There continues to be more understanding in American society regarding panic attacks and their effects on those who have them. That being said, there is still a great deal of misinformation and misunderstandings regarding panic attacks. Knowing how to prevent a panic attack — either yours or someone else’s — can help defuse a stressful situation and deepen a relationship.
What Does A Panic Attack Look Like?
Like nearly everything else in life, a panic attack does not look exactly the same in everyone who has one. However, there are common symptoms that can clue you into the fact that you or someone else might be having one. These signs include:
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Hot flashes
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
How To Prevent A Panic Attack: Can It Be Done?
In spite of lots of research and tons of studies, experts still aren’t sure how to prevent a panic attack in all situations. Don’t let that statement discourage you though. There are steps that you can take to help protect yourself from those triggers that can lead to a panic attack. Knowing what those are is the first step in the process of empowering yourself and taking control of your life.
Having a panic attack can make you feel like you are having a heart attack or that another medical condition is going on. The first time you have a combination of the symptoms like those described above — or if you are unsure if you’re having a heart attack or related condition — you should go to the emergency room or make an appointment to see your doctor.
Doing so can help rule out other causes of your symptoms. In addition, you might also be given a diagnosis of having panic attacks.
What Can Make You Have A Panic Attack?
Doctors and other researchers aren’t exactly clear about why people have panic attacks. There are some universal things, however, that can make you feel vulnerable. For those people who are susceptible to having panic attacks, these can trigger one.
- Substance abuse issues
- Other psychological problems
- Issues with the nervous system or brain
- Stressful events like a job loss or a loved one’s death
- Family history
How To Prevent A Panic Attack
There are steps you can take every day that can help you stave off the stress that the above issues can wreak on your mind and body. Doing these can also make it easier for you to avoid a panic attack.
Take Care of Yourself
If your body isn’t being taken care of, then it’s going to be harder for you to avoid a panic attack. This means you should aim to eat right, get enough sleep, avoid caffeine and smoking, and don’t use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Regular exercise reduces stress and helps your mind, body, sleep, and more. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. In addition, integrate yoga and meditation into your daily routine.
Everyone has stress in their lives, but do you understand exactly where yours is coming from? Try keeping a record of your days for a week or two to see if you can better identify where stress is coming from in your life. Once you’re aware of it, you can brainstorm ideas on how to reduce it.
At Santé Center for Healing, our compassionate staff understands that many people just like yourself to turn drugs and/or alcohol as a way to help them cope with life’s stresses. Learning effective strategies for avoiding a panic attack is something that can be part of your individualized treatment. Learn more about us by calling us at 866.238.3154 today.