Q:

How do you stop panic attacks?

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Quick Answer

Combating panic attacks requires identifying the symptoms of the panic attack once they start, and then taking measures to minimize these symptoms and their causes, according to Psych Central. Dr. Dave Carbonell for Anxiety Coach explains that the tools needed to recover from a panic attack require concerted planning, and instinctual responses are often ineffective in recovering.

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Full Answer

A panic attack results in the body becoming extremely tense. Psych Central explains that heart rates increase, and breathing becomes more rapid as the mind comes to fixate on sources of stress or anxiety. Calming these forms of tension helps slow and eventually eliminate the panic attack.

Consciously slowing breathing and relaxing muscles counteracts the body's tension. Try taking five deep, slow breaths, focusing entirely on breathing. Dr. Carbonell recommends focusing on breathing into the belly rather than the chest. Think carefully about individual muscles throughout the body. Focus on the shoulders, and position them in a relaxed position. Continue down the body until all the muscles are relaxed.

Panic attacks may recur due to general anxiety experienced in life. If panic attacks occur regularly, take proactive steps to limit their frequency. Talking with a therapist provides useful coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, explains Psych Central. Additionally, the therapist can help address the initial sources of stress to eliminate the anxiety.

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