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When you are having an anxiety or panic attack, you may feel like you can’t get through it. Some say it feels like a heart attack. My hubs did and we even made a trip to the ER years before we were married and had kids. I have shared my daily struggle with anxiety before. Anxiety attacks are a scary thing to go through but there are ways to deal with them and you WILL get through them. Here are some tips that help me get through my anxiety attacks.
Tips For Getting Through An Anxiety Attack
Recognize that it is an anxiety attack
Everyone goes through different kinds of attacks but the most common symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks are:
- Racing heart
- Chest pain
- Shortens of breath / Tightness of chest
- Flushed skin
- Dizzy / Lightheaded
- Tingling sensations in your body
- Hot flashes and/or chills
- Fear that you may die, something is wrong with you, or that you are crazy
- Choking sensation
Know that you WILL get through them
This one is the most important to me. When I repeat to myself over and over again that I WILL get through an attack, it helps me feel better because I know it will end soon, especially after going through my list of calming techniques below.
Switch your thinking
This tip also goes along with the one above – remind yourself that you have gotten through the attacks before.
You may feel like you are having a heart attack or even an asthma attack. I literally thought I was developing asthma a few years ago because my attacks were changing from what I was ‘used to’.
Tell yourself, “My heart is racing because I am panicking.” “I can’t breathe right because my heart is pounding so hard and my chest is tight.”
Move on to breathing techniques to help regulate your breathing and to calm down your heart.
Breathing techniques are a way to help regulate your breathing and essentially calm you down. I have had some panic attacks so bad that I was hyperventilating and my body was going numb. It may take a few breaths before you get the hang of it and start to feel it. Concentrating on breathing helps your mind switch off the panicky thoughts as well as calm your heart.
- Using your fingers, plug one nostril and take a slow deep breath in, counting to 5, and then switch nostrils and slowly breathe out. Repeat until you feel calmer.
- Another way is to lay on the bed with your feet elevated, one hand on your belly, then close your eyes and simply focus on slow, deep breaths.
Diffuse essential oils
Many essential oils are great for anxiety and stress relief and I love diffusing them. Not only do the scents help to relax you make you and give you a sense of peace, it also makes the house smell amazing! Lavender, Frankincense, Bergamot, Patchouli, Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, and Clary Sage are my top picks.
Put on some soothing music or even sounds of nature
The sounds of ocean waves help me out tremendously. The app for my non-wearable sleep monitor has it on there and I just play that. Focusing on the sounds of the waves coming in and out while doing breathing techniques is amazing. You can do a search on YouTube for different music and sounds.
Sometimes the anxiety attacks come so frequent and eventually take over your life. You may feel the need to seek out medication. I personally have never been put on a prescription for them because I didn’t seek it out. I have found though some homeopathic alternatives for myself that seem to help take the edge off of the panicky feelings and allow me to go through my calming techniques so the attacks do not turn into full blown ones. I did a simple Amazon.com search for homeopathic anxiety relief and found a ton of options.
There is nothing wrong with feeling like you need something extra to help you get through the anxiety. Talk to your doctor or seek out a therapist about the different options for you.
Minimize Your Stress
Minimizing your stress is much easier said than done but there are little things that you can do and change to help minimize the frequency of attacks.
- Avoid caffeine, smoking, and other stimulants because they can actually cause anxiety attacks
I noticed that I am sensitive to caffeine and so my anxiety attacks would come not long after drinking a cup or 2 of coffee. I started blending my favorite coffee with decaf coffee to help lessen the caffeine. I rarely have the horrible panicked feeling in the mornings anymore because the caffeine isn’t making my heart race and my breathing tight.