A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety, apprehension and intense fear. People often describe it as a feeling of fear in response to a threat, even though no threat exists.
Panic attacks occur suddenly without any warning. They can last for just a few minutes or more. They rarely persist for more than an hour. Recurring attacks may lead a person to avoid situations or places where they have had them, when in fact there is rarely a correlation between the activity or place and such attacks.
Here are some ways to deal with panic attacks.
1. Slow Breathing
You can put an end to a panic attack before it starts by practicing proper breathing techniques. When more oxygen enters the body, it has a calming effect on your mind and body. Slow, deep breaths can ease many of the symptoms of a panic attack. Plus, practicing breathing exercises and techniques daily can help prevent panic attacks.
- Sit in a relaxing position and try to relax your muscles.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose.
- Next, breathe out slowly through your mouth.
- At the same time, focus on the word “calm”.
- Repeat until you feel relaxed and calm down.
Exercise may not sound like a home remedy for panic attacks, but it absolutely is. Though some people do experience anxiety and panic as a result of exercise, others will find that exercise itself is exactly what they needed to permanently control their anxiety symptoms.
Exercise has several benefits that are crucial for anxiety:
- It reduces excess muscular and mental energy.
- It releases endorphins that calm the mind and body.
- It promotes better sleep.
- It improves hormone regulation and may burn stress hormones.
- It helps your breathing improve.
These are all very important strategies for anxiety control, and there is some evidence that one of the main causes of panic attacks and anxiety is a lack of exercise, indicating this may be more important than some people are willing to give it credit for. Ask yourself if you exercise daily. If you don’t, strongly consider it.
Another popular herbal treatment for panic attacks is valerian, which helps calm the nerves. A study conducted by the National Phobics Society found that valerian can help reduce the symptoms of panic attacks. Plus, it promotes sleep.
- Soak two teaspoons of chopped valerian root in cold water for eight to 10 hours. Strain the water and sip it throughout the day.
- Alternatively, take 400 to 900 milligrams of valerian extract a few hours before going to bed. Consult a doctor for the proper dosage.
Do not take valerian on a regular basis for more than four weeks. Also, expectant and nursing mothers must avoid this herb.
4. Hot Bath
A hot bath or shower can help provide immediate relief from a panic attack. Hot water has a relaxing effect on the body, helps combat stress and promotes better sleep.
- In a bathtub filled with hot water, add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice like lavender, chamomile or rose oil.
- Also add some carrier oil like jojoba oil.
- Soak in this relaxing bath for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Follow this remedy whenever you are stressed or having a panic attack.
Give yourself a massage daily can help reduce the intensity as well as frequency of panic attacks. The whole process of massage helps calm the nerves and keep your mind more relaxed.
For massage, use aroma-producing oils (essential oils) from plants to promote relaxation. You can use oils like sesame, olive or coconut oil for this purpose.
- Slightly warm the oil of your choice.
- Use the warm oil to massage your shoulders, neck, back and bottom of your feet.
- Massage your body daily or as needed.
Other Notes for Curing Panic Attacks At Home
The strategies above are only the beginning. You’ll also need to make many life changes that promote panic attack free living.
One example is how you adjust to living with panic disorder. Remember, fear of panic attacks increases the severity of panic attacks, which means that sometimes the best way to treat them is to face your fear and let yourself have an attack. If you find that you get panic attacks when you to go the mall, for example, then you need to make sure that you continue to go to the mall so that your panic attacks don’t control your emotions.
You’ll also need to try to reduce stress around you. You’ll need to spend more time with friends and family, doing fun activities so that you aren’t as focused on the present, and you’ll need to learn how to distract yourself when you feel a panic attack coming on (distractions take you out of your own head and should decrease the severity of the attack). These are all important parts of treatment.