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Panic attacks can happen anytime, anywhere. If you’re familiar with an attack, you know it can disrupt your life to the point where it can be challenging to do everyday activities.

If you suffer from panic attacks, you’re not alone. According to The University of Florida, 2.4 million Americans suffer from panic disorders each year. Luckily, there is treatment for panic attacks. Read on to learn how to prevent a panic attack.

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is your body’s response to fear. Panic disorder is a common mental health condition related to anxiety. Sometimes our bodies think that we are in peril, and so it releases adrenaline as part of its fight or flight response. However, most times, these triggers aren’t as dangerous as our minds think they are and don’t warrant such strong physiological reactions. 

Doctors link anxiety to several medical conditions. Panic attacks resemble the symptoms of having a heart attack. As a result, many people who have panic attacks think that they are dying. Even when you do know that you’re only having a panic attack, it can still be challenging to control it. Although panic attacks are not dangerous, they significantly impact your quality of life – especially if you have them regularly.

How to Prevent a Panic Attack

Since everyone has different triggers, there is no one singular way to prevent a panic attack. However, there are certain behaviors and actions you can limit that will help decrease a panic attack. 

Limit the amount of caffeine you drink. Caffeine is a stimulant, which increases your fight or flight response (a big factor in causing a panic attack). Alcohol, too, can significantly increase the chances of having a panic attack. Additionally, regular exercise, mindful meditation and breathing exercises can also help significantly lower your chances of having a panic attack. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that could help people suffering from panic attacks.

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Physical Symptoms and Physical Reactions of Anxiety

  • Rapid heartbeat, pounding heart, or racing heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • Intense fear
  • Palpitations
  • Tense Muscles
  • High Blood Sugar
  • Sleep Problems
  • Upset Stomach
  • Bowel Problems

Common Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Here are the common symptoms of a panic attack. If you experience these symptoms regularly, you probably have a panic disorder. 

  • A feeling of imminent danger

  • Fear of losing control or death

  • Accelerated heart rate 

  • Sweating

  • Trembling

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Chills

  • Shortness of breath

  • Nausea

  • Chest pain

  • Headache

  • Negative Thoughts

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Numbness or tingling sensation

  • A feeling of unreality or detachment

  • Fear of dying

  • Agoraphobia

  • Or Any Phobias

Tips on How to Prevent a Panic Attack

The best way to prevent a panic attack is to understand your triggers are and to work through them. For example, if you know that you typically have a panic attack while driving, perhaps consider trying exposure therapy to help lower your symptoms. 

Medication is also a formidable tool against panic attacks; However, it won’t help treat an underlying anxiety disorder. You may want to consider seeing a doctor and getting antidepressants or benzodiazepines

Relaxation techniques like deep breathing has been found to reduce symptoms of panic attacks. If you’re able to control your breathing, you are less likely to experience hyperventilation. Focusing your deep breaths through the mouth and slowly exhaling through the mouth.

There are lifestyle changes you can make that significantly reduce the chances of having a panic attack (like cutting out caffeine and other drugs or exercising).

Anxiety Treatment at Celadon Recovery Florida

If you try these tips and you still struggle with anxiety attacks, know that there is more help. Celadon Recovery Treatment works with patients to alleviate their panic disorder with targeted, individual panic disorder treatment options. With sophisticated tools like art therapy, animal therapy, meditation, support groups, and more, Celadon Recovery will help you get the help you need.

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