It’s hard to describe what a panic attack is like to somebody who has never experienced one. The dread, the overwhelming physical sensations, and the immense fear feel very real to you once you’ve gone through the experience. You will certainly feel that you’d do anything to never go through that again.
Thankfully, the steps on how to prevent panic attacks are easy, and simple enough to implement into your daily routine. The only thing that is really required of you is that you are dedicated to reducing your anxiety, and commit to these steps. You also have to be open and honest with yourself, and be patient in seeing the results.
1. Gain a clearer understanding
Knowledge is power, and this couldn’t be truer when you want to eliminate panic attacks from your life. Find out as much as you can. From what causes panic attacks, to how long they last and what the symptoms are; the more knowledge you have the better equipped you’ll be to stop them from happening again. Also take this time to find out what triggers your anxiety and panic attacks, and to research techniques that you feel could help you. You can look into all kinds of treatments, and start trying some yourself.
2. Make all the necessary lifestyle changes
Your chances of having another panic attack are much higher if you are leading an unhealthy lifestyle. Our bodies and minds are far more capable of dealing with stress when they are functioning optimally. The lifestyle changes will include having a set bedtime routine to ensure that you are getting enough quality sleep; eating a balanced and healthy diet; and exercising at least three times week. There’s a bonus too! You won’t only reduce the chances of having another panic attack, but you will improve your overall health, well being, and confidence.
3. Make time for yourself
Not having time for ourselves to relax and de-stress is one of the biggest causes of panic attacks. Life is always busy, and many of us work endlessly and forget to offset that with a good amount of relaxation and “me-time”. There really are no excuses, even if you are a full time parent working two jobs – in fact, you’ll need time for yourself even more then! It’s up to you to make time. Take a relaxing walk in your lunch break, or go read in the park. You can even make some quality time with your partner, and get them to give you a relaxing massage!
4. Find support and encouragement
No one is meant to cope with all of life’s challenges alone. We are social beings, and in reality we all function best when we have somebody we love, trust, and can rely on. If you don’t have friends, you are going to have to take a huge leap of faith and step outside of your comfort zone. Take this time to do something you enjoy in a group setting. If you are creative, take some pottery classes and meet like – minded people. Or why not join a community sports club? Either way, do not underestimate the important, and positive effect a trusted friend can have in your life.
5. Change your mind-set
It’s not always pleasant, but sometimes we need to take a long, good look at ourselves and determine how we alone make ourselves unhappy. It’s easy to blame your horrible boss, or your selfish partner. But sometimes, it’s just a matter of attitude. Rather choose to be grateful for your job, and perhaps do something to show your partner how much they mean to you. Changing our mind-sets from seeing the negative to focusing on the positives plays a significant part how to prevent panic attacks.
Remember, nobody is perfect. Don’t beat yourself up if you still have panic attacks or experience anxiety. Do not become disheartened if you have not been sticking to your lifestyle changes, or been practising your coping techniques. The only thing to do is to accept this, and then pick yourself up again. Don’t stop trying, and eventually you will start seeing very positive results which will further motivate and encourage you.