5 Tips to Stop an Anxiety Attack

FEATURED
March 25, 2022

Nue Life

Nue Life
8 MIN READ

Top points

  • Intense anxiety attacks that cause symptoms like shaking or a pounding heart affect up to 35% of the population.
  • You can learn to take steps at the beginning of a panic attack that will help you return to a calmer, more relaxed state.
  • Ketamine can relieve overwhelming anxiety in as little as 24 hours.

Anxiety attacks are incredibly difficult and scary to deal with. The stress and fear that come with them can be disruptive to your life. Shaking, dizziness, sweating, pounding heart – the physical symptoms of a panic attack are no joke, and they can even mimic a heart attack.

But the good news is that there are practical steps you can take to stop an anxiety attack once one has started. By actively calming yourself, you can overcome the attack and get to a healthy state of mind.

Today, let’s walk through some of the steps you can take to stop an anxiety attack once it starts and also some of the things you can do to prevent them from happening in the first place.

What Is an Anxiety Attack?

Anxiety attacks, or panic attacks, are a state of heightened anxiety and worry that include the physical sensations of fear such as increased heart rate or heart palpitations, chest discomfort,  shortness of breath, trembling and chills, and muscle tension.  

Some people define a panic attack as the activation of the fight or flight response despite there being no danger present.

They can last anywhere from a couple of minutes to half an hour, but the physical and emotional effects of an anxiety attack can stick around for a couple of hours after the attack has technically stopped.

Such attacks are actually an incredibly common problem in the US.  In fact, up to 35% of the population experiences a panic attack at some point in their lives. This makes it all the more important that we know about them and how to slow them down.

What Causes an Anxiety Attack?

Anxiety attacks don’t have to result from a perceived external threat. Oftentimes, they come out of the blue and are completely unexpected.

Let’s dive into some common, specific sources of anxiety attacks to help us better understand how we can stop them.

Stress Buildup

The most common cause of an anxiety attack is the buildup of stress in a person’s life. Prolonged problems at work or in a relationship can cause your body to be in a constant state of stress. If that stress accumulates enough, it could result in the triggering of a panic attack.

This can especially happen if you do not have an outlet to process your stress. In addition, some people’s temperaments are more sensitive to stress, which can cause an increased risk for panic attacks.

Environmental Triggers

Certain situations often trigger panic attacks for people. Sometimes, if a situation reminds you of past trauma or a particular event brings you a lot of tension, that could trigger a panic attack.

But it doesn’t have to be emotional. Sometimes panic attacks can occur from the physical environment as well. They can often be triggered by intense exercise or even drinking too much coffee.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorder but especially panic disorder, are big culprits in causing anxiety attacks.

Regular, unexplainable panic attacks characterize these types of anxiety disorders. These attacks are unexpected and don’t really have a reason for happening. With panic disorder, these attacks get so frequent it often causes the person to have an ongoing fear of having more anxiety attacks.

How Can I Stop an Anxiety Attack?

Luckily, there are things you can do to nip your anxiety attacks in the bud and help yourself deal with them in the moment. By taking these steps to calm yourself, you can get back to normal quickly.

Accept That You’re Feeling Anxious

The first thing to do when you are experiencing an anxiety attack is to accept that you’re having one. It’s only once you accept the reality of the situation that you can begin to coach yourself back to a normal state of mind.

As you begin coaching yourself on a healthy mindset, remember to keep your self-talk positive and focus on your symptoms. Instead of saying to yourself, “Stop panicking,” try saying things like “I’m going to be okay. I am safe.”

Find a Support System

A healthy community that is there for you can make all the difference in the moment of a panic attack. Somebody who knows you well and who is calm and reassuring at the moment can help you feel safe and secure and calm you down faster.

Call a friend and have them walk you through it over the phone if you are by yourself. It’s good to have someone there that you can count on in any capacity.

Redirect Your Energy

Sometimes it is helpful to shift your energy and focus to something else. Directing your energy to something like remembering the lyrics to a favorite song or counting backward from 100 in sets of three is a good way to focus your mind on something concrete that’s outside of your panic.

Practice Mindfulness

When you have a panic attack, it’s important to be mindful and focus on the logical and concrete. If you recognize you’re having an anxiety attack, you need to remind yourself that your panic attack is not life-threatening.

Remember previous panic attacks and how you were able to come away from them perfectly healthy and safe. By reminding yourself of this, you can ease your stress and tension.

Try Deep Breathing or Meditation

If you let your breathing get too quick and begin to hyperventilate during an anxiety attack, it could perpetuate everything and worsen the attack. So it’s a good practice to focus on controlling your breathing and inhale and exhale deeply and slowly to calm your shallow breaths and racing heartbeat.

Meditation can be a helpful practice during an attack to slow your breathing down, lower your blood pressure, and clear your mind of your stressors so you can be clear and focused. Meditation and mindfulness also go hand in hand with relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation.

How Can I Treat My Anxiety?

The best way to keep anxiety attacks at bay is to treat your anxiety and get it to a manageable level. Since many panic attacks result from constant states of anxiety, addressing that stress can be very helpful in reducing the frequency of your panic attacks.

There are a lot of different safe and scientific treatment options available to help you manage your anxiety. There is hope. You can achieve mental wholeness and be free of your fears. You have a right to feel good.

Therapy

Therapy or counseling can be beneficial in your journey of healing. With the help of a trained professional, therapy can help you combat stress and tension at its roots.

Therapy, like psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, can help you identify the source of your stressors. With therapy, you can address those problems and find healing in your lifestyle so that you can move on from them. In therapy, you can develop coping skills that will help you handle stressors in productive ways. Talking to a therapist is effective, and it’s a part of any quality treatment plan to help you beat your stress and tension.

Trigger Avoidance

A short-term solution is just to avoid the people or situations that cause your anxiety. By keeping your triggers out of your life, you can reduce the number of anxiety attacks. Caffeine and alcohol consumption can be contributing triggers, and cutting down on these may be beneficial.

But this is treating a symptom more than creating healing. Ideally, your anxiety shouldn’t control your life and keep you from certain places or people. Lasting recovery doesn’t come from running away from the problems you face.

Ketamine

While other medications target serotonin and norepinephrine, ketamine helps increase the production of a different, far more abundant neurotransmitter: glutamate.

By producing glutamate, ketamine triggers the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factors. This helps your brain to form new neural connections and new pathways. By increasing brain plasticity in this way, ketamine reduces the hold that your negative thought patterns have on you and makes way for newer, positive, and calmer thoughts. While ketamine has been best-known for its success with treating depression, it has also shown to be effective at helping treat symptoms of anxiety. The effects are so astounding that patients can see rapid improvements in their symptoms within 24 hours of treatment.

Conclusion

Now you have some tools in your arsenal to fight against anxiety and make headway on your journey towards mental health. We are all works in progress, and our brains can be optimized for health and mental balance.

While you can do things to help stop an anxiety attack in progress, the best thing to do is be proactive and stop them before they start. Ketamine therapy can be an effective way to do that. By reaping the benefits of revolutionary psychedelic technology, you could find healing and wholeness.

Whichever path you choose, take charge of your mental health and make an effort to get ahead of your anxiety attacks. We are all works in progress, and we can all make progress. Start today and start from where you are. You can achieve the health that you’re after.

Treatment at Nue Life

Nue Life believes in holistic treatment. What happens after your ketamine experience is equally as important as the experience itself. We want to ensure you have meaningful takeaways from your experiences and help you establish positive new neural pathways.

That’s why we provide one-on-one health coaching and integration group sessions with our programs. We’re here to help map out the mind and body connections in your brain, and help you discover the real insights that lead to real relief.

SOURCES

Ketamine produces rapid anti-anxiety effects that last for up to 7 days | PsyPost

Panic attack | Better Health Channel

Panic attacks and panic disorder | Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

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