Steps to control panic attacks are ironic. On the one hand, they are simple and straightforward. On the other hand, they are the most difficult to follow through with.  Here are some of the most critical steps in controlling your next panic attack.

First, admit that you are feeling anxious. Accept your body feelings as symptoms of your anxiety and a sign that something is bothering you.

Try to figure out what is really bothering you. Is it some type of conflict that you don’t want to deal with? Is it a scary thought? Is it a ridiculous expectation you have about yourself? Was it a T.V. program you watched, relationship problem, normal bodily physical changes (which leave you more sensitive), etc. Avoid Stimulants-Caffeine, decongestants, rushing around, etc.

Give yourself permission to feel anxious about whatever is bothering you. Say, “I feel anxious because…” and remember that it is OK to have anxiety. If you fight it the panic will only last longer. Flow with it and it will wash over you faster Allow yourself to feel weird for a the time.

Use positive self-talk dialogue to talk yourself through the anxious time. It will pass. Say: it’s just anxiety. It will go away. I will not lose control. I can still go about my business feeling spaced out. It won’t hurt me. It is just energy that needs to be released. Learn to live in the Present Precious Moment, not trying to rush the future.

Get busy. Do something to release this self-induced stimulation. Don’t just sit there. Walk. Run. Clean closets. But do something. Do anything that helps you to distract from the way your are feeling. However, it should be active–not withdrawing into passivity or sleep.

See the humor in the way you feel. You might feel weird, but you don’t look weird. Remember the mantra: “It’s no big deal”. Just give yourself permission to feel weird for a little while. Everyone feels strange at times and they get through it. Say, “It’s just anxiety,” or, “I’m just excited.”  it is more normal than you think!! Bright People are very sensitive and intuitive and need to learn how to manage this special sensitive-intuitive-awareness that can be a very positive asset.

Use your relaxation techniques twice a day.  Train your body to be more relaxed and less ready to get up and going tense.  You are not crazy and you will not die!

Stop looking for “quick solutions” such a reaching for “the pill to solve it all.” Go with the flow and find self-care things to help you. It may take time but you are working on training your body and system to respond differently.

However, it is important to find a psychotherapist who can (1) take time to get to know you and your situation, style, symptoms; (2) be a guide and a mentor who can work with you; (3) is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and knows the practical steps for dealing with your symptoms; (4) and is someone you feel comfortable with and trust. You also have to know that your problem has been there for a while and it may take a while for your to master what is needed to obtain better control and mastery over it all!

Trying to rush things will cause more problems. Take it step by step.

Photo credit: Pixabay/Nordseher