommend seeking counselling or medication from a professional. Techniques such as breath training and relaxation are also known to be beneficial.
A specific breathing technique that is encouraged is to count inward and outward breaths to gain control of the pattern of rapid breathing. This is known to work particularly well if you are accustomed to using breathing techniques regularly.
It is also recommended that panic attacks can be helped by withdrawing from caffeine, alcohol and drugs, increasing regular aerobic exercise and taking steps towards living a healthier lifestyle.
The benefit of guided meditation for treating panic attacks is the tool of regulating breathing. By learning how to handle and control your intake and expelling of breath, you will find yourself calmer. Using this tool on the occasion of a panic attack will allow you to alleviate symptoms with more significant effect and speed. As aforementioned, breathing exercises include counting your breaths, for example, the 7-11 technique, in which you breathe in for seven seconds and out for eleven. Others recommend breathing with the diaphragm rather than the chest. As well as this, guided meditation allows you to analyse any thoughts contributing to the panic attack and refer back to rational thought.