Experiencing panic attacks can be distressing and frightening. Seeking professional help is a good idea. There are some things you can do at home to ease your panic symptoms. Here are some detailed discussions on how to ease panic attacks at home:
What Causes Panic Attacks?
First let us know what causes panic attacks. There are various known causes of panic attacks, and they can vary from person to person. However, some of the most common causes include:
- Genetics: Panic disorder tends to run in families, suggesting that there may be a genetic component to the disorder.
- Anxiety disorders: Panic attacks can be a symptom of other anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Life stressors: Significant life stressors, such as the loss of a loved one, a major change in life circumstances, or financial problems, can trigger panic attacks.
- Substance abuse: Substance abuse, particularly the use of stimulants such as caffeine or cocaine, can trigger panic attacks.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, mitral valve prolapse, or hypoglycemia, can trigger panic attacks.
- Medications: Some medications, such as asthma medications or certain antidepressants, can trigger panic attacks as a side effect.
- Phobias: Certain phobias, such as a fear of flying or a fear of enclosed spaces, can trigger panic attacks in certain situations.
What Are The Symptoms of Panic Attacks
The symptoms of a panic attack can vary from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include:
- Sudden and intense feelings of fear, anxiety, or dread.
- Rapid heart rate, palpitations, or pounding heartbeat.
- Sweating or trembling.
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation.
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Nausea or abdominal distress.
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
- Hot flashes or chills.
- Numbness or tingling sensations.
- Feeling detached from oneself or reality.
If you are experiencing several of these symptoms and they are severe and unexpected, you may be having a panic attack. However, it is important to note that some of these symptoms may also be present in other medical conditions, so it is recommended that you seek medical attention to rule out any other potential causes.
If you’re experiencing panic attacks, staying calm and focusing on breathing is important. Slowly inhale and exhale, taking deep breaths through your nose and mouth. Engaging in an activity you enjoy or talking to someone you trust can also be beneficial in managing panic attacks.
How to Ease Panic Attacks at Home
Although it is always recommended to seek professional help, there are some things you can do at home to help ease your panic symptoms. Here are some detailed discussions on how to ease panic attacks at home:
- Practice deep breathing: Deep breathing can help you slow your breathing, easing some of the physical symptoms of panic attacks. Sit comfortably and take a slow, deep breath through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this several times until you feel calmer.
- Use TVNS: TVNS (Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation) is a non-invasive method that involves applying electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve via the skin. The vagus nerve is an important nerve that plays a key role in regulating the body’s relaxation response, including heart rate, breathing, and digestion. By stimulating the vagus nerve, TVNS can help promote a sense of calm and relaxation, which may be helpful for individuals experiencing panic attacks.
Here are some ways that using TVNS can help with easing panic attacks at home:
- Reducing anxiety: TVNS can help reduce anxiety by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “rest and digest” response in the body. This can help calm down the nervous system and reduce feelings of anxiety.
- Regulating heart rate and breathing: Panic attacks often involve rapid heartbeat and breathing, which can exacerbate feelings of panic. TVNS can help regulate heart rate and breathing, which can help reduce the intensity of panic attacks.
- Promoting relaxation: TVNS can help promote a sense of relaxation by activating the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are associated with feelings of well-being and relaxation.
- Improving sleep: TVNS has been shown to enhance the quality of sleep, which can be beneficial for individuals who experience panic attacks that are triggered by sleep disturbances or insomnia.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is a relaxation technique that involves attention to the present moment. This can help you reduce your anxiety and calm your mind. Try to focus on your breathing and the sensations in your body. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath.
- Use grounding techniques: Grounding techniques can help you feel more connected to the present moment and can help you feel less overwhelmed. Try to focus on your senses. For example, name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
- Exercise: Exercise can help reduce anxiety and depression, which can trigger panic attacks. Try incorporating regular exercise into your routine, such as walking, doing yoga, or practicing tai chi.
- Avoid triggers: Identify what triggers your panic attacks and try to avoid them. If you cannot avoid them, try to prepare yourself by practicing relaxation techniques beforehand.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can make anxiety and panic symptoms worse. Ensure you get enough sleep by sticking to a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Seek support: Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your panic attacks. Sometimes talking to someone can help you feel less alone and can help you manage your symptoms.
Remember that everyone experiences panic attacks differently, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it is always recommended to seek professional help if you are experiencing frequent panic attacks or if your symptoms are interfering with your daily life. Alternatively, you can try the tips above to remedy the situation at home. We hope you can better cope with panic attacks after reading this article.