How to Stop Panic Attacks Before They Start

By Guest Contributor

Last updated January 12, 2023

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Panic attacks are defined as “a sudden feeling of acute and disabling anxiety”.

Knowing how to stop panic attacks may not be the same for everyone, but ultimately it is a process.There are various symptoms, but some that I was surprised by were that you can feel like you’re smothering or choking and also “going crazy” or sort of like things aren’t real or you’re detached from your body.

What’s particularly frustrating is that these attacks can come on at any time, so if someone knew how to prevent panic attacks completely, they would be rich.

Stressful or traumatic situations can of course make you more prone to experiencing them, however, so it makes sense to learn how to manage stress properly and methods of how to stop panic attacks.

Here are a few ideas to decrease the potential for a panic attack.

Count to Ten

Most of us don’t tend to make the best decisions in the middle of a crisis. Get in the habit of taking a minute to count to ten so you can think more clearly when a stressful situation comes up (including when your kids are being crazy 😉 ).

Practice Deep Breathing

When you’re relaxed, your body naturally takes deeper, abdominal breaths.

Rapid, shallow breathing from your chest is common under stress, and exacerbates or perpetuates the stress, which can increase the potential for a panic attack.

Learn to recognize where you breathe from and consciously choose to keep your breathing deep and slower.

Watch Out for Stressors

Take a step back to evaluate things in your life that frequently stress you out and make a list of them.

I was personally so used to stress that I didn’t even realize how it was affecting my life. It’s taken me time to learn to pinpoint what will turn into a stressor if I’m not intentional about it.

Some of these things can be eliminated from your life completely, but some of them you may just need to find better ways to cope with.

Just knowing what to pay attention to and being prepared for things that come up instead of just reacting, can make a world of difference.

Create an Exercise Routine

It’s easy to think of exercise as something you do for your physical health, but it makes a huge difference in your mental health as well!

The best way to make sure you get the exercise you need is to make it a practical part of your everyday. It doesn’t need to be intense or rigorous, even establishing a daily walk will be beneficial.

You certainly don’t need expensive equipment or a gym membership either – here are simple bodyweight exercises you can do from home:

Have a Good Support System

Panic attacks are bad enough with people, let alone all by yourself.

Find a friend or family member you can trust to connect with when you’re having a panic attack. They should know the symptoms of panic attacks and have an idea of what it’s like to have one.

Just be wise in not picking someone connected to the things that generally stress you out. For example, if your co-workers are causing your stress, talk to a friend outside of work.

Avoid Stressful Situations

There are lots of things we do in life that aren’t as necessary as we think.

It’s wise to evaluate things you’re doing that are stressing you out needlessly.

It also makes sense to learn to say “no” more. Many of us try to please too many people at the expense of our own health and sanity.

While none of these things by themselves are guaranteed to eliminate panic attacks, taking control of the stressors in your life will definitely be a good step forward.

Remember to take it one day at a time, and breathe.

Remember that it Will Pass

In the moment of a panic attack it’s extremely hard to believe that you’re really ok, but the more you condition yourself to this mindset, the more likely you’ll be able to push through more quickly in a difficult situation.Whatever you focus on grows.

Whatever you focus on grows.

Get to Know Yourself Better

Understanding who you really are, deep down at the core, is probably the number one thing that will ultimately help to get rid of your panic attacks, but it can take time to work through.

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