When you are in the grip of an anxiety attack it can feel as though there is no relief, that you are being crippled by your disorder and your control over the situation is spiraling away. It does not have to be this way, with these seven tips on how to stop anxiety attacks you can regain control over your disorder simply and effectively.
1) Learn To Control Your Breathing
This first tip may sound overly simplistic but controlling your breathing is vital during an anxiety attack. As your disorder kicks in hyperventilation is triggered and these shallow, quick breaths can be dangerous and increase the feelings of anxiety. The key is to concentrate on regulating your breathing into deep, slow breaths because not only is it more beneficial for oxygen intake and calming you; it means you are no longer focusing on the panic.
2) Find a Distraction To Take Your Mind Off The Anxiety
Again, this may seem like a straightforward idea that is easier said than done, however the idea of focusing on something other than the panic is a great psychological tool that should be embraced. The more you think about your attack and the anxiety the worse it can become – essentially you are panicking about panicking – so distracting yourself with another focus can provide relief. Let’s use the example of flying, if you feel an attack coming on try and focus on the inflight magazine or listen to an iPod to take your mind off the situation.
3) Try Some Visualization Techniques
Alternatively you can try visualizing something familiar and reassuring to help you focus on remaining calm – whether it is that cliché of a calm, blue ocean or other comforting memory. If you find that specific situations make you anxious, again using flying as an example, visualize the scene when it is all over, stepping off the plane at your destination. This visualization should be easy because it is something you have done before and this will provide the confidence to overcome another attack and lessen the effect.
4) Indulge In Some Aromatherapy
This trick is harder to implement if an attack is severe and there is no-one around to help you, but it can have a greatly beneficial effect. Whether it be a calming bubble bath or burning some essential oils, aromatherapy works because a number of the ingredients used, in particular lavender, stimulate the limbic system via the nostrils. This system evokes pleasant memories and has a calming effect and this can help enhance the visualization and distractions.
5) Implement Some Dietary Changes
Finding methods for stopping anxiety attacks is not limited to those that deal with them as they occur; there are also preventative measures to bear in mind. Dietary changes can be particularly advantageous; reducing your intake of stimulants such as caffeine and cutting down on alcohol can reduce the intensity of an attack and it is also recommended to take some B vitamins and calcium supplements.
6) Seek Professional, Psychiatric Help
Another preventative approach to managing panic attacks and anxiety is to seek help from a cognitive behavioral therapy specialist. While this approach may seem a little daunting and drastic, for people with severe disorders it may be the best course of action and the results are worthwhile. This treatment can range from simple therapy to deal with the underlying issues of your anxiety to hypnosis, and while it is not guaranteed to work it is one of the best methods for a permanent solution.
7) Accept The Support Of Another Person
Many people have no choice but to deal with their disorder alone and for many this is not a problem, but if you have the support of a loved one then you have an important ally at hand. The simple presence of a loved and trusted companion can be calming enough, and many sufferers cite the having of a pet to stroke as an important tool in a quick recovery, but they can also help you implement all the measures mentioned above – from the aromatherapy baths to the visualizations and distractions.
As you can see from these seven tips on how to stop anxiety attacks, there are plenty of simplistic tricks to try during an attack and preventative actions than can provide more permanent relief. Implement these measures and soon you can regain control over your attacks and stop your anxiety from controlling you. In addition, we have found a proven method to stop your anxiety for good, called Panic Away, and has been highly recommended by many of our readers. Click here for the official Panic Away website.