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When it comes to panic attacks, professional treatment and therapy can make a big difference. But there are many things you can do to help yourself, too:

  • Learn about panic. Simply knowing more about panic can go a long way towards relieving your distress. So read up on anxiety, panic disorder, and the fight-or-flight response experienced during a panic attack. You’ll learn that the sensations and feelings you have when you panic are normal and that you aren’t going crazy.
  • Avoid smoking and caffeine. Smoking and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in people who are susceptible. As a result, it’s wise to avoid cigarettes, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. Also be careful with medications that contain stimulants, such as diet pills and non-drowsy cold medications.
  • Learn how to control your breathing. Hyperventilation brings on many sensations (such as lightheadedness and tightness of the chest) that occur during a panic attack. Deep breathing, on the other hand, can relieve the symptoms of panic. By learning to control your breathing, you develop a coping skill that you can use to calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxious. If you know how to control your breathing, you are also less likely to create the very sensations that you are afraid of.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, activities such as yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation strengthen the body’s relaxation response – the opposite of the stress response involved in anxiety and panic. And not only do these relaxation practices promote relaxation, but they also increase feelings of joy and equanimity. So make time for them in your daily routine.

I suffered my first panic attack 35 years ago... The fist thing to do is to know if you are really having panic attacks or if it is something else. For this I suggest you visit a medical doctor first and then also go see a therapist to see if what is happening is really a panic attack. If it is then go buy the book by Claire Weeks, titled "Hope and Help for Your Nervers." It is a $5.00 paperback... the best book ever written on the subject in my opinion... She will give you a practice and talks about other peoples experiences. I have read everything I can get my hands on years ago and that is one book that really helped me out... It was the beginning of the end for me... Ultimately the place to get to is where you are no longer afraid of having a panic attack... It is the eye the needle you have to pass through... and that is only going to happen when you stop running... :) Enjoy... really. You are going to discover a you whom you never met before...

Breathing exercises

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. --- Ben Franklin

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