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Surviving A Panic Attack - The Odds Are On Your Side

May 15, 2008
If you're reading this article it's safe to assume you or someone you care about has suffered from a panic attack. In fact, if you're like most victims, you may experience these frightful episodes on a semi-regular or fully regular basis.

The good news is, while panic attacks can be extremely uncomfortable and even terrifying in some cases (hence the name), the victim is almost never in any real physical danger. Fortunately the similarity between panic attacks and heart attacks is limited to sensory experience, so your odds of surviving are excellent!

But it certainly doesn't feel that way when you're right in the middle of a full-blown episode.

The American Psychological Association claims the average attack lasts for ten minutes, but hard data reveals incidents that passed within one minute and others that continued for several hours. Anyone who has suffered from a panic attack will agree that, whatever the duration, these events are among the absolute most uncomfortable and disturbing experiences one can have.

But there are a few things you can do to lessen the intensity of an attack, and even to prevent one from occurring in the first place.

The first weapon you have is the knowledge that a panic attack is not a life-threatening occurrence. Simply reminding yourself of this during an episode can decrease your discomfort significantly.

Concentrating on your breathing is a very powerful method for coping with and averting a panic attack. When you begin to experience your first symptoms, become aware of your breath. Without straining get into a rhythm of slow, deep breathing and affirm to yourself the fact that you are slowing your heart rate and managing the flow of adrenaline in your body.

Deep breathing exercises are a great way to dissolve an attack quickly before it reaches it's peak. Also, the regular practice of breath and meditation exercises is an effective method for completely eliminating the panic attack nightmare from your life.

For some people, it is helpful to close their eyes during the first moment of the panic attack. This will allow you to withdraw from your environment, and can reduce much of the stress of the current situation.

Also, lying down on your back can be a simple way to calm your body. Allow your weight to sink firmly beneath you and feel the floor supporting you completely. For best results combine this with deep breathing and affirmations, and see if closing your eyes helps.

Everyone is different, and what helps one might increase the discomfort of another. But the deep breathing exercise above is a phenomenally effective technique in a majority of cases.

Be sure to discuss deep breathing and meditation practices with your physician. These procedures are rarely harmful but it's better to play it safe.

Of course the notion that panic attacks are not lethal is a reference to the biochemical process, and does not take into account any environmental concerns of activity risks. These are issues you will need to consider on a case-by-case basis, and you'll need to apply good common sense.

Obviously you should stop operating power tools, heavy machinery, and if at all possible a motor vehicle in the event of a panic attack. Furthermore, it's a good idea to remove yourself from any arguments or altercations that might be taking place if at all possible.

Using the simple information in this article, you can reduce the suffering associated with your panic attacks, and perhaps even put an end to these disturbing occurrences completely.
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