How to Prevent the Onset of a Panic Attack

A person trying to relax at a peaceful spot in nature

Around 13% of people experience a panic attack at least once in their lifetime. You can’t predict a panic attack; they are sudden and physically and mentally challenging. However, knowing the steps to prevent the onset of a panic attack can help you reduce its severity or avoid them.

The behavioral health service professionals at our clinic have explained some tips to prevent panic attacks from intensifying.

Take Deep Breaths

Panic attacks can cause chest tightness and rapid breathing, and you may even feel like you’re running out of breath. Rapid breathing can increase feelings of terror and anxiety. Take long and deep breaths to counter these feelings.

Try this:

  • Inhale deeply for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for seven seconds
  • Now exhale for eight seconds

While doing this, concentrate on each breath.

Smell a Soothing Scent

A soothing scent like lavender or chamomile can help relieve feelings of panic. These scents engage your senses, helping you stay grounded and focus on something else. Lavender is known for relieving anxiety and bringing a sense of calm.

You can also use lavender oil by dabbing a little on your pressure points or on a handkerchief. This helps you stay relaxed throughout the day. If you don’t like the scent of lavender, replace it with other essential oils with calming properties such as:

  • Lemon oil
  • Bergamot orange
  • Frankincense
  • Peppermint
  • Ylang ylang

A person is applying essential oil

Change Spaces

Sometimes sights and sounds can cause or aggravate a panic attack. Disturbing news, increased noise, certain lights, etc., can increase anxiety, which can turn into a panic attack. A change of scenery or sitting in a peaceful spot can help you relax. This helps you escape the chatter around you and allows your mind to relax. You can also try to walk or practice deep breathing to increase relaxation.

Focus on an Object

Sometimes moving to a peaceful spot isn’t an option. In these situations, concentrating on a physical object can help you feel grounded. As you focus on the object, you will be more interested in its properties and gradually forget the things around you (that were causing the anxiety). If you get recurring panic attacks, you can carry an object that helps you feel grounded. It can be a small toy, a smooth stone, or any familiar object.

Talk to a Specialist

If you experience frequent panic attacks in the same environment, such as school, workplace, or any social space, it’s best to talk to a specialist. You can reach out to the mental health professionals at Ziks Health Services. We have adequate experience in treating people with anxiety and panic attacks.

We are mental health service providers in Dallas, specializing in telemedicine psychiatry and behavioral health services. Learn more or book an appointment.

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