Q:

How do you stop an anxiety attack?

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Quick Answer

Practicing relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing, adopting healthy eating habits, reducing alcohol and nicotine intake, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep can help stop anxiety attacks from happening, according to HelpGuide. Other self-help techniques that have been recommended include creating an anxiety worry period, where an individual allows him or herself to focus on negative, anxious thoughts without trying to correct them for a short period of time, accepting uncertainty and writing down all worries. Behavioral therapies for anxiety disorders, such as exposure therapy and cognitive-behavior therapy, have also been recommended.

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Full Answer

If the relaxation treatments are not effective, medical professionals may recommend taking prescription medication instead. A variety of different types of medications, such as benzodiazepines and antidepressants, can be prescribed depending on the severity of the anxiety attack. Some medications can cause unwanted side effects, and it is important to weigh out the pros and cons before proceeding.

Anxiety is more than just an emotion. In fact, it can trigger one's "fight or flight" response, which ultimately causes hormonal changes within the body. Working on learning how to deal with anxiety on a regular basis can help prevent full-blown anxiety attacks.

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