Commentary by Stan Popovich
As a published author of a managing fear book, I struggled with fear and anxiety for over 20 years.
I am sharing my thoughts here on how to deal with a panic attack.
A person can experience a panic attack when they least expect it. This can cause a great deal of fear and anxiety for the person.
Many people do not know what they should do when dealing with a panic attack. As a result, here are my eight easy steps a person can follow when a panic attack strikes unexpectedly.
1. Take a break: A panic attack can be very uncomfortable and can affect a person’s thinking. The best thing to do when this happens is to take a break in order to calm down. You don’t want to do anything when you’re not thinking clearly.
2. Take deep breaths: A person should take some deep breaths to help feel better and to get rid of some of the excessive fear and anxiety. There are many kinds of breathing exercises a person can learn to follow with the help of a mental health counselor. Taking some deep breaths can help a person relax right away.
3. Distract yourself: A person should try to distract themselves from the panic they are experiencing. A person could get some fresh air, listen to some music, take a brisk walk, read the newspaper, or do something relaxing that will give them a fresh perspective on things.
4. Visualize a red stop sign: A person should visualize a red stop sign in their mind when they encounter a fearful thought. When the negative thought comes, a person should think of a red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought and to think of something else. A person can then try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.
5. Get the facts of your situation: Many people feel helpless when they experience a panic attack for the first time. The fact is that you will be OK and that it takes a few minutes for the anxiety to go away. Talk to a counselor and get the facts of what a panic attack is and what you can do when a panic attack occurs.
6. Don’t dwell on your thoughts: A person must not dwell or focus on their thoughts during a panic attack. The more a person tries to reason out their thoughts the longer a panic attack will last. Read some positive statements from your favorite self-help book to help overcome your negative thoughts during a panic attack.
7. Read positive affirmations: Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statement.
8. Get help: It is important to talk to a qualified professional in order to learn how to survive a panic attack. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with any panic attacks that may occur in the future.