Often our minds just run wild “what if” scenarios, which may not have any factual basis. And when your mind goes in the wrong direction, you start feeling fear which eventually turns into anxiety and panic attacks. Panic attacks usually result from irrational thoughts out of proportion to reality.
Symptoms of panic attacks cannot be ignored and if they increase over time, they can prevent you from participating in your daily activities.
To prevent your panic attacks or any anxiety from interfering with your daily life, you should practice some grounding exercises. Doing these exercises will reduce anxiety symptoms and keep you from going into a panic attack.
Some of the simple techniques that you can use to ward off panic attacks are described in detail below.
Take deep breaths
Almost all relaxation techniques involve some form of deep breathing exercise. Deep breathing will effectively dampen any stress or anxiety response. This miraculously simple technique involves deep, slow abdominal breathing, and it has the power to calm our entire nervous system.
One of the ways deep breaths calm us down is by stimulating the vagus nerve, which releases a variety of stress-busting enzymes that do the trick. Some of these hormones include prolactin, acetylcholine, oxytocin, and vasopressin.
There are three basic concepts around breathing techniques: resistance breathing, coherent breathing, and breathing movement, but all you have to do is inhale, then count to six and exhale, then count to six again. And don’t forget to shift the breath from your chest to your diaphragm.
Consider using CBD
CBD is a natural compound found in cannabis and, according to research, it can remedy anxiety. The human body contains several different receptors. Receptors are protein-based chemical structures attached to your cells, and they send and receive signals from various stimuli.
CBD interacts with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, found in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. CBD stimulates the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in maintaining your mental health. Low serotonin levels are often associated with people suffering from depression and anxiety.
Taking CBD helps fight your panic attacks and fight anxiety, and the best part is that CBD is available in various forms, such as CBD products from like CBD oilaccording to your preference.
Pour water on your face
If you’ve ever splashed cold water on your face, you know how much this simple action changes your perspective, even if it only lasts about a minute. Well, according to research, immersing your face in cold water produces physiological changes by stimulating your parasympathetic system.
The area behind the eyeballs is believed to be a strong and easy place for the vagus nerve to be stimulated. Thus, splashing cold water on your face will stimulate your vagus nerve, lower your heart rate and activate the digestive and immune systems.
Massage your scalp
According to research, a massage could help remedy anxiety by altering your biochemistry. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience explored how massage therapy lowers cortisol levels by up to 31%, increases serotonin by 28% and dopamine by 32%.
So if you can afford it, getting a massage whenever you feel anxious will do wonders for your anxiety and help you avoid panic attacks.
However, while a full body massage may seem like overkill, simply massaging your scalp will also work. Massaging your scalp is quite effective as it improves blood circulation to your brain and reduces muscle tension in the back of your head and neck.
You can use essential oils for your massages, such as lavender or chamomile, as they can be very soothing. A study from Osaka Kyoiku University found that lavender oil helped reduce mental stress and improve alertness in Japan.
Avoid negative thoughts
Your thinking also impacts panic, and if you have negative thoughts often, they can spiral out of control and cause panic attacks. Believing in these unnecessary negative thoughts is what causes you to experience panic attacks.
Therefore, it is important to remember that these are only thoughts, not reality or necessarily facts. You can avoid negative thinking by becoming aware of the common patterns that lead to it. Pinpointing the triggers can help you avoid the unpleasant experiences that follow.
You can also engage in mindful reflection, journaling, or doing yoga to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind.
Challenge unnecessary thoughts
The way we think about things has an impact on panic. Many of these thoughts are beyond our control and can be negative and unnecessary. It is therefore important to remember that these are only thoughts and not necessarily facts. Even though we may believe a lot of unnecessary thoughts during a panic attack, these thoughts need to be challenged as they are often based on incorrect assumptions. For example, misinterpreting physical changes in the body during panic as “I’m having a heart attack.” To challenge and respond to this negative thought, you would ask yourself: what could you have said to yourself that would have helped?
Becoming aware of the common patterns followed by unnecessary thoughts can help you recognize that you have them. Keeping a journal of what happens each time you panic can help you spot the patterns that trigger these experiences for you, so you can think about how to handle these situations in the future.
If you constantly feel stress and anxiety or have panic attacks more often, you may have panic disorder. Panic attacks are sudden and unexpected. At first they may seem unbearable, but specific triggers lead to these attacks. If you can spot these triggers and deal with them using the techniques outlined above, you can easily dodge your next panic attack.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for combat sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He is also a veteran MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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