How to Deal with Panic Attacks
When dealing with recurring panic attacks you need to consider the various therapies available to you and make a Plan to stay healthy.
In this article, I will outline some of the more popular therapies and provide an example Stay Healthy Plan that you can adapt and use for your needs.
Exposure-Based Therapy: As the name suggests, exposure therapy is a program in which the patient is slowly, but repeatedly, exposed to the feared object or situation. In the early stage of this process, the therapist may accompany the patient. Later on, the patient may start to feel confident to undertake the process alone.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
This is a process whereby the patient is taught to live in the present and release any judgemental tendances.
A combination of breathing and meditation exercises to help to relax the body and focus the mind.
A process whereby the therapist tries to interrupt and manipulate the body’s flow of energy.
The Stay Healthy Plan.
One of the best ideas I have seen in recent years involves setting and working on a documented plan for healthy living. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, and can be applied across many different conditions from panic disorders to general anxiety. When we have a plan to follow, we can see and remind ourselves of the things we need to be doing to stay healthy.
Here is a simple example of what a typical Stay Healthy Plan may look like;
Building My Confidence
• Visit my GP and ask about finding a counselor.
• Take one day at a time.
• Exercise at least three times this week.
My Stress Triggers and My Response
• Feeling overwhelmed at work.
• Stop taking on too many projects. Say No. Take walk breaks.
Things I like to do to keep myself Healthy
• Catch up with family/friends.
• Turn off social media in the evenings.
• Take my dog for a walk.
• Focus on my crafting at home.
Things that I must do to keep myself Healthy
• Stick to a regular sleep routine (7 days).
• Open up to my partner/family/friends about how I am feeling.
• Eat healthy food. Don’t skip meals.
Things I notice about myself when I am becoming unwell
• I want to sleep all the time.
• I argue with my partner/family/friends constantly.
• I get irritable over small issues.
This is really all about tracking your life so that you can keep working on the “good habits” and have an early warning system for when the “bad habits” start to rear their head..
A Final Thought.
If possible, please make sure that you get support from your family and friends.
Share your strategies for staying healthy with those close to you, so that they can help you stick to them. Talk with them about how you’re feeling – don’t keep issues to yourself. Discuss potential triggers with your family and friends so that they can support you in avoiding or managing potentially difficult situations.
It’s also important to recognize the early warning signs if you’re becoming unwell. Your friends and family can help by looking out for changes in your behavior that you may not notice yourself.
I have put a link below to one of the most positive and inspirational works on this subject I have read in recent years.
Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic: Workbook (Treatments That Work)
Dec 14, 2006
by David H. Barlow and Michelle G. Craske