A panic attack can happen to anyone, and it doesn’t always happen at a time of stress or anxiety. The panic attack goes beyond anxiety problems, it is one more step of this evil that affects more people every day. And the truth is that it is a harrowing experience in which the prevails. It’s terrible, that’s why we want to identify the symptoms of a panic attack in order to stop it in time.
Panic attack symptoms
It doesn’t matter if you already know that a panic attack lasts and goes away on its own, because those minutes are the most distressing of your life. And it is normal to think that the organism cannot resist such an amount of terror condensed in such a short time. And if it happens to you again? Will you resist another panic attack? Sure it would, but knowing that attack isn’t going to kill you doesn’t stop you from looking for a way to prevent it from happening again.
We think that if you correctly identify the symptoms of a panic attack, you will be able to stop it in time. Knowing the early signs of that anxiety spike can help you prevent it from breaking out altogether. So pay attention.
It all starts with, it’s true, but you may not even be aware of it. The thought produces an emotion that for some reason gets out of control and you start to breathe heavily. This is where it all starts and that’s when you have to intervene. Because if you don’t intervene, the panic attack surprises you with more symptoms such as sweating, tremors or palpitations.
The panic attack can make you dizzy, your legs and arms fall completely asleep and something very curious happens when you feel that your mind separates from your body. It is a feeling of unreality that triggers fear, fear of going crazy, fear of losing control and, especially, fear of dying. It would be ideal to be able to stop the attack before reaching this point, right?
How to stop a panic attack?
You do not lose anything by trying. Despite knowing that the panic attack goes away on its own and that it will not kill you, it is true that you do not want to have that experience again because it leaves important psychological consequences. The panic attack leaves you afraid, afraid that it will return and that is when it begins to condition your whole life trying to avoid situations in which you think you may suffer it again.
When you notice palpitations and difficulty breathing, it’s time to act. You can try to control the fearful thoughts that cause your symptoms, but this is very complicated and there are no guarantees of success. Try to be aware that it’s just a panic attack, that it will pass, that you won’t die, and that you already know the experience. If you manage to relativize the thoughts, the attack will lose intensity.
Something easier is to try to change the focus of attention. Instead of revealing in the sensations that the symptoms cause you, fix your attention on an object. People who regularly practice mindfulness find it easier to do so. Observe an object, its shape, its color, its texture and put all your attention on it, concentrate on the object and the panic attack will have no place in your mind.
Conscious breathing is the trick that is closest to us. Inhale through your nose, hold the air inside you for a few seconds, and exhale through your mouth. Ideally, if you have anxiety problems, you should practice these breathing exercises daily. Thus, when you have to resort to breathing in the event of an anxiety attack, it will come out almost automatically.
If you can’t beat them, join them. This suggestion may seem strange to you, but you could accept your sensations, you could observe how your legs are getting numb or the sweat that you begin to notice on your body. Accept what is happening to you without judging it as something bad, but as part of that process that will end in a few minutes. Maybe that’s how it ends sooner.
We have to warn you that trying to stop a panic attack is very complicated and these techniques may not work for you because in that moment of emergency the irrational wins the game over the rational. So remember that if you can’t stop it in time, nothing happens. The panic attack will go away in no time.