What To Do About Panic Attacks

Can't Stop Having Panic Attacks?

The journey to recovering, including professional and free resources.

By Golden Recovery | Updated August 3rd, 2021

what to do about panic attacks

For the purposes of this article we will assume you already know what a panic attack is, but rather aren't aware of the Panic Loop or how to help it. If you aren't sure if it's panic attacks that you are experience check out our What Do Panic Attacks Feel Like page.

Remember that yes there are quick solutions I provide below, but overall this is a journey.

I am by no means a medical professional, I'm merely relaying my experiences. If you need immediate medical attention please seek a doctor.

Awareness: What Is the Panic Loop?

panic loop

The Panic Loop is the breakdown you see below. Unfortunately, you will probably be able to identify very easily with it:

First, you feel a bodily sensation which makes you scared something is about to happen. That fear ultimately leads to the actual panic attack.

Once that attack has released you're left in a heightened state of anxiety. All of this, plus the fear of experiencing another attack, puts you in the inevitable state of having another. Oh, what a joy right?

Stage 1: Bodily Sensation

A bodily sensation makes you react with fear that something is about to happen.

Stage 2: Panic Attack

Your reaction triggers even more fear and eventually leads to a full-on panic attack.

Stage 3: Higher Anxiety

Once the panic attack subsides you are left in a heightened state of anxiety and sensitivity.

Stage 4: Fear of Stage 1

Your fear of another attack keeps anxiety high, and ultimately lead you to another one.

Panic Away is the best resource I've found to stop the loop at Stage 1. Here's their Free Audio available for immediate relief.

So, here's what to do about panic attacks...

Prevention: Immediate Practical Steps To Prevent The Panic Loop

Prevention will be the best way to get out of the Panic Loop. Nip it at the bud. As stated earlier, remember this is a journey.

These are immediate steps you can take to accelerate the beginning of your journey.

Please try not to think that this is something that just subsides all by itself. You have to take action, and the quicker you do the faster you will move on to your life outside of anxiety and panic attacks.

1) Meditation and Breathing Exercises

Meditation is absolutely astounding for practicing mindfulness. A lot of the root problem in an anxious life is living in your own head.

That sounds familiar, right?

All the thoughts circling around your mind constantly takes away from experiencing the world.

I encourage you to look into the 8-minute meditation program. It's helped thousands of people including myself, and has been featured on CBS and Time Magazine.

Don't forget to breathe! My favorite technique is 6-2-6. A technique established by Navy Seals to control their emotions and enhance focus.

You breathe in through your nose for 6 seconds, hold it for 2, and breathe out of your mouth for 6. The best part about this is you can do it anywhere, any time. Even now!

2) Therapy

therapy for panic attacks

This is probably the most involved step to take, but it can still be immediate and practical.

I understand that it takes years for therapy to pay off right? Plus, all the steps to find the right therapist, go through insurance, set up appointments, etc. I've been there too.

The quickest, most customizable route for this step that I have found, is Online Therapy.

They offered a full therapeutical toolbox that includes a 24/7 personal therapist via phone or online, activity plans, worksheets, journal, live chat, yoga, and more. Currently they even have a

20% discount here.

However, if time and money permit I would suggest an in person counselor as well. You may need to be treated via prescription medication.

3) Start by Talking

Not to solve the problem, but to let your stress out. A lot of people experiencing these attacks are strong individuals. They don't enjoy bothering the people around them with their stress or anxiety.

It it understandable. However, that stress will make you implode if you let it fester inside of you. Don't forget that if somebody cares about you, they will listen just to listen.

I'm sure you'd do the same. So why not let somebody do it for you?

Please feel free to hit the message box in the bottom right of your screen. If you send me a message I will get back to you as quick as possible. I'm here if you need somebody!

4) Get Organized

panic attack recovery

Anxiety increases as your mind struggles to keep up with a disorganized world. Whether that's externally or internally is up for you to decide.

Sometimes our minds are just as cluttered as our room.

The worksheets and journals from our therapy resource should help you get organized internally.

The most immediate step here, though, is to start externally. Start with your room, your car, your office, and slowly organize your life. You'll feel much lighter, I assure you.

5) Stop The Loop While You're In It

So what do you do if you start experiencing stage 1? You start getting that sensation and you know something bad is about happen.

Panic attacks peak from 5 to 10 minutes and rarely last for more than half an hour. But during this time, you can experience discomfort such as those signs and symptoms mentioned above.

Since increased heart rate is the main reason for experiencing other symptoms, it is important to take control of your breathing during an attack.

Breathe slowly and deeply as you can using the 6-4-6 breathing technique we established earlier.

Do this until you are calm. If you are able to stand, get up slowly and walk around. It is also helpful to breathe into a plastic or a paper bag.

This allows you to re-breathe your carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide helps correct the blood acid level that had been disturbed by excessive breathing.

While practicing deep breathing, try to focus your attention away from the cause of panic.

Replace your anxious thoughts with

happy ones. If available, do something that will occupy your mind such as solving puzzles and playing word games.

As state earlier, Panic Away has the most helpful technique I've ran into. Their 21/7 technique is built specifically to break that loop once it starts.

Finally: Realize You Are Not Alone In This Loop

You're probably already thinking, "oh here we go with this again."

Many people before you have experienced this, many are experiencing it with you today, and many will experience it tomorrow. So why does that matter?

Sometimes it helps to take solace (you could use some solace) in the fact that you have many people that are experiencing the same troubles you are. We are out here, and you can figure this out and move on just like we have.

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